A passion for fashion drove this M’sian speech therapist to start a modern Indian clothing business
I’ll admit that I’m not one to think about how my clothes are made.
Not to mention, it’s fairly common to find brands such as Shein, Mango, H&M, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and Adidas that practice fast fashion to meet the demands of ever-changing trends.
Most of these brands are easily accessible and slightly more affordable options, so it’s fair to say that it’s hard to drive change.
However, Banavees, a Malaysian clothing brand, has taken a different path by focusing on sustainability and producing its garments in an environmentally responsible manner.
Sustainable & fashionable
Brand founder Praveena believes people should start shopping consciously and refrain from buying clothes just because they are cheap and readily available.
“After working in this fashion field, I realized that it takes a lot of effort to make a simple t-shirt.
Banavees costumes are made to order and customers can choose their own costume design in addition to the original creations shown on the website.
Prices vary depending on the design, style and amount of fabric required for each costume.
The founder admitted that the initial idea of the brand started as just a fashion business. She designed her outfits based on what she wears every day.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in India, Praveena fell in love with Indian fabrics and fashion.
“When I started my business, I thought there weren’t many options available for people looking for clothing with a modern twist using Indian fabrics,” explains Praveena.
So, with this in mind, Praveena and her sisters started by selling clothes in pop-up booths.
The founder took the time to do his own research and started learning about fashion and industrial waste. According to her, fashion is her second largest waste generating industry.
“I was a little taken aback and wondered if what I was doing was really right. We decided to re-evaluate our strategy.
After her comeback, the sisters decided to produce their costumes sustainably, using fabrics from deadlocked, recycled, or donated Indian costumes.
Fashion has always been part of Praveena’s plans. “Ever since I was young, I always wanted to design, but there was a taboo that fashion wasn’t easy to grow or earn money,” she said.
So instead of getting professional training in fashion design, she decided to finish her education and become a speech-language pathologist.
I thought, “And why not pursue your passion at the same time while being a speech pathologist?” Added Pravena.
Taking the plunge, the speech pathologist went back to design. Initially, she started by designing for herself and her loved ones.
Gradually, her relatives encouraged her to launch her own clothing brand, and she launched Banavees with her sisters in 2019.
However, her parents were not very happy with her choice to pursue design in fashion. increase.
One of the biggest challenges the team continues to grapple with is the lack of awareness within the fashion industry.
“Most of us still feel unaware of the impact the fashion industry has on us. It will be dumped on the ground,” Praveena said.
Additionally, she believes it’s hard to get Banavees’ attention because people are always looking for fast-fashion brands, rather than focusing on the sustainability aspect.
In her opinion, many people shop that way rather than consciously. Or “Can I give it to you?”
“So that’s where I feel it affects us as a brand because people don’t realize what they’re buying,” Praveena told the Vulcan Post.
The founder further explained that customers are sometimes hesitant about whether they can fully trust the new brand.
A prominent challenge is dealing with customers comparing prices between online fast-fashion brands and Banavees’ brands.
“It affects us a little bit that they don’t know how they are creating new brands and that we are not funded by anyone,” said Praveena. I will explain.
So, if one of their final outfits doesn’t sell, they’re taking a loss because they’re self-financing their startup.
“Because we are not a well-known brand, we can’t even set our prices at the actual prices you would normally get from a factory-produced item,” said Praveena.
However, when customers purchase costumes from the brand, Banavie typically receives repeat orders. It’s a blessing in itself.
Towards a fashionable future
One of Banavees’ future plans is to open an outlet for the brand. The team is currently working on an upgrade to make the website more user-friendly.
Additionally, when Banavees launches its stores, the team wants to offer customers both ready-made and custom-made orders.
“I don’t think Asians are used to the concept of bespoke costumes because they are used to having their costumes tailored or altered if they don’t fit,” said Praveena. rice field.
With all this in mind, Banavees aims to be a clothing brand that practices sustainability and promotes the concept of bespoke.
- Learn more about Banabi here.
- Read other articles we have written about Malaysian startups.
Featured image credit: Banavees