India’s textile and apparel industry is strong throughout the value chain, from fiber to yarn to fabric to apparel.
It has a vast array of products, ranging from various handicrafts, wool, and silk products, to the integrated textile industry. Spinning, weaving, packaging, and apparel manufacturing are all part of the integrated textile industry, which is identified by the use of investment technology for the commercial production of textile and apparel products. TheInnerReview interviewed Shripat Jagirdar(Co-Founder), wherein he enlightened us with her entrepreneurial path and the challenges he came across to establish a successful company.
1.Brief Us About You and Your Journey Since the Beginning of Your Career
I have been born and brought up in South Mumbai, born into a Textile family, where my grandfather worked for companies like Raymond and Mafatlal for most of his life, and then my father started his own textile weaving factory in 1988 just outside of Mumbai. I have always been around textile from a very young age, I still remember in the ’90s, Fridays were an industrial holiday as there was load shedding in Vasai and my father would be at home on Fridays, and Sundays on my holiday, I would accompany him to the factory. I guess that’s where my interest in textile began. After my graduation, I pursued a Diploma certificate course in Textiles from Sasmira College Mumbai.
Having received a formal education and introduction into the world of textile, I started going to our factory and joined my father, commencing my textile journey in 2014. I was learning my way through the industry, however not finding momentum and passion. In 2019, after 5 years of manufacturing over 200 million meters of fabrics, I discovered sustainable, eco-friendly, and natural fabrics – something that immediately appealed to me and I naturally skewed towards sustainable fabrics, giving birth to Weaving Vibes.
2. How would you describe yourself in One-Two words? Who was been your guide, Source of Inspiration, support?
– A Spiritual Innovative Entrepreneur. My life draws inspiration from two facets – entrepreneurship and the Art of Living.
Growing up in a business family, entrepreneurship comes to me naturally. Hustling through the days, making every penny count, innovating to be relevant are a few learnings that I take from my father. He is my support; my teacher and I learn from him e very day of my journey. That’s about my entrepreneurial inspiration on one hand and on the other hand, I have Art of Living that is a big part of my life, my learnings, and the way I operate and perceive life. For me, Spirituality and Sustainability go hand in hand – both bring us close to planet earth.
3. What do you like the most about your job? state us your passions, missions and goals, What acts as a motivational tool for you?
My job is to manufacture sustainable fabrics for a sustainable future for us. We manufacture premium sustainable fabrics for apparel, home décor, accessories, shoes, bags, luggage, and other industries. I would not call this a job but my passion. Since I started Weaving Vibes, I have gotten more and more passionate to create and innovate new weaves, blends, designs, colors, and prints using sustainable, natural, and eco-friendly raw materials and processes. Our mission at Weaving Vibes is to help the earth heal by using products that are not harmful to our planet. The goal would be to have every individual convert 30% of their wardrobe to sustainable clothing and move towards living a sustainable lifestyle.
4. Kindly describe in brief about your Company and its services/products.
Weaving Vibes is a sustainable fabric manufacturing company focused on the innovation of fabrics and its applications. We are a 100% made-to-order manufacturing company making sustainable woven fabrics for use by the apparel, home décor, accessories, shoes, bags, luggage and other industries. Weaving Vibes has an in-house monthly capacity to produce 280,000 meters of hemp fabric and we work directly with our clients to develop the fabrics they require. Weaving Vibes is a GOTS, OCS and ISO 9001 certified manufacturing company, and is mainly into the business of Exporting fabric. We also have an e-commerce website with no MOQ for upcoming fashion designers, boutique brands, students and other clients who wish to purchase as low as 2 meters of fabric. We have 50+ different hemp blended fabrics from 90 GSM to 340 GSM.
We also offer special finishes, water resistance, stain repellent, eco-printing, coloured, tie-dye and many more fashion fabric finishes.
