The Ve­gan Footwear: Kan­abis

KAN­ABIS is a first of its kind brand for fash­ion­able, high qual­ity and Peta ap­proved Ve­gan footwear for women. All our prod­ucts are made of high qual­ity can­vas, fabric and other leather sub­sti­tutes keep­ing com­pas­sion for an­i­mals as a core value of the bus

Shoes & Accessories - - Contents -

De­vika Sri­mal Bapna, Founder of Kan­abis brings so­phis­ti­ca­tion and min­i­mal­ism to con­tem­po­rary fash­ion with its clas­sic and em­i­nent de­signs. The la­bel has built a suc­cess­ful busi­ness based on a model that in­cludes strong prin­ci­ples and mak­ing sure the prod­uct is al­ways at the fore­front of its op­er­a­tions. The de­signs are ex­clu­sive and taste­fully crafted with a care­ful mix of fabrics for the right look and com­fort. The name is a play on the word Cannabis (aka mar­i­juana!) since the com­pany use’s a lot of can­vas in shoes and can­vas was his­tor­i­cally made from hemp that came from cannabis. Kan­abis is re­tail­ing thru on­line and all lead­ing mar­ket places and off­line at se­lect stores and ex­hi­bi­tions/trunk shows across all ma­jor cities in In­dia. Kan­abis of­fers a style rather than a trend, cre­at­ing time­less pieces and wardrobe favourites that can be en­joyed for more than one sea­son. De­vika pur­sued her MBA at DUKE univer­sity and started her ca­reer as a Char­tered Ac­coun­tant, started her ca­reer at Ernst & Young, Lon­don. She shares her vi­sion with Dipika, S&A…

Tell us a bit about your brand

As an an­i­mal lover and PETA vol­un­teer, I gave up leather few years ago and had a tough time find­ing good non-leather shoes that were stylish, good qual­ity and af­ford­able. I no­ticed the un­struc­tured footwear in­dus­try in In­dia - we ei­ther have the nonIn­dian play­ers that are ex­pen­sive and mostly do leather shoes or the un­or­ga­nized/un­branded seg­ment where qual­ity, price, make etc. is ques­tion­able. It was al­most a light-bulb mo­ment when I thought ‘what the heck, I should start my own brand!’ And KAN­ABIS was born- a brand for fash­ion­able, high qual­ity and PETA ap­proved VE­GAN footwear. We like to do some­thing unique with each style we launch. All our prod­ucts are made of high qual­ity can­vas, fabric and other leather sub­sti­tutes keep­ing com­pas­sion for an­i­mals as a core value of the busi­ness. The de­signs are ex­clu­sive and taste­fully crafted with a care­ful mix of fabrics for the right look and com­fort. We keep a close eye on the cur­rent and up­com­ing trends in fash­ion. Each shoe also has a quirky name that tells a story about it.

How does your brand dif­fer­en­ti­ate from its com­pe­ti­tion?

We are a first of its kind ve­gan brand that of­fers fash­ion­able, com­fort­able and af­ford­able shoes. In In­dia the branded mar­ket (2030%) con­sists of the in­ter­na­tional brands that are more ex­pen­sive, clas­sic in their de­signs and pre­dom­i­nantly use leather. We are an indige­nous brand in the cool ca­sual cat­e­gory – we play with funky prints, col­ors and fabrics so we stand out on our de­sign el­e­ment from rest of the brands and we are an­i­mal friendly.

What is your prod­uct strat­egy?

Our strat­egy is to bring that some­thing new ev­ery sea­son and ex­pand our of­fer­ing. We are cur­rently only fo­cus­ing on do­mes­tic mar­ket, but plan to start global de­liv­er­ies at some point. We our work­ing on in­creas­ing our on­line and off­line vis­i­bil­ity to ac­quire new cus­tomers and earn their loy­alty so they keeps com­ing back for a new pair of Kan­abis.

Who is your tar­get au­di­ence?

Our flo­ral and ge­o­met­ri­cal prints, high heel wedges or the younger women, typ­i­cally 15-35 year olds, ap­pre­ci­ate sneak­ers more.

Re­gion-wise, which is the big­gest mar­ket?

Since we are avail­able on­line, our reach is pan-in­dia and apart from the big cities we are pleas­antly sur­prised to re­ceive or­ders from smaller towns and cities. We ex­hibit in all ma­jor cities so have a grow­ing cus­tomer base in the met­ros. And of course, Delhi be­ing our home turf works well for us.

