In the present time, growing a successful D2C brand requires adhering to the needs of the customers and also fulfilling their demands. The purchase power is shifting to GenZ and Millennials who’re concerned more about the environment. Today, customers don’t just want to buy, but they want to spend on something meaningful. They are not only looking at a transparent purchase window, but are also looking to spend their penny on brands that make conscious products and are always eyeing the future with a very positive outlook.
The growing approach of sustainability in the business is helping the new-age brands to provide a positive approach towards ecological, social and environmental causes without leaving any negative footprint on nature. Nowadays, D2C brands are opting for recycled polyester, vegan leather, organic hemp, Econyl, organic cotton, modal and many such eco-friendly substances, which are clean and does not leave behind any harmful waste.
To talk more on the idea of eco-friendly and how it can be turned into a business concept, we spoke to Supriya Shirsat Satam, Founder & Creative Director at FOReT.
FOReT is a premium sustainable fashion brand that celebrates nature and all the products are exquisite and handmade from the luxurious Cork. The brand gives great attention to craftsmanship and design. The ethos behind the brand is to celebrate the beauty of natural materials through excellent craftsmanship and sophisticated designs that are suited to our modern lifestyle.
Challenges to create a eco-friendly brand
The major challenge to create a sustainable D2C brand is awareness. Spreading the right word about the brand is very important and to start with the brand is bound to face a lot of queries about the durability, nature and other properties of the product in the initial days. When we asked how they worked on creating brand awareness, Supriya Shirsat Satam highlighted “At Foret we make use of sustainable practices, responsible materials that are conscious and are better for the environment. As we know fashion is a personal statement, more like a personal branding and nobody wants to change their style statement if they are opting to be environment friendly. As people have different approaches towards eco-friendly materials, some think that the material will not be durable, not good looking as a fashion accessory should be or maybe there will be some smell attached to it. But, we’re looking to create products that can break through all these barriers and create something unique out of it.”
She also told us about the challenges that the brand faced when they started their journey:
- Educating consumers about the new materials. As a brand we’re working with banana fiber, cork material and making the customers understand about their sustainability.
- India is a traditional market in terms of jewellery. And as a brand we’re looking to influence the love that everybody has towards the jewellery as a personal style statement replacing that with the plant-based accessory and create an identity in that. Designing the product was a big challenge for us.
- Creating an identity about the product that the customers have not experienced yet.
- Find artisans who can work with us and deliver a product that we’re expecting. Initially we need to grow through the product, and make it appealing to the customers.
Making it stand out
The latest collection for FOReT is handmade from Banana Fibre that is generated from the stems of the banana plant. “Our products are designed with the ethos to make plant based materials mainstream. At FOReT, we want to create our products keeping the customer at the center and design them such that although made from plant based materials, they can easily fit into your lifestyle. With eco-friendly products, the myth is that they may not be durable or the finish would be too raw, or they would have a certain smell. Sustainability is also a lifestyle and most consumers fear that they may need to radically change to adopt eco-friendly products,” Supriya mentions.
The brand’s approach is to rethink eco-friendly materials and give them a new identity in a way that is appealing to the customer as a fashion product that can be worn for any occasion. They continuously educate and make consumers aware of the new age materials and the need for conscious fashion.