Neerja Lakhani Promotes Fashion And Hygiene With Her Organic Lingerie Brand
- IWB Post
- October 30, 2018
Pretty in Pink, Hot in Red, Sizzling in Blue are so passé this season in lingerie fashion. Any thoughts on Scintillating in Organic?
Lingerie has many roles to play – it’s the shape lifter, the intimate companion, and also the fashion accessory. Well, while we are quite fixated on the fashion component, we’re unjust towards our health.
Entrepreneur Neerja Lakhani with co-founder Abhishek Lodha introduced an organic lingerie line – Inner Sense, based in Ahmedabad, that is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. “We’re trying to bridge the gap between fashion and hygiene,” said Neerja in a quick conversation with us.
She tells us about how she works towards the fair trade policy, eliminates child labour, and busts myths about lingerie. Read excerpts:
Neerja, to begin with, tell us about the organic concept for Inner Sense products.
So, Inner Sense is certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Our lingerie is 48% organic cotton, and rest is fiber. So, we source fabric at yarn stage from companies which are certified and get them processed at factories in India we have subcontracted with.
So, do you tie up with farmers and source at the micro-level?
We don’t and we can’t tie up with them as we don’t require that much material and it wouldn’t be a fair deal at both ends unless bought in bulk. But, the companies where we source yarn from have ties with farmers.
How do you ensure the fair-trade for farmers while working with the third party?
The companies that we have partnered with for sourcing are all government-certified and a body under certification always follows fair trade and gives the producers the amount they deserve.
Does Inner Sense make special efforts in empowering women?
So, except for the co-founder, we’re an all-women team at Inner Sense.
You’re also vocal about the vice of child labour. What do you do to support the cause?
I have always felt that maintaining fair trade, eliminating child labour, caring about the environment are few basic things which should be in everybody’s daily conduct. It does get difficult to ensure if this is being followed as we can’t make regular rounds at our partnered sources or factories, but we trust them as they are certified. When we see our vendors getting work done from little kids, be it chai serving, we strictly tell them to stop.
Can you please give us a peek into your personal eco-friendly lifestyle?
Well, I make sure to follow and maintain a zero-waste lifestyle. Be it a small or a big thing, I try to buy eco-friendly items and with the increased awareness, it has become a bit easier to find things that match your ideologies.
That’s right. Coming to lingerie, what are few basics to be noted before shopping lingerie?
The foremost thing is to always keep hygiene in mind. We wear them for hours in a day, they are so close to our bodies, so we have to go deeper than its outer look. It’s recommended to never wear a bra to sleep and if you do, please ensure the material. Know your size, buy the right fit, and avoid wearing synthetic, prefer wearing cotton.
Is there a myth about lingerie that you would like to break?
A lot of women in India are hesitant to buy underwire bras because of the discomfort it brings along but the comfort mostly depends on the cup size. You need to know your bust and cup size well.
Speaking of which, have you ever had an underwire (uncomfortable) situation as a woman entrepreneur?
Frankly, I haven’t faced any uncomfortable situation. And, I actually feel this is a very good time for women in the world. There are women from different backgrounds working together and this part needs to be highlighted more. I think this will encourage more women to come forward and participate.
Talking about business, there were few initial difficulties. When we started selling lingerie online, we couldn’t keep the correct tally of demand and supply as they were selling out faster.
Your brand has recently raised a good amount. Would you like to share any tips for women who are looking for funding?
The first step would be to make a record of how much amount is needed and plan it out on how effectively will you use it. You need to find out correct ways to inculcate the funding. Once your plan is sorted, there are so many companies, investors, and websites that can help you out with it. In the time of internet, all you need to do is invest time and research.
Wrapping up, what do you think is required to run a successful partnership?
It’s very important for partners’ views and goals for the company to be synced. There has to be understanding and trust between the partners.
This article was first published on March 10, 2018.