by Anjori Grover Vasesi
05-December-2019 | 10 mins read
Based on the concept of minimal waste and repurposing fashion, veronna is an up and coming Indian kidswear label that underscores modifiable clothing options.
Founded by an ex-Elle stylist, veronna is the eponymous label of Veronna Damani, Istituto Marangoni alumna, who identified a gap in the market after witnessing the way kids dress closer to home.
“Running a fashion label is something I had always wanted to do but never really thought of as to how it would happen. So post NIFT, I went to Istituto Marangoni to study fashion business before venturing into kidswear,” Veronna told Apparel Resources.
She averred, “The decision to plunge into the kidswear segment came very naturally to me, since I had always been heavily involved in designing clothes for my own niece, constantly dismayed by the options we have in the market and how they overlook the basic needs of the child.”
Essentially European in its style aesthetic, the label aligns its collections with forecasted trends for the season by incorporating quality fabrics that are kids-proof. Priced between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 3,500, the label offers rompers, dresses, tops, blouses, pants, playsuits and jumpsuits, along with accessories such as bow rubber bands, hair bands and scrunchies that are crafted out of leftover fabric pieces.
Verona (dictionary spelling) Noun: Town in Italy; in Latin, however it means true image, honest image. What is more true, more honest and more pure than a child?
Sustainable, Modifiable Clothing
veronna caters to girls aged 6 months to 4 years – an age group that grows at the rate of every three months, and hence requires clothes much faster. One of the founding factors of the label includes innovating techniques to accommodate an audience that constantly needs new things but at the same time, ensures that they are reducing wastage.
“A piece of clothing can last you 3 months, you can stretch it to 4 months but it doesn’t have a life more than that. So I wondered how I can give value to the customer when I’m being paid a certain price for the products they are purchasing,” Veronna said, adding, “Our clothing have functional features such as buttons at the back, and adjustable loops that allow the garment to grow with the child.”
“We are constantly trying to innovate. We like to test out our products with kids before finally going ahead and featuring them in our collections – a lot of our initial ideas came from the feedback we got from both kids and parents,” Veronna said.
Say No To Waste!
The fashion industry is notoriously known to be a high waste generating industry with excess unused fabric piling up at the end of the production.
Veronna aims at becoming a minimal/ zero waste company by minimising wastage at the core of its production process. Fabric excess is collected and put into a box placed in the middle of the workshop, which is then repurposed into handmade accessories and carry bags used to package local orders.
“We are a minimal waste company and try to inculcate the idea into the minds of our workers. We keep a box in the studio that shows them how much waste they are producing which has resulted in the tailors also making a conscious effort to produce in such a way that minimal waste is generated,” Veronna said.
Furthermore, the label follows the concept of capsule collections, wherein it introduces specific drops within each season – namely Spring/ Summer and Autumn/Winter. Instead of introducing 30 styles, the label limits the number of pieces being manufactured, thus in turn tackling the issue of fast fashion at its roots. Currently, the label introduces drops that range between 3-4 weeks and they add a minimum of 1-2 styles every 3 weeks. Starting next season, the label plans to introduce 2-3 drops per season.
“In terms of our manufacturing process, we adopted the strategy of drops, which allows us to meet the issue of sustainability head-on. Such a scenario allows us to limit our fabric purchases which in turn prohibits us from stocking excess fabric. The lesser fabric you purchase, the lesser waste you create,” Veronna stated.
veronna also plans to start encouraging its customers to give back their clothing to the company in order to repurpose the pieces, or tie up with channels which can further donate the pieces to those in need.
Fabrics & Techniques
The label offers a good mix of natural fibres as well as blends – the latter being used to ensure that proper finishing is given to the garments.
“We use 100 per cent cotton and natural fibres but there is also a portion of blended fabrics to lend a certain softness or to create a specific look. Even in the blended fabric, if there is a viscose element in it, we ensure to limit it to 8-10 per cent, keeping maximum of the piece in natural fibre,” Veronna explained, adding, “Also in such cases where I have to, for example, use net, or a polyester on top (which we usually do for the dressier pieces), we line it with mul, so as to ensure that whatever is touching the skin of the child is extremely breathable, soft and will not cause any irritation.”
Details include cross back romper styles, frills and hand embroidery. Under stitching techniques, the label incorporates a mix of hand stitch as well as machine stitch.
Manufacturing & Sourcing
All of veronna’s merchandise is manufactured in-house while the fabric is sourced from various manufacturers as well as vendors, depending upon the kind of fabric being sourced. Over time, the label has created a network based on their market demands which spans across the Indian subcontinent.
“The great part of being a startup is that I have the flexibility and ability to mould myself to what the audience wants.”
“A lot of the hosiery we use is sourced from within Mumbai, since the quality is as per the requirement of our client’s needs. Our cottons are currently sourced from the North, though I am in the process of tapping some vendors down South as well,” Veronna revealed. She then went on to add, “Majority of our initial market research for veronna happened in the North, which is where I came across many interesting fabrics including cotton flax, which gives you a finish similar to that of linen but it is essentially a cotton-based fabric.”
Based on the concept of unboxing surprises, veronna uses packaging that taps on the sentiment surrounding a child while he/she receives a gift and the process of unboxing that follows it.
She elucidated, “Every box is accompanied with a handwritten note which is addressed to the parents, but we gift wrap the package for the child. The boxes have been carefully hand-picked to ensure a size good enough for the parents and kids to re-use around the house, thus again, promoting conservation of materials and ingraining the value of sustainability in young minds.”
“The market is saturated with bright colours for kids, certain prints that are used for kids and licensee products – we are steering away from that and catering to an audience that appreciates simple designs, easy silhouettes and styles that are timeless – our pieces are definitely dictated by a trend, but at the same time, they won’t become outdated after a point.”
The label currently sells online via www.veronna.in as well as Instagram, which has proven to be a profitable avenue for them. Besides this, veronna is also available offline via selective exhibits in India which focus on moms and toddlers.
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