ecoFashion

Ninoshka

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Ninoshka: Fashion with a conscience

The brand Ninoshka is the brainchild of designer Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney, which focuses on sustainable fashion. All her products are made of natural and organic materials. She uses natural dyes. She works closely with handloom weavers from across India and also with rural artisans. By working with rural artisans, not only does she create employment opportunities, but also makes sure that the artisans she works with receive fair wages. She believes in the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle philosophy. Through her work she tries to ensure DECENT WORK and ECONOMIC GROWTH (UN SDG goal 8) and RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION and PRODUCTION (UN SDG goal 12).

Authors

ABIN BABU

ABIN BABU

Anvit Nigavekar

Anvit Nigavekar

Jaimin Brahmbhatt

Jaimin Brahmbhatt

JAIWANT AUDI

JAIWANT AUDI

Arsh Trikha

Arsh Trikha

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

DIVYA SINGHAL

DIVYA SINGHAL

Innovation

The brand Ninoshka focuses on sustainable fashion as its tag line suggests “Fashion with a conscience”. All her products are made of natural and organic material. She uses natural dyes such as indigo, pomegranate, marigold, onion peels, coconut etc. which are earth and skin friendly. She works closely with handloom weavers from across India and uses handloom fabrics such as Khadi, Malkha, Ikat and Chanderi among others. She employs dyeing techniques such as tie and dye, bandhani and shibori, and printing methods such as Ajrakh and Kalamkari. Any embroidery done on garments is done by rural Indian artisans. By working with rural artisans, not only does she create employment opportunities, but also makes sure that the artisans she works with receive fair wages. She believes in the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle philosophy. She reduces wastage and the use of precious resources by creating minimalistic styles and up-cycled fashion. Some of her designs are constructed in a single stitch line, while some others can be reused by wearing a garment inside-out or in multiple ways. She recycles remnant pieces of fabric to create new fabric.

Ninoshka’s products aim to create social improvement and environment awareness.

(Reference : http://ninoshka.co.in/brand-philosophy/ )

ecoFashion

Sustainable Fashion

Inspiration

The inspiration or rather the driving force behind Ninoshka Fashion is the uncontrolled, irresponsible manner in which the fast fashion industry was growing. The countless nameless garment employees who spent their lives in dark, unsafe buildings where they could make cheap glamorous clothes for first world markets. Slow fashion, an ideology which promotes equal importance to both customers and the manufacturer is something that might uproot the fast fashion industry. The growing social conscience of the newer generations and global movements demanding equal pay and better working conditions were also motivational factors. Slow fashion is not an alternative in which cheap substitutes are used, but a competitive business model which integrates profitability with sustainability and social accountability.

Overall impact

Ninoshka Fashion by Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney is a fashion brand with focus on sustainability. She wants to create and I quote, “minimalistic styles and up-scale fashion”. She is based in Goa and her products retail in 4 shops in Goa, 2 shops in Mumbai, and also in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Puducherry, Kolkata and Singapore. The aim is to provide comfortable, fashionable clothing keeping sustainable practices in mind.

Ninoshka’s products are made using natural,organic material and natural dyes. The output of this are clothes which are earth and skin friendly. She works closely with hand-loom weavers across India. Any embroidery done on garments is done by rural Indian artisans. By working with rural artisans, not only does she create employment opportunities, but also makes sure that the artisans she works with receive fair wages.

“Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is at the very core of the brand’s philosophy." She really believes in the brand’s philosophy and I quote is “passionately committed to it." The reduction is done by using single stitch line technique, also some of the designs can be re-used by wearing a garment inside-out or in multiple ways. The remnant pieces of fabric are recycled to create new fabric.

The brand won a National award in 2016 and is also gaining a lot of recognition from the government. Ninoshika said that, ‘there is a niche market for such a product, people who really believe in the cause and currently they are trying to cater to that and are trying to make an impact there. Future expansion according to her is limited right now; the main reason being lack of funding. But they are trying to expand abroad, in that direction they recently started selling in Singapore. There has been a 360 degree growth for the brand as well as for the people it employs. She does not compromise on salaries, on quality and also follows proper norms.

Business benefit

Ninoshka fashion is small brand catering to a niche market. She is working passionately for the brand and trying to expand it. While she is pitching the brand or for brands marketing she tries to tell a story and get people who really believes in the cause. She has been successful in getting recognized at multiple fashion events. The brand has been featured in quite a lot of articles and it can be positively said that it is on a rise, but it still has a long way to cover.

The important thing to be kept in mind is that the brand is in the slow fashion business and it is competing against fast fashion. Also customer awareness is very low about slow fashion. Talking about current financials Ninoshika said the cost of slow fashion is high and she has not even hit break even.

Knitted apparel and clothing fall under chapter 61 of the HSN code. Apparel and clothing NOT knitted falls under chapter 62 of the HSN code. Under both categories, any piece of apparel or clothing would be taxed at 5% GST if the taxable value of the goods does not exceed Rs.1000 per piece. All types of apparel and clothing of sale value exceeding Rs. 1000 per piece would be taxed at 12% GST. Because of high cost her product comes in the higher GST bracket. The sliver lining here can be lenient government policies for startups and companies that are trying to manufacture goods in India.

Social and environmental benefit

As it is mentioned before that “Reduce-Reuse-Recycle is at the very core of the brand’s philosophy,” Ninoshka said the brand’s aim is to create social impact and environmental awareness. They have kept this as their core value from the very beginning. It has been mentioned on their website also. In the interview she said she does not compromise on salaries and on quality. Growing her business along with the welfare of the people she employs is something she really believes in. She has always kept a holistic approach towards the development of her business.

She has reduced wastage, she recycles the remnant fabric and her designs are such that they can be re-used to wear inside-out or in multiple ways. The clothes are made of natural and organic materials only. It was quoted in an article that the Ninoshka Collection invites everyone to “return to innocence,” it is a collection which aims to draw you back to Mother Earth. Ninoshka as a person and as a brand is thoroughly working towards Social and Environmental betterment.

Interview

Ninoshka Alvares, Ninoshka Alvares

Photo of interviewee

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Ninoshka

Ninoshka

Saligao, North Goa, Goa, IN

Business Website: ninoshka.co.in

Year Founded: 2012

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

The brand Ninoshka is the brainchild of designer Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney, which focuses on sustainable fashion. All her products are made of natural and organic materials. She uses natural dyes. She works closely with handloom weavers from across India and also with rural artisans. By working with rural artisans, not only does she create employment opportunities, but also makes sure that the artisans she works with receive fair wages. She believes in the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle philosophy. Through her work she tries to ensure DECENT WORK and ECONOMIC GROWTH (UN SDG goal 8) and RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION and PRODUCTION (UN SDG goal 12).