The textile industry in India is one of the country’s oldest, having existed for millennia.
The industry is tremendously diverse, ranging from hand-spun and hand-woven textiles to capital-intensive complex mills on the opposite end of the spectrum. The textiles sector is dominated by decentralized companies.
The textile industry in India is distinct from other sectors in the nation because of its tight ties to agriculture and the country’s old history and customs in terms of textiles. For example, Indian cotton has always been of great importance on a global scale.
India’s textile sector has the potential to create a wide range of products appropriate for a number of market segments, both domestically and internationally.
As upcoming small and medium-sized businesses take the nation by storm, we get to see companies such as Ekchala. Based out of West Bengal, it is an eCommerce clothing brand celebrating the ‘make in India’ banner.
The Making of Ekchala
Mr. Ripon Debnath and Ms Mallika Debnath created Ekchala in 2015. Mr. Ripon wanted to launch an eCommerce company, but he couldn’t afford to acquire a website due to a lack of cash.
As a result, Mr. Ripon began teaching himself how to build a website by reading internet articles and books and watching YouTube videos. Finally, he launched the website Ekchala.com.
He needed to add items to his website at this point. He had his heart set on apparel, but creating things required money, which he lacked at the time. Fortunately, he had the assistance of a close friend who funded Ekchala initially.
Mr. Ripon couldn’t afford to hire any workers at Ekchala at first due to financial constraints. Offering internships to students and some experienced individuals was the best possible solution to this problem which subsequently helped the company grow swiftly with minimum employee attrition.
Most of the team today have been sticking with Ekchala since the beginning, which is why their collaboration and bonding have turned into a family. Ekchala has manifested the true meaning of its name and is a second home for all its employees.
Ideas Under One Roof
The Bengali word Ekchala is associated with Devi Durga. Ekchala means ‘one roof’. According to Bengali culture, Devi Durga is a daughter of the mortal world. During Durga Puja, she and her children come to the mortal world under “Ekchala”, to spend time with her entire family.
As a clothing brand, Ekchala tries to reflect this feeling of community and homeliness through its products.
Offering casual clothing that can be used for any occasion, Ekchala claims to be India’s finest marketplace for inspired handicrafts. It allows artists to reach out to tens of thousands of people by turning their work into popular products and selling them online.
What Does Ekchala Do?
On the internet, good-quality printed t-shirts usually cost approximately Rs. 399. And when the budget is reduced, the fabric quality suffers as well. As a result, many middle-class people in rural areas cannot afford to buy and wear their favorite printed t-shirts.
And yet, they are one of the most popular items of clothing in the country.
Many settle for the cheap fabric and design variety that they get locally. Ekchala has decided to fight this issue. It offers t-shirts for both the latest pop culture and also regional cultures and traditions. Ekchala does not cut corners on its quality, or affordability of it.
With its various clothing lines such as Lite, it provides t-shirts at as low as Rs 199. With regular discounts, the price often goes down to Rs 99 as well. How do they afford this? Because everything from design and manufacturing to marketing and delivery is done in-house, there are no surged prices.
A Brand That Cares
Ekchala announced “Mission Green” next February 14th, whereby if someone purchases a product from its website, a portion of the proceeds will be used to plant fruit trees. These fruit plants were manually cared for by the Ekchala crew.
They went on to sell the fruits and donate the proceeds to disadvantaged children’s education. They also made contributions to the families of India’s brave martyrs.
The brand cares about the environment too and it shows in its work. Ekchala’s For The Future clothing line uses recycled fabrics. It even urges customers to send in their used clothes, so that they may be recycled. The customers get a discount in return, along with the satisfaction of doing their bits for the planet.
Various other educational segments on their website and social media, such as ‘We Got Renew’ and ‘Ways To Wear’ educates the customer about the importance of recycling and other good environmental practices.
Growth And The Future
Ekchala has over 30 thousand followers on social media and many more admirers throughout the world. Covid-19 and the lockdown that came with it affected their sales and growth, but they are back in business and will soon see great growth again.
In the future, Ekchala hopes to reach more people in rural corners of the country. It promises that very soon, and there will be another boom for them.