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Interview with Meghna Kishore & Barkha Bhatnagar Das

Meghna Kishore & Barkha Bhatnagar Das
Meghna Kishore & Barkha Bhatnagar Das
Founders
Greendigo
Greendigo

There is zero plastic in our packaging
Being conscious of living mindfully themselves, two sisters embarked on a journey to launch a brand that accurately reflected their shared belief that sustainable products can be cleverly designed, made to last, be easy to maintain and yet be stylish and luxurious. In a talk with Fibre2Fashion, Greendigo Founders Meghna Kishore and Barkha Bhatnagar Das discuss children’s clothing, sustainable and ethical manufacturing, and the journey of Greendigo.

What is the market size for children’s clothing in India? At what rate is it growing?

The Indian kids apparel market reached a value of $16.4 billion in 2020 and will reach $48.4 billion by 2027. The share of sustainable apparel in this category is slated to grow at a CAGR of 21 per cent during 2020-2027.
 

What percentage of children’s clothing currently sold on the market are made using organic cotton?

It is very difficult to arrive at an accurate number. There are currently not too many brands that are certified organic even though they claim so. Unless a brand is certified, one can never be sure if they are indulging in greenwashing or are genuinely using organic materials. However, there is definitely a heightened demand for organic clothing from young, millennial parents who want high quality and comfortable garments that are free of toxic chemicals, for their little ones.

Why is organic cotton preferred for children’s clothing and home textiles?

Skin is the largest organ of a human body, and it can easily absorb substances present in our clothes. Harmful chemicals when absorbed by our skin can cause health concerns such as allergies, eczema, etc. Children’s skin is 30 per cent thinner and more permeable than adult skin. Since certified organic cotton garments are free of harmful chemicals such as pesticides, artificial fertilisers, toxic dyes, etc, they are a safe and healthier option for children. The buttery soft feel and breathability of organic cotton are also suited for sensitive skin of children and the Indian climatic conditions.

Why is organic cotton preferred for children’s clothing and home textiles?

What is the difference between ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ manufacturing?

Sustainable fashion concentrates on the environmental aspect of garment production. Though it doesn’t concern itself with garment workers’ well-being, it does examine how the industry impacts the health of the planet and its people. Ethical manufacturing is essentially people centred. It asses the impact that the garment workers endure during each and every process of the supply chain. However, both are not mutually exclusive. Ethical manufacturing also concerns itself with how the environmental impact of the supply chain affects the garment workers.

How and when did Greendigo begin? How has been the journey so far?

Greendigo is a female-founded, female-led company. Arising out of a personal need for non-toxic and safe clothing for her premature baby, Meghna Kishore recognised a white space that existed in the domestic market. Along with her sister Barkha Bhatnagar Das, who is conscious of living mindfully herself, the two embarked on a journey to launch a brand of thoughtfully designed clothing safe for babies and convenient for moms. With an unwavering commitment to quality, comfort, attention to detail and sustainable manufacturing practices, Greendigo was born. The brand has been in operation since August 2019. Greendigo is end-to-end certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and since its inception, the brand has widened its product offerings and secured the loyalty of young millennial parents across tier 1 and tier 2 cities in India.

As a female-founded, female-led company, what percentage of employees at Greendigo are women?

As of today, 100 per cent of our employees are women.

What is your business model? Where are all the products manufactured?

We are essentially a D2C e-commerce brand. We are also listed on marketplaces such as Firstcry, Hopscotch, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Nykaa Fashion and Nestery among others. Our products are 100 per cent ‘Made in India’ and ethically manufactured by factories that are Fairtrade certified.

Do you plan to open brick-and-mortar stores?

We definitely see Greendigo as an omni-channel brand. While opening our own stores may still be premature, we are keen to explore shop-in-shop formats for offline retail in the coming months.

Who sources cotton for Greendigo products? From which parts of India are they sourced?

Greendigo has a very tight loop, closely audited supply chain. The GOTS certificate requires a thorough audit and inspection right from the seed sown on the farm to our warehouse. We work closely with conglomerates of organic cotton farmers in India.

Who design’s Greendigo clothing and home textiles? How big is the team?

We have a strong inhouse design team since that is the backbone of our business. The inhouse designers are further supported by interns and freelancers who actively seek design inputs from real moms to solve for their pain points.

Does your portal get international orders too? How do you handle them?

We accept international orders on our website. Overseas customers can pay through PayPal and their orders are dispatched through reputed logistics companies such as Fedex, DHL, etc.

Which categories of products are sold the most on your website?

New-born clothing and nursery products are the highest selling items. We have a very high percentage of repeat customers in this segment that shows that these products are loved by moms.

Which categories of products are sold the most on your website?

Tell us about your sustainable packaging of products.

There is zero plastic in our packaging. Our garments are packed in organic cotton pouches that are reusable. Our customers love to store knick-knacks in these reusable pouches. Our courier packaging is recyclable and plastic-free too.

You also have a ‘Zero Waste’ policy. What is it?

Greendigo strongly believes that clean clothing is not just a privilege of a few but should be a right of all. We are happy to donate our new and unused organic cotton production samples and unsold inventory to inhabitants of urban slums and economically weak villages in India. For this, we are proud to be associated with Trishul, an NGO that works in the area of livelihood generation for women and education of underprivileged children.
     Since roughly 60 per cent of discarded clothing reaches landfills causing long-term pollution on our planet, it is very heart-warming to see happy faces donning our organic clothes while our unused inventory is put to good use in line with our Zero Waste philosophy.
Published on: 09/03/2022

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.