Home / News / India /  Alia Bhatt turns entrepreneur, launches kidswear brand Ed-a-mamma

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt has launched her own startup venture in the kidswear category called Ed-a-mamma. The brand sets itself apart from existing players by offering a range of naturally sourced and sustainable apparel for children in the age group of 2-14 years. Bhatt, who has investments in beauty e-tailer Nykaa and fashion styling platform StyleCracker, has fully funded Ed-a-mamma which is being run by a small in-house design, marketing and operations team.

"Unlike the saturated fashion market for women, we have realised there's a big gap when it comes to a world-class clothing brand for children which is made in India," said Bhatt in a telephonic interaction with Mint.

"Moreover, I have always felt passionately about the environment and wanted to give back a strong message to conserve it through this brand. So, for instance, we have used organic cotton and non-plastic buttons for the range. We strongly believe in the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' proposition and use the leftover fabrics to make hair ties and potlis. Most of our tees come with an environment centric messages printed on it. Every order placed comes with a 'Seed Ball' which contains seeds of live plants which motivates young children and their parents to plant trees," she added.

The brand is currently available on online babycare store FirstCry with the range starting at 350. It is expected to be launched on multi-brand etailers such as Amazon and Flipkart early next year. The company will launch a dedicated e-commerce website which will be unveiled in April 2021.

"We have ensured that ethical clothing shouldn't be a farfetched thought. Customers can buy good quality clothes at an affordable price. The customer response to the brand has been a testimony to that. Nearly 70% of our range has already been sold out since the launch six weeks ago. It's reassuring that the product can sell on its own and as the demand increases we will look into other verticals such as accessories, footwear and toys," Bhatt added.

Ed-a-mamma, which is currently being promoted across digital and social media platforms through extensive influencers marketing campaigns, wants to stay in the digital space for at least two years to ensure better margins and returns.

"...covid delayed our launch plans and it also brought out the importance of digital platforms which dominated the customer journey but as they say never say never ( to look into offline retail) so we will see how the brand shapes up in the next few months," Bhatt noted.

The kidswear apparel market in India reached a value of $14.9 billion in 2019. Currently, around 375 million individuals are below the age of 15 years in the country representing a huge consumer base for the kid's apparel market as per a report by market intelligence firm IMARC.

In the last decade no large national level brand has stood out in the children's wear segment, said Sreedhar Prasad, internet business expert and former partner at KPMG. According to him kidswear is one category in which customers are forced to buy new products almost every year leading to far more wastage. Therefore, for the section of customer base who have the buying power and are concerned about the environment, there is an untouched void in this segment in the country which Ed-a-mamma can fill.

"There are two key challenges that the brand will face primarily reaching the correct target audience who have the purchasing power and secondly investing in educating those set of consumers who do not buy into sustainability proposition in their clothing choices. Globally, sustainable clothing is targeted at women. So from that perspective sustainable kidswear is a good category to venture into as most purchase decisions are made by mothers. Having said that, since there is no big national brand for kidswear in India, design, quality and convenience are huge USPs to follow rather than sustainability alone," he added.

Ed-a-mamma is Bhatt's own venture and distinct from other celebrity clothing labels that are co-created with a revenue sharing model. E-commerce platform Myntra, for instance, has partnerships with Hrithik Roshan (for casual wear brand HRX) and Deepika Padukone (All About you), all aimed at the youth category.

Wrogn is co-owned and promoted by Indian cricketer Virat Kohli. The holding company of the brand is Accel Partners-backed start-up, Universal Sportsbiz Ltd (USPL). Similarly, USPL also owns Imara, a clothing line co-created by Bollywood actor Shradha Kapoor who also owns a stake in the label.

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