Alia Bhatt-owned Ed-a-Mamma has made sustainable fashion affordable, others can too, says company’s biz head

  • Launched in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alia Bhatt’s sustainable kidswear brand Ed-a-mamma has witnessed over 10x growth in the last 18 months.
  • Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma also marked its offline presence this quarter by launching 16 retail stores, spread across India’s metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad and is now focusing on expanding its product categories.
  • Business Insider India spoke to Iffat Jivan, Ed-a-Mamma’s business head about the future of sustainable fashion in India.
  • Jivan told us that affordable sustainable fashion is achievable and that’s the future.

Landfills are brimming with urban waste, so much so that by 2050, India is reportedly going to need a landfill that’s the size of its capital, New Delhi!

While there’s growing awareness for sustainable fashion and consumers are willing to make more eco-friendly choices, affordability has become a major constraint.

A recent report by Kantar India said that despite inflation, “people’s desire to be sustainable has not eroded. The cost-of-living crisis reminds us that green products need to be affordable for sustainability to become mainstream. Brands that offer sustainable options that are affordable will be favored.”

Actor and entrepreneur Alia Bhatt’s kidswear company Ed-a-mamma has done just that – it has managed to bring down the price point of its sustainable clothes.

Ed-a-Mamma’s clothes are priced in the range of ₹399 to ₹1,899.

If more brands bring their prices down and focus on giving back to consumers, sustainability could see greater adoption in the country, which Ed-a-Mamma’s business head Iffat Jivan believes is challenging but possible.

“If [sustainable] brands are … more affordable, there is no reason why somebody would not want to buy a product that is sustainable because you’re actually contributing towards the planet, towards the environment, and at the same time, you are not burning a hole in your pocket,” Jivan told Business Insider India.

Why are sustainable clothes expensive?

Sustainable garments are made from organic fibers – free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and causing zero harm to mother earth – that are hard to source. This is why sustainable clothes tend to be more expensive as the cost is passed on to the consumers.

Ed-a-Mamma sources all its organic fibers from India, which has helped the brand price its clothes in the same range as fast-fashion products.

“If you have to churn out a regular product, it is probably 1/10th of the effort that you would put in the sourcing of a sustainable product. So people [brands] are taking an upcharge for their efforts. In our case, our effort is more towards the environment. Price should come down if people do take the same route that we have taken,” shared Jivan.

When a sustainable brand operates on a smaller scale, reaching a cost-effective pricing strategy becomes a challenge.

However, Jivan is optimistic that the industry will change when brands take matters into their own hands.

“I can tell you for sure [affordable sustainable fashion] is not something that’s not achievable. People today want to be paid for the effort that they’re putting into bringing that product outright, we have taken that onus on ourselves and we’re passing the benefit on to the customer. That is something that would come from the brand mindset. It’s definitely achievable. You just need to want to do it badly enough to kind of pass it on to the customer and work for the larger cause,” Jivan told Business Insider.

Alia Bhatt’s brainchild

Born during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020, Alia Bhatt’s Ed-a-Mamma is one of the first brands in the sustainable kidswear category.

“This was actually Alia’s last dream and her concept where she wanted to educate kids about an alternate lifestyle that was possible. Talk to parents and kids directly because Alia strongly feels that catching kids young, and giving them options of an alternate lifestyle would probably sow the seeds of being a little more conscious of the environment,” said Jivan.

Ed-a-Mamma marked its offline presence this quarter by launching 16 retail stores, spread across India’s metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad and is now focusing on expanding its product categories.

“We’ve shown a little over 10x growth over the last 18 months. We’ve now also moved into the brick and mortar space,” said Jivan.

“Last year, we clocked around seven lakh pieces (in sales). This year, the number is definitely going to more than double because we’ve added on a lot of categories. This year we’re looking at at least crossing maybe 20 lakh pieces,” added Jivan.

Ed-a-Mamma is currently valued at ₹200 crores.

The sustainable fashion industry is currently valued at around $24 billion in India, Jivan said and she believes that this is just a fraction of the industry’s full potential. As more Indians embrace sustainable fashion in the years to come, the industry will only get bigger and better, she added.


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