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"Consumers Have Become Very Mindful Of Sustainability", Says, Founder And CEO, Veganologie

As a small business, it is a very proactive way of combating climate issues we are facing

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In an interaction with Urvi Shrivastav, Editorial Lead, BW ESG, BW Businessworld; Angana Maheshwari, Founder and CEO, Veganologie speaks about the consumer pattern of living a sustainable life and how Veganologie is tapping in the market.

How did you make the switch from the media industry to launching your own brand?

It has been an interesting journey, including a lot of choices and struggles I have had to go through. I wanted to work in a leading media firm and be a key communicator between the media industry and people. Unfortunately, it did not work out like that. I was always inclined to make a movement around sustainability, and spread the message that we need to be more mindful of what we are doing in our day-to-day life. It was during Covid 19 that my mind switched on a bit more in this space. 

I was doing my own research, and was looking at products and bags that are sustainable, good quality, good pricing, and produces in a manner that the planet was not harmed. Unfortunately, I could not find a brand that was doing all those things. That is how I started researching and developing an idea of how to develop a brand, where you have a good price point, good quality, and most importantly sustainability and transparency. This is something difficult to find today as a lot of brands tend to do a lot of greenwashing and put a label of recycling or sustainability, but they do not really share information on how sustainable their products truly are. I wanted to create a brand that combats this issue. In order to achieve this we have developed different ways to make sure that the brand and customer get what they are really looking for.

What are the products Veganologie designs?

Veganologie's aim is to create simple, stylish, sustainable fashion. We create products which are currently for ladies, like cross body bags, etc. Now we are expanding and going into the unisex spectrum too so that men can join the movement of sustainable fashion too. I believe the movement is not just for women but also for anyone who has a day to day busy life or have young children. We create products that are easy to use, light weight, with contemporary design and elegance. It includes a lot of different characteristics to create a very good product for people of all ages and life arenas. While we are launching a unisex collection, we will also launch products exclusively for men.

Angna Maheshwari

What about your customer base?

We have a variety of customer bases. We are targeting by starting off with women from the age of 18, that is, college goers, and going all the way above. Our products are versatile, whether you are a young professional, or college student, or a young mother who has just had a baby, in that way we make it a very functional brand. We do not target a specific income bracket, because we want to make sustainable fashion a movement globally. We want people everywhere to buy and use these bags, which is why we have kept an affordable price range. So far we only 10 months old, we launched in January 2022, and have received good feedback so far. We also include the feedback in our products to come.

How is consumer consciousness changed with respect to sustainability?

Since the pandemic to now, consumers have become very mindful of sustainability. Veganologie bags are made entirely from recycled bottles, we try to take plastic bottles from the ocean. As a small business, it is a very proactive way of combating climate issues we are facing. Some people are even curious to see how many plastic bottles were used in each bag, what kind of material is used, is it certified, was there any animal harm during production, etc. We take care of all these aspects. 

At the same time, a lot of people do not understand how sustainability is important in fashion. Some may not understand how ethical production should be, and how we should treat workers who produce these bags. All these are factors we still have to educate the consumer about so they know which brands they should pick. There are a lot of brands that do greenwash, or they are very unethical in their production, or how they push their products out. For us, it is important to educate the consumer in addition to the sale of our bags. We have many climate issues which have to be addressed, like landfills, and microplastics in human blood. If we want a healthy planet we have to take action now.

What is next in line with respect to the products you are set to launch?

We are getting new products for unisex and expanding our range of products. We are currently into bangs and wallets, and other small leather goods. Now we are getting into tech accessories, travel, and office collection to wear daily. We are trying to get into options where people have the option of choosing a sustainable product in every aspect of their life. For us we are now getting into laptop bags for men and women, luggage for day to day travel also, or weekend travel. We are also getting into other products like tote bags, bag backs, etc.

What are Veganologie's expansion plans?

We have big dreams we want to achieve. We are participating in the middle east fashion week next week which is exciting for us. We are also trying to get ourselves actively available in the market around the world. We are based in Dubai so GCC is a big market, and India is a big market as well. We are also getting into retail space, so that people in India can see what the products are like before they actually buy. We are also trying to remove the issue of duties and customs for anyone who orders from outside India. The idea is to make it accessible for customers across the board. We are also creating products based on cultures, for example, the Indian customers want something more say in a different material. In a different country, they might want something completely different