DHIRTA RIKHYE & ADITYA TIWANA ARE ON A SLOW-FASHION MISSION
Business Connect is back with its exclusive edition of the month comprising some great leaders and their successful journeys. Our editorial team had an interesting and joyful virtual session with the founders of LoveChange®. The company’s founding team shared numerous lesser-known facts about the company and shed some light on their overall entrepreneurial journey so far.
Dhirta Rikhye & Aditya Tiwana also shared insights on their success with us. We hope this fascinating read will add value to the lives of our global readership and encourage them to break their own barriers and chase their dreams.
Giving a brief history behind the origin of LoveChange®, Dhirta begins, “I started my career at the age of twenty-two and worked for over fifteen years in various design and export houses. During this time, I began noticing the devastating impact fast fashion and the entire fashion industry, in general, have on the local ecology and the environment.
An extensive study of the fast-fashion world revealed some extremely dark facts about the fast-fashion industry, primarily how harmful it is to the planet. The more I worked, the more I felt drawn to the cause of helping my planet and doing my part in the best way I knew how. I reached a point one day where I couldn’t look away anymore—I quit my job! I had begun to read up on sustainability and sustainable practices in fashion and quitting my nine-to-five gave me the time to really dive deep into research and learning.
After two dedicated years of studying sustainable fashion and sustainable and eco-friendly practices, I felt confident that I could bring about a change by establishing a sustainable luxury fashion brand. Aditya came on board around then and has been a source of strength and practical motivation since the inception of LoveChange® in 2017.”
LOVECHANGE®: A FRESH APPROACH TO AN OLD INDUSTRY
LoveChange® is a sustainable luxury, slow-fashion brand. The team designs and produces high-end luxury women’s and children’s resort wear, home décor and jewellery. “Our clothing and home decor lines use only certified organic raw materials, sourced from partners in India who work directly with traditional weavers in rural India.
The farming methodology is sustainable and eco-conscious, with no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, with a focus on regular crop rotation to ensure the soil retains its nutrient value over generations. We can be classified as a slow fashion enterprise, that operates in tandem with natural, traditional farming practices. Our everyday jewellery comprises sustainably sourced, raw gemstones that are handcut and refined by our rural artisans and craftsmen using standard methods,” says Dhirta.
SURPASSING THE COMPETITION
LoveChange® is on the cutting edge of innovative technological advancements—like the specialized, patented dyeing techniques used on the fabrics that give the garments medicinal qualities. “They’re actually healthy for you to wear! While as consumers we are programmed to think of technological advancements as something mechanized, the truth is there are many ancient hand techniques which are just as effective with a near zero-carbon footprint.
By re-discovering and utilizing these (almost forgotten) eco-friendly and efficient techniques, we are bringing in innovation and technological advancement in a whole new way” says Dhirta. Sharing his perception on the current stage of R&D, Aditya believes that the R&D is ongoing, and the industry has made sustained progress in creating new fabrics in the last 15 years. However, along with the R&D, what they believe is needed is public awareness that every purchase choice has a direct environmental impact.
“As we grow, we intend to invest more in R&D so that we are able to bring input costs down while maintaining the founding ethos and product quality to include an even greater number of consumers in the sustainable fashion and ecoconscious consumer movement,” says Aditya.
As a self-sustained, albeit bootstrapped startup growing at 200% year-on-year, every new growth spurt allows LoveChange® to make a greater impact. Dhirta says “Our marketing spends and efforts have boosted our online sales through our own e-commerce platform—www.lovechange.in, and our strategic partnerships with other conscious fashion retailers and influencers have already got us selling all over India and the middle east.
Our strong social media presence, through consistent content creation and supported by our loyal customer community has grown to nearly 100k since 2020 and is growing everyday!” She adds, “So far, we have had a significant impact on our immediate community, the handloom industry and the livelihoods of weavers in the
villages of Bengal and Gujarat in India.
As we grow, so will our impact. Currently, through our unique production practices, we have infused hundreds of thousands of rupees back into the rural handloom industry and created employment in 4 villages in India. By using certified organic fabrics, we save up to 70% of the water ordinary cotton takes up. By standard estimates, LoveChange® has saved nearly 2.5 million liters of fresh water this year alone.”
Now, before signing off, the inspiring team leaders of the company shared a few words of wisdom for our upcoming leaders out there by quoting, “Keep people motivated through purpose alignment. Build teams with minds that are aligned with the core values and purpose of the company. This will lead to the synergy among people and will promote an environment of accountability, dedication, and purposedriven growth.”
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