Purvansh Trivedi is the managing partner at Mod Ecru. His family has been in the textile business since the 1950s, beginning with a fabric trading company in Dubai, UAE. In 1994, his father decided to venture into a different line of business and established an interior contracting company in Dubai.
In 2011, his family moved from Dubai to India where his father established a textile spinning mill in Gujarat. They ran that spinning mill for almost 5 years, employing 120 people and establishing ourselves as a forerunner in fancy yarns.
He completed his undergraduate education in the UK and joined the family business in 2015. However, due to the cotton market crash in 2018-19, they decided to move away from the spinning industry and focus on fancy fabrics and garments, bringing our journey full circle. Today, they are in the process of establishing their e-commerce brand, Mod Ecru.
1. Elaborate about your brand Mod Ecru?
Mod Ecru is a fashion e-commerce brand, focused on making available sustainable products at affordable price points. Using our experience and technical knowledge in fancy textiles, we aim to provide the highest quality of clothing to Indian and international consumers. Our products are made from fabrics using naturally grown materials such as linen, hemp, bamboo, banana fiber, modal, viscose, Excel, cotton, and blends between them.
We are also in the process of developing new products using silkworm, mango fibers, pineapple fibers, etc. Mod Ecru aims to promote the benefits of these natural fabrics and to change the mindset of "cheaper is better".
2. What is the USP of your brand?
Our USP lies within our technical knowledge of the entire textile production chain, right from fiber to fashion. We are heavily involved in each stage of the production chain, aiming to get the highest quality product to our customers every time.
3. How is your brand making the world a better place?
We aim to make the world a better place by introducing sustainable fashion as the new norm. We aim to eliminate plastics and man-made fabrics from mainstream fashion.
4. What are the five major challenges you see in your industry and how are you tackling them?
* Shortage of supply in sustainable raw material - most suppliers have shifted to cheaper "plastic" fabric production as it is easier and cheaper to produce.
* Unorganised weaving sector - about 95% of weavers in the Indian market are unregistered job workers, making it difficult to bring them into the fold for sustainable manufacturing.
* Lack of research and development - since there is a heavy lack of R&D regarding sustainable fashion, many suppliers and manufacturers are hesitant to take the plunge and ramp up manufacturing of garments using such materials.
* Bringing an understanding of sustainable fashion to the Indian market - due to heavy marketing over the last 30 years of nylon, polyester, and other similar materials, the average Indian consumer is unaware of the negative impact these products have on the environment. Furthermore, convincing the consumer to opt for sustainable fabrics and explaining the benefits of such change can be challenging.
* Service level issues - delay in lead times and delivery issues remain a major problem in the Indian textile industry. There needs to be an ease of use module provided at a government level for the movement of goods and capital subsidies to incentivize manufacturers to move towards sustainable fashion.
5. How big brands are impacting your business/startups? Strategies you are building up to tackle them.
We have found that big brands are making available cheaper clothing options using materials such as nylon and polyester with a strategy directed at 'fast fashion. This creates a challenge in convincing the average consumer to opt for sustainable options as they tend to be more expensive, though they are more environmentally friendly and would last the consumer for a longer period.
At Mod Ecru, our strategy is to help the consumer understand the cost-to-benefit ratio of using sustainable fashion. We have focused our business model on sustainability by eliminating disposable plastics, from the production stage right up to packaging. We aim to spread awareness of the advantages of shopping sustainably through the products we are creating.
6. What are the upcoming trends that you see in the textile industry?
While the majority of the market is currently leaning towards cheaper plastic-based fashion, we have noticed that the upcoming generation is cognizant of the concept of sustainable fashion and the respective benefits of the same. As the buying power of the average consumer increases, so will the awareness of these products in the longer term, and with the shifting attitudes towards 'being green' in international markets, sustainable fashion is something that is going to gain momentum and thrive.
7. What’s your opinion on the textile market and how you are positioning your brand?
The current textile market is such that there is an oversupply of 100% cotton and polyester blended fabrics. The operations are driven towards the goal of making the product as cheap as possible. Large international brands have previously focused on pushing these fabrics into the mainstream market in an attempt to maximize their returns. However, the recent market trend suggests that people are looking towards responsible fashion apparel that is sustainable and harmless. Lately, there is an overall shift in the utility perspectives wherein the consumer is shifting from diesel and petrol cars to electric vehicles, and similarly towards sustainable fashion from fast fashion. The major brands like Zara and H&M have already started an initiative to go green and eliminate plastics in their packaging and other processes.
We at Mod Ecru have taken a step further and eliminated plastics and man-made fabrics from our line. We believe in fashion that thinks beyond just fashion, and about the need of the hour, sustainable fashion is the next big thing!