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Functional Gets Fashionable

Before every trip there is a feeling 'have I forgotten to pack something?' The list of things to be carried on a trip is long – a travel pillow, headphones, eye mask, pen knife. And, then these things get lost in the big black hole of the back pack. What if you could have a separate pocket for all travel needs in your hoodie? This is the idea behind the new line of functional wear launched by online campus merchandise brand CampusSutra.

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“Clothes are an extension of the body and are expected to multi-task much like everything else. So, we designed a hoodie for frequent travelers so all their travel requirements fit in one jacket,” says Dhiraj Agarwal, co-founder, CampusSutra who was a marketing manager at Bharti Wal-Mart.
This hoodie has a pillow attached around its hood, an in-build eye mask and a padded elbow patch to let one sleep comfortably during travels. Along with this it also has a headphone wire loop which travels from your phone or iPod in the pocket to the hood. 
It has eight pockets to fit travel related item such as toothbrush and toothpaste, iPad, phone, keys, passport and tickets. 
“It is no longer necessity but comfort and convenience that is the mother of all invention and this hoodie fulfills this criteria very well. It is lightweight and modular and helps to organize things in a compact way, says Dr. Yathindra Lakkanna, Professor at National Institute of Fashion Technology who advises companies on apparel design. 
The Bangalore-based company was founded by Khushboo Agarwal who was later joined by her husband Dhiraj Aharwal and siblings Sonal Agarwal and Aditya Agarwal. They provide customized products such as t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, polos, sweatshirts, sippers, caps, badges for Indian college students that help them to express under categories such as Engineering, Medical, Art, Music, Sports, Science and Law. 
 “Functional clothes are garnering a lot of attention the world over and are very relevant for college-going consumers who need fashion and functionality. We will unveil one new innovation on the product front, every month over the next year. Our next product will be a music hoodie followed by a gym hoodie and pet-friendly hoodie,” says Aditya, co-founder who earlier worked at Tally Solutions.
Right now their products are available from their own website and online stores at 30 fashion portals such as Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal. The company shares that 52 per cent of their sales revenue comes from e-commerce. Rest of the demand comes from their presence at 30 multi-brand retail outlets such as Planet M, Spencers  across 20 cities in India. 
The company claims to ship an average of 2,500 pieces per day all across India, their largest shipment in one day being 11,000 on 15 January 2015. 
“The main reason for this is that unlike other private labels who focus on front end, we focus on backend. We have designed our own system for payment reconciliation and a just-in-time inventory management model. In fact, in this industry go-to-shelf cycle is about six to 18 months whereas we can launch a new product in just 21 days,” says Dhiraj. 
The company closed FY2015 with around Rs 30 crore in revenues, a growth of 100 percent over last year’s revenue of Rs 16 crore, shares Aditya. 
The product is priced at Rs 2399 for a basic version.

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