We at BRANDxHOOD have constantly been showing huge support for sustainability and slow fashion for quite some time now. However, while we see a lot of action happening on a macro level – be it employing the cradle-to-cradle business model or promoting the Make Fashion Circular initiative (https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/), we were always on the lookout for brand identities around us that imbibe such operations. Brands similar to our identity and planet-friendly footprint. This is when, amidst a lot of sustainable explorations on the internet, we stumbled upon Emacity – a GenZ by GenZ sustainable fashion label that is making waves in the global fashion ecosystem. We then knew we had to sit down with the cool and excited co-founders and learn more about Emacity. Here’s an interview with them to not miss out on any important detail. Let’s dive right in!
BRANDxHOOD: What is Emacity’s brand story, and tell us about the ‘aha’ moment of how the brand started.
Emacity: This journey is a peculiar one yet simple; we are ISBF students who had to open a shop that sold stationery and customized ISBF merchandise. It was an easy task, but we paused and looked around. Was this something we wanted to do, or we even needed? One of our co-founders, Yuktha Bhadane, passionate about sustainability, had the idea of making this shop sustainable. As we researched this, we found out that most companies that make Organic and Sustainable Clothing in India only export their goods. It was a huge reality check when we realized that selling something completely natural was more complicated than selling something made out of chemicals. Emacity was founded in the middle of the pandemic. It was started out of a want and a need for creating sustainable products accessible, affordable, and functional. This was our challenge.
Emacity was supposed to be a simple shop with a 150 square feet area but ended up being a revolutionary idea, now exposed to several continents!
Emacity truly started when we made the hard choices – when simple certifications would cost us five times of what it would otherwise. When a plastic packet would cost you 50 paisa whereas a jute bag would cost you 25 rupees, this was when Emacity started. Some brands greenwash their customers, say that their products are organic but are not accountable for the same.
Emacity is simply a product of five Gen Z change-makers who were tired of how businesses exploit natural resources and underprivileged humans. That was when it was finally time for a change and who better to instigate change than the citizens of tomorrow!
Everything manufactured and sold by Emacity has a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certification and a Fair Trade Certificate. We know merely organic doesn’t sell, which is why it hasn’t made a lasting impact yet. Emacity keeps the boring out of sustainability; it makes sustainable fashion trendy, fun, and wearable.
BRANDxHOOD: Could you describe the aesthetic sense of Emacity as a brand?
Emacity: The aesthetic sense of emacity can be defined by one statement “Minimalism is not a style, it’s a statement,” and we truly stand by it. Our first collection, “NAKED,” embodied this ideology, and the raw, unfiltered, true, and minimal style reflects in our designs.
Because we genuinely believe in “changing lifestyle, one tee at a time,” we expand our thoughts with seasons, trends, and collections and try to cater to all types of individuals. Our next collection will be a complete contrast to our first collection, targeting an entirely new audience.
However, the brand’s fundamental essence will always support all types of trends, from chic to vintage to streetwear, in the most original, green, and ethical way possible.
BRANDxHOOD: Tell us about the process of ensuring sustainability for Emacity?
Emacity: Our supply chains ensure a Fair Trade Certificate at every stage of production. We need to be ethical to even understand the different levels of sustainability. From the workers to vendors to our interns, we ensure an ethical transaction. We support this ethical transaction with a Fair Trade Certificate.
The only way to ensure transparency for a brand is to show a sanctioned proof of its authenticity, and we provide that. The current fabric used is Organic Cotton, which is sourced from a GOTS Certified Mill. This is the most crucial part of the chain. A layman could never differentiate between the normal pure cotton fabric and a GOTS certified cotton fabric. Even though there is a stark difference in quality, a higher grade fabric could pretty much look the same to an unseasoned eye. Our process of ensuring sustainability is the certificate.
For processes where there aren’t any sustainability standards yet set in place, we have our own structure to ensure sustainability. We use non-toxic and non-carcinogenic dyes to dye our fabric in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We use power-friendly printing techniques, as well. Our packaging is 100% plastic-free. We use recycled cardboard and recycled/reused materials to package.
Sustainable processes are essential, but they are also a hard choice to make. Emacity would not exist without these hard but conscious choices.
BRANDxHOOD: As you’re a GenZ brand for the GenZ, what is it that other fashion brands are not getting right in understanding this demographic cohort?
Emacity: We are catering to the millennials by promoting the zeal to drive change for a better tomorrow. We cater to these communities because who better to promote change than citizens of tomorrow? What truly makes Emacity its true authentic self is the transparency that comes with it. We are transparent in our vision and aim of giving back to the community by uplifting citizens of the same community to generate change for a better tomorrow.
