With salwar suits and sarees being the norm until the 1990s, Indian consumers over the years have adopted a variety of styles including jeans, Indo-Western, fusion clothing, casual wear and more.
One of the most popular categories is urban ethnic fashion, and trueBrowns Lifestyle mission is to surpass this trend. The Gurugram-based company was founded in 2016 by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi alumni, Udita Bansal.
The USP of trueBrowns is that it is a size mark included. From 2XS to 6XL, it offers a range of clothing including blouses, kurta sets, sarees, dresses, dresses, jacket sets and more. The brand goes beyond 6XL and manufactures up to 10XL also on special orders. The starting price of the clothes is from Rs 1,000.
About 80 percent of its clothing is made in-house while the rest is outsourced to different parts of the country. trueBrowns started with a initial capital of Rs 20 lakh raised with Udita’s savings.
This week, SMBShistory spoke to Udita to understand the opportunity he found in this market and how it has grown over the past five years.
Catering for millennials
India has one of the lowest median ages (26) in several countries like UK, US and China. Additionally, the Indian womenswear market is expected to reach $ 39 billion by 2025, according to a Statista report. It’s at the intersection of restoring a younger female demographic and height inclusion that trueBrowns focuses.
Udita realized that while India had enough ethnic and Western brands, few catered to the urban ethnic clothing segment.
Additionally, Udita wanted to be an online brand from the start.
Explaining why she decided to go the e-commerce route, she says, âThe strategy was to be a brand for the younger generation. 2016 was also a time when e-commerce was coming and there was a growing trend for online shopping.
In the early years, trueBrowns mainly sold through e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ajio, Tata Cliq, etc. However, over the years the traction on the website has also grown, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Udita points out. outside. âOur website contributes 25-30 percent to the whole company.
Sustainability and inclusiveness
One of the biggest debates in the fashion industry is the inclusiveness of size. Over the years, several plus size models have made their way into the fashion industry and shattered traditional conceptions of beauty standards. Designers have also taken note of this trend and favor the inclusiveness of the waistline. On the international market, Universal Standard, Curvy Sense and the American Voucher stood out with their plus size collection.
Udita says the brand has embraced size inclusivity from the start and doesn’t charge anything extra while offering plus sizes.
trueBrowns also has a specific option on its website where buyers can Personalize clothes in its catalog according to their preferences, including color, sleeve length and other size specifications.
Besides clothing and masks, trueBrowns has also branched out into other categories such as jewelry (earrings, necklace, rings) and collection for the home (lamp, planters, vases, dishes, etc.).
The company sees peak demand from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, etc. Less than six percent of revenue comes from international markets such as Canada, Australia and Europe.
It also wants to become more sustainable by adopting environmentally friendly production and sales methods. âWe use locally sourced sustainable raw materials and package our products in recycled paper. “
In the future, he strives to refrain from using plastic altogether.
Masks to the rescue
trueBrowns, like several other companies, has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Udita says that apart supply chain issues, workers fleeing to their hometowns added to the company’s woes. It was then that the idea of ââmaking masks was born. âWe were closed for 20 to 25 days after the lockdown was announced. Subsequently, we got the necessary approvals for the masks and this really saved the company.
She adds that in May 2020, 90% of the activity came from the sale of masks. âWe were selling masks every eight minutes. “
Demand then fell to 10-15 percent in June of this year.
Today, while the demand for masks is lower, the brand is gradually finding its way. The brand, according to Udita, also wants to explore the offline market in the coming times. âWe want to have an omnichannel strategy.
She also adds that over the next 12 to 18 months, trueBrown is keen to strengthen its presence in international markets, especially in south-eastern countries like Singapore. âWe also want to focus on creating more content for our website, because that’s the best way to interact with our customers,â she concludes.