5. Why did you choose to manufacture Sustainable fabrics such as Hemp fabrics?
We are all aware of the global warming and pollution crisis in the world currently. Textiles is one of the largest contributors to global pollution. While some clothing is donated and recycled, the majority of textile waste heads to our landfills where they release greenhouse gases and leach toxins and dyes into the surrounding soil and water. Hemp on the other hand is a Natural Crop with many environmental benefits.
Hemp is a carbon warrior as it helps reducing the carbon footprint. It enriches the soil it is grown on and is biodegradable, so it mixes back into nature. Hemp plants require half the amount of land to grow ( compared to cotton) and produce 3 times more fiber than cotton. Hemp plants require 1/3rd amount of water to grow compared to cotton and thus helps in saving water. Hemp fabrics is inherently anti-microbial and UV resistant in nature. Hemp fabric gets Softer & Stronger with every wash. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibre in the world and hence the products made from hemp fabrics last longer. These are some of the reasons why I choose to manufacture sustainable fabrics such as hemp, as it has the least amount of impact on the environment during production and disposal.
6.State us your major achievements and your company's achievements under your leadership
We had perceived a vision of manufacturing premium hemp fabric in 2019 for all industries. That vision coming into commercial viability and good quality is a big achievement for us. We are also one of the largest hemp and hemp blended fabrics manufacturers in India currently, with over 75+ hemp and hemp blended fabrics designs for various applications
Weaving Vibes is one of the only weaving manufacturing companies that work on 100% advance payments by B2B clients. We are a 2-year young brand that started commercial sales only in March 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. One of our main achievements would be that we have since then had a 10% growth month-on-month. We have had great traction and sales even though most of the global markets were down, which goes to prove that sustainable fabrics are the need of the hour and our fabrics are a perfect match.
7.Kindly tell us about the challenges you took and the risk associated with it and how do you overcome them?
One of the main challenges for me personally was the decision of starting something new and exiting the family business. It was challenging on many levels as there was an emotional connect with the business and a fight to do what you love, which was something new and had no proven future at the beginning.
The second challenge is – Credit! For many who don’t know, weaving manufacturing is a very investment-heavy industry to start off plus 90+ days of credit to the product you make and sell for which we pay 100% advance for raw materials, which was just not justifiable. But this is how the industry runs they say. Hence, we started with a strict policy of 100% advance payments for fabrics, and so far, so good. We have sold 80k+ meters, all in 100% advance payments.
Third challenge – since hemp is a new product, customers wanted lower M.O.Q for their orders, as low as 10-20 meters. Initially to produce such lower quantities was not possible from a manufacture’s point of view in terms of production and cost. But after much effort, we are proud to say that for our clients we do manufacture smaller quantities and sell through our website www.weavingvibes.com.
8. Share your point of view on the current scenario of the industry and its future.
India has a huge opportunity to be one of the largest cultivators of industrial hemp in the world. As industrial hemp gets more traction and more states legalize the growing of industrial hemp, we will have enough fibres to produce great textiles. The future of sustainable textiles looks very strong and promising. We should have Indian grown good hemp crop for textile use by 2025. We need more brands to adopt sustainability and promote eco fashion as much as possible, by 2025 mainstream fast fashion brands will also convert a percent of their designs to sustainable fabrics.
9. What would you advise to the bidding entrepreneurs?
Do something that makes you Happy, in business and in life. There are 3 basic needs of humans – Wealth, Health & Happiness. Wealth can be earned and enjoyed, but what good is it if your not healthy and happy? Health can be earned and enjoyed, but again, what good is it if your not happy. Happiness is not earned it’s a state of mind, its free , regardless of being wealthy or healthy , you can still be happy. In whatever you do, as long as it wakes you up with a smile and puts you back in bed with a smile, its worth it!
10. Please Tell Us About Your Future Business Plans
Apart from export we are focusing on India as a market Our website is a means for anyone to purchase and experience hemp and hemp blended fabrics. We are soon planning to venture into knitwear made from hemp and hemp blends. We want to build and promote a sustainable community in India through the fabrics we manufacture and build awareness of sustainable living. In order to create this community, we are curating an exhibition that brings together the sustainability community giving everyone a platform to showcase and sell their products.