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Interview with Prithvi Bhagat

Prithvi Bhagat
Prithvi Bhagat
Founder & CEO

Our mission is to elevate activewear experience
Claiming to be India’s softest activewear brand, Strch is set to redefine the way people experience fashion, fitness and comfort. Founded by a fourth-generation entrepreneur from the Gulabdas Group, the brand aims to reinvent how Indians engage with an active lifestyle, by leveraging nylon’s superior quality to allow consumers to stretch to their full potential. In a conversation with Fibre2Fashion, Founder & CEO Prithvi Bhagat talks about using nylon for stretch, design process and more.

In your opinion, how has consumer behaviour in the activewear market evolved in recent years, and what implications does this have for the industry as a whole?

Over the last decade, a heightened awareness of mental and physical well-being has influenced consumer behaviour in the activewear market. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the significance of fitness and health, resulting in increased consumption of activewear.
The growing awareness around health and fitness has turned activewear into more than just workout gear; it has become a lifestyle choice. This shift opens up new opportunities for innovation, design, and market expansion. Activewear is not just confined to the gym; it is becoming a mainstream fashion staple.

How has technology influenced the design and manufacturing processes in the activewear industry, and what innovations do you find most exciting?

Technology has revolutionised the design and manufacturing processes in the activewear industry, allowing for precision, efficiency, and innovation. I am particularly intrigued by the advancements in wearable technology for activewear. The integration of smart sensors and biometric tracking not only enhances performance but also provides users with real-time insights, creating a dynamic and personalised fitness experience like never before.

What inspired the creation of Strch, and how does it stand out in the activewear market?

The inspiration behind our creation lies in the passionate pursuit of merging premium quality with a distinctive Indian identity in the activewear space. Fuelled by a desire to redefine norms, we identified a gap in the market where the focus was often on mass production and cheap products, neglecting the pursuit of superior quality. Strch stands out by challenging this paradigm, offering premium activewear tailored for the Indian market, emphasising quality craftsmanship, innovative design, and a commitment to authenticity. With a great focus on design, our mission is to elevate the activewear experience, ensuring every stride, stretch, and movement is supported by the highest standards of performance and style.

Can you elaborate on the choice of nylon as the primary material for Strch activewear and how it enhances the user experience?

The selection of nylon as the primary material for Strch activewear is grounded in a meticulous pursuit of optimal performance and comfort. Nylon, renowned for its durability and flexibility, allows us to craft activewear that seamlessly adapts to the dynamic movements of the wearer. Its moisture-wicking properties keep the body dry during intense workouts, while the inherent stretch ensures unrestricted mobility. By integrating nylon into our fabrics, we have elevated the user experience, offering activewear that not only performs exceptionally but also embodies the essence of comfort and style, empowering individuals to push their limits with confidence.

How do you plan to change the way Indians perceive and engage with an active lifestyle?

Our approach goes beyond just providing activewear; we aim to inspire a cultural shift towards embracing wellness and fitness. Through our premium-quality, performance-driven activewear, we want to redefine the narrative, making the pursuit of an active lifestyle an accessible and enjoyable experience for all. By seamlessly blending comfort, style, and functionality, Strch encourages individuals to not only embrace physical activity but also to make it an integral part of their daily lives.

In a market dominated by gender-specific activewear, how does Strch cater equally to both men and women with its diverse range?

We acknowledge that both men and women deserve equal access to high-quality performance gear. Our diverse range reflects this commitment, offering a versatile selection for all. For women, our collection encompasses a variety of choices, from comfortable track pants and shorts to stylish tops and leggings. The array for men is equally comprehensive, featuring everything from classic round necks and joggers to sleek polo shirts and shorts. Our goal is to create a space where everyone feels confident in their journey towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.

As a fourth-generation entrepreneur, how has your background influenced the vision and values of Strch?

Our family legacy instils in me a sense of commitment to excellence, a relentless pursuit of quality, and a dedication to authenticity. This heritage serves as the guiding force behind Strch’s mission to deliver premium activewear that seamlessly combines tradition with modern innovation, ensuring every piece embodies the values ingrained in our textile and clothing heritage.

Could you share insights into the design process at Strch, especially in creating stylish yet functional activewear?

Our design process focuses on merging quality materials with affordability, addressing the needs of Gen Z by incorporating their trendy aesthetics. We strive to bridge the gap between fashion-forward activewear and everlasting comfort, ensuring that our designs resonate with the dynamic lifestyle of our audience.

What challenges did Strch face during its establishment, and how were they overcome?

We faced the challenge of finding the ideal combination of nylon and spandex, striking a balance between comfort and trendiness in our activewear. Overcoming this hurdle involved meticulous testing and experimentation to ensure that the fabric blend met quality standards.

Can you shed light on any upcoming innovations or expansions in Strch’s product line?

We have a new, fun collection in the pipeline with innovative colours and cuts. Leveraging the insights that we have gained from the three months since our launch, we aim to cater directly to our audience’s preferences. This upcoming innovation aligns with our commitment to staying fresh, trendy, and responsive to the evolving needs of fitness enthusiasts.

How does Strch plan to create a community around its brand and connect with its customers on a deeper level?

We are dedicated to fostering a vibrant community and establishing a deep connection with our customers. We actively engage with our audience through social media, on-ground events, and content that resonates with their lifestyle, cultivating a meaningful connection and lasting bond with the brand.

Considering the dynamic nature of the fashion and fitness industry, how do you stay ahead in terms of trends and customer preferences?

In the ever-evolving intersection of fashion and fitness, Strch remains at the forefront by staying attuned to trends and customer preferences. We invest in continuous market research, closely monitoring emerging styles, technological advancements, and evolving lifestyle choices. Regular feedback from our engaged community plays a pivotal role in shaping our designs, and our collaborative approach ensures that Strch remains a trendsetter, offering activewear that seamlessly blends style and functionality.

How do you see the relationship between fashion and functionality evolving in activewear, and what role does performance technology play in this evolution?

Performance technology plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of fitness apparel. We are deeply committed to the ethos that activewear should not only be stylish but also functionally adaptive to diverse workout environments. Our commitment to fitness goes beyond aesthetics; it extends to the integration of UV protection technology, anti-odour properties, and quick-dry functionalities. These features are designed to provide flexibility and performance, regardless of the type of workout or the environment.
Interviewer: Shilpi Panjabi
Published on: 30/01/2024

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.