For centuries, the traditional handicrafts of India have been creating their magic upon people across the world, be it in Britain or among other Europeans. Even now, India with its diverse culture and heritage has a lot to present in terms of traditional handcraft. One may get plenty of sites and applications to buy these traditionally acquired treasures of the country, but it gets easier when everything is available in the same place. This has turned out to be the sole driving force behind EastKrest, a new start-up aiming to provide a single platform to the talented artisans coming from different parts of the country.
It is only after getting experience of more than 15 years in the fashion and lifestyle industry, Kushal Bakshi and Kuldeep Singh dared to take a leap and create a platform like Eastkrest to reduce the gap between India’s traditional artistes and consumers. Another reason of Eastkrest’s focus on traditional crafts and textiles is to contribute their share in bringing sustainability to the fashion and lifestyle industry.
The founders believe that natural, traditional and cultural values are the roots of sustainable fashion. The relationship of the company with its traditional artisans has come up as its unique selling point. By showcasing the talent of these artistes through their platform, the new clothing start-up is bringing out the purest form of fashion for the world.
Along with making a change in the supply side of the industry, the company is revolutionizing the life of producers. It is a well known fact that most of the traditional artisans and craft persons are struggling to survive because of their financial condition. But companies like EastKrest are trying their best to build a sustainable relationship with their producers as well. Hence, the fashion oriented company is making a change in the lives of craftsmen by making them financially stronger.
“By embracing these artisans’ work, not only do we bring in a traditional and irresistibly priced product in the market, but also a joy to the life of the very creator, whose work is being showcased beyond the borders of his imagination,” says Kushal Bakshi, who always wanted to be an entrepreneur and tried to launch his enterprise at the age of 14.
Being an ardent follower of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kushal Bakshi has not only gained self-reliance by opening his own start-up but has also brought an essence of Prime Minister’s ambitious project, Vocal for Local, in the lives of the artisans with whom the company is working with.
Along with selling its own manufactured garments, Eastkrest is promulgating an idea of a holistic and sustainable lifestyle. It seems like even the customers are enjoying the freshness of the products, as the company’s various collections of handcrafted decors and apparel received an overwhelming response from the customers.
Regarding the importance of sustainable fashion in the industry, Kushal says, “Creating sustainable and eco-friendly garments is our raison d’etre”
Last year, the company launched its collections based on the concept of minimalism. The collection was loved by the customers. Kushal says that the Corona Pandemic has also vindicated the concept for others. This can be the main reason why the fashion startup also extended its collection ‘At Ease’, which was loved by their esteemed customers.
Beginning the journey of producing eco-friendly products in a time when the industry is still dominated by highly capitalized textile and apparel industries must be a tough job. The same goes for EastKrest. The company started its journey as soon as the founders came across a regime of like-minded people who share similar visions.
For the founders, the biggest step was to start and believe that the product that they were starting had the potential to make a change.
Kushal recalls that building a relationship with artisans was another tough job for the company. But ever since, the company has started, its primary aim has been to ensure the well-being of the creator of the products along with bringing quality products for the customers.
Mentioning some other hardships the company faced in its initial phase, Kushal says, “When you start with little cash in hand challenges becomes your first mate.”
As a new business start-up, it became a lot more important for the founders to do everything in the most cost-effective ways. At this time, it gets more important to deliver the best quality and aesthetics by keeping in mind the budget constraints.
Kushal gives credit to the highly efficient team and mentors who helped the company in getting through this tough phase. With positive thinking and never give up attitude of the team members, every challenge turned into fuel which kept them going.
The common notion around fashion trends is that it is limited only to women’s garments. People may find plenty of cool and beautiful apparel for women. Expanding its dimensions, the company is now working on a kids range. Even here, the factor of sustainability will be a primary aspect of this collection. The fashion start-up is also planning to bring something fresh to the men’s collection.
Just like the whole presence of Eastkrest is based upon the traditional culture of India, the founders of this fashion start-up advise each and every aspiring entrepreneur, who are planning to start their venture in the textile industry, to stay connected with their roots. According to Kushal, another important thing that every entrepreneur must do is to believe in them. With these two advices it would be a lot easier for the aspiring entrepreneurs to make their own way by dealing with all the hardship they will face.