Unlike other brands that just sell sustainable clothing, we at Emacity help create awareness of why there is a need for this in the first place. One cannot expect people to generate change or adapt to change if they are not aware of why the change needs to be propagated in the first place. Emacity takes full responsibility in creating awareness as to why a shift from fast fashion to conscious consumerism is not a choice but a dire need.
Our products are made sustainably and ethically from start to finish. In India, sustainable fashion is not relatable, especially to the Genz or the millennials. You cannot wear sustainable clothing sold in India to go watch Netflix or for a casual day at university! What sets Emacity apart is that with every collection, we make ourselves relatable to a more extensive set of audience. Our Apparel is cool, trendy, and wearable. It is affordable, provided you make a choice to shift from fast fashion to conscious consumerism. Our customers are willing to make that shift because we make the transition easy; that sets us apart from our competitors.
When we initially thought about our target audience, we struggled with the idea of what a small fraction of people we are catering to when supplying to existing sustainable buyers. That is when we realized that Emacity is creating a new market with its products. Our apparel line essentially revolves around creating trendy products at prices that do not create a division in the market but instead increases the audience. Every individual is entitled to practice this responsible change because we make it affordable, stylish, and accessible to them. Hence, with this evolved idea of operations, we use evolved marketing techniques as well. Our primary marketing platform is Instagram other than our website because that directly caters to the GENz and millennial communities.
BRANDxHOOD: As a sustainable brand, what’s your case for encouraging consumers to embrace sustainable fashion?
Emacity: We was started in the middle of a pandemic. At a time where businesses were shutting down, Emacity was born. It was born to facilitate that much-needed transition – a transition from fast fashion to conscious consumerism. Emacity is all about making it easy to switch to a sustainable way of life.
This pandemic is not just a red flag; it is a massive red piece of cloth that is suffocating us, showing us that this is where we stop. We stop, we reassess, and make a choice.Tweet
We want people to make a choice to go sustainable. What sets us apart is the ease we create to become sustainable.
You know the statistics, and so do we. It is no mystery that fast fashion is simply eating this planet up. We haven’t been able to breathe without feeling unsafe and worried, but does that actually encourage us to make sound choices? Very honestly, there is only so much that one consumer can change. The onus of going sustainable is of the billion-dollar fashion industry.
Despite global outrage and campaigning, hardcore consumerism is still on the rise, and governments and multinational companies must answer their actions’ impacts. For a startup like ours, our consumers do everything for us! We look at them as change-makers. People have started to realize the importance of shifting to cleaner alternatives and encouraging that, Emacity runs.
BRANDxHOOD: Why should customers stand with you?
Emacity: In this day and age, where making money online is becoming increasingly easy, only a few startups out there are doing good for the environment. Fast fashion is evil, and we are just five college students who couldn’t watch it reduce our time on this little blue planet anymore. We brought together our entrepreneurial spirit and fueled it with our love for the environment to create a business that people want to associate with. Which is challenging, just like every other business, but even more so when you look at the costs. Sustainable clothing is expensive as it is; put it with the scale of our current operations, and it gets steeper. Thus to make people shift is like having to deal with two business models simultaneously.
Along with this, our style of working is very unique. We guess every organization feels that way, but it really is! Emacity is being run by five co-founders and a team of designers and advisors spread across South East Asia. Still, the distance has not been a roadblock. Nor has the coronavirus. As Gen Z explores the recession we have all been cruising towards, we are trying to get a good grip of the market and strive through the tough times. On the other side, when people regain their confidence in the economy, Emacity is there with them. It takes a lot of faith to establish a new business in a recession. Still, it’s also the big bets that provide the most significant returns.
We saw a problem that needed a solution and beat all odds to start Emacity. Being in the middle of a recession, a global Pandemic, and different geographic locations never stopped us from being responsible individuals and entrepreneurs. We want to share this responsibility and make people understand the whirlwind we are stuck in and how essential it is to breakthrough. We want them to stay aware. That’s what we are trying to pull off here.
BRANDxHOOD: Finally, what makes your brand, BRANDxHOOD worthy, i.e., customer-centric?
Emacity: At Emacity, we pride ourselves in not just delivering a product but an experience. We make them feel part of a movement, the Emacity’s Plants before Profits Family! We encourage consumers to switch to conscious consumerism and not just limit ourselves to fashion but also lifestyle. We want them to be proud of their choices, choices that their 60-year-old self would be proud of!
Our consumers dig the personalization we offer right from sizing to packaging! We make-to-order our products in the business. We carefully analyze and meet the consumers’ needs, one t-shirt, and one mask at a time.