“We are a first of its kind ve­gan brand that of­fers fash­ion­able, com­fort­able and af­ford­able shoes.“

How are you em­brac­ing e-com­merce? Are you look­ing at an ex­clu­sive on­line store or go­ing with multi-brand on­line stores like Ama­zon, Jabong etc.?

Both. We sell on­line on our web­site www.kan­abis.in and are also avail­able at all lead­ing mar­ket­places (Ama­zon, Flipkart and the likes). While our fo­cus is our own web-store, pres­ence on the mar­ket­places helps in wideningour reach and vis­i­bil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to you, what is the fu­ture of footwear MBOS in In­dia?

Even though e-com­merce is grow­ing fast, one can­not ig­nore the brick and mor­tar, as the con­sumer still wants a closer look and feel of the prod­uct es­pe­cially in footwear it still mat­ters to cus­tomers. We are avail­able at 8 multi­brand bou­tiques/stores across the coun­try and it cer­tainly el­e­vates our vis­i­bil­ity and brand per­cep­tion.

What part of the en­tire mar­ket­ing bud­get is kept aside for dig­i­tal and so­cial me­dia cam­paigns?

We are a boot­strapped so mar­ket­ing bud­gets are not huge. On the off­line side, we do a lot of out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties and events to build direct in­ter­ac­tion with our po­ten­tial cus­tomers and try and test our prod­uct and see their feed­back first hand. On the on­line side, so­cial me­dia is a very big driver in pulling traf­fic on our web­site. But more than paid traf­fic, our or­ganic traf­fic is also grow­ing which is a great sign.

How has the re­sponse been on dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing?

Pretty good. It’s tar­geted, re­turns are mea­sur­able and bud­gets can be eas­ily con­trolled. It’s a skill we are de­vel­op­ing slowly but surely!

What is the scope of growth for In­dian Footwear de­sign­ers?

Im­mense. We hear of new de­sign­ers and brands sur­fac­ing very of­ten and with fast-fash­ion in In­dia grow­ing so rapidly- it’s an ex­cit­ing time for ev­ery­one.

How long have you been ve­gan and why did you go ve­gan?

As an an­i­mal-lover and Peta vol­un­teer, it ached my heart to see how leather is made. Es­pe­cially in In­dia, it is il­le­gal to kill healthy young cat­tle but they are tor­tured bru­tally. So I de­cided to give up leather in all shape and form around 6 years ago. While belts, bags, watches were easy to re­place I strug­gled to find good qual­ity, stylish non- leather shoes. And fi­nally found my call­ing and started KAN­ABIS.

What are some of the most in­ter­est­ing ma­te­ri­als you’ve worked with?

Can­vas is one of our core ma­te­ri­als- its durable, hand-wash­able, print­able so we find it an ex­cel­lent sub­sti­tute to leather. We also love to play with a mix of other fabrics such as lace, jute, satin, and denim among oth­ers.

Be­ing one of the pi­o­neers in ve­gan eco fash­ion, how have things changed since you started your line?

The re­sponse we have re­ceived is phe­nom­e­nal, which re-as­sures us of our con­cept and ap­proach. It is great to see that aware­ness for ve­gan fash­ion is on the rise and we are con­fi­dent in 5-10 years into the fu­ture, con­sumers will make more eth­i­cal choices and ques­tion the ma­te­rial, make and process of the prod­uct be­fore buy­ing it.

Has who in­flu­enced you as a de­signer?

Stella Mc Cart­ney for pro­mot­ing ve­gan fash­ion.

What do you say to those who think you have to com­pro­mise com­pas­sion for fash­ion?

Check out www.kan­abis.in

“Can­vas is one of our core ma­te­ri­als- its durable, hand­wash­able, print­able so we find it an ex­cel­lent sub­sti­tute to leather.”

Where do you draw in­spi­ra­tion for your de­signs from sea­son to sea­son?

We do a trend anal­y­sis for ev­ery forth­com­ing sea­son and keep an eye on the col­ors and styles that are trend­ing. Then we short­list the styles we want, and go on a ma­te­rial hunt. Each fabric is hand­picked by us and taste­fully crafted so it sits well on the style we are go­ing for- be it heels, or slid­ers or sneak­ers.

Why do you think some de­sign­ers are ap­pre­hen­sive about us­ing ve­gan ma­te­ri­als?is it hard for you to source your ve­gan ma­te­ri­als?

Find­ing ma­te­rial is not hard but find­ing ex­actly what we want can be. We don’t com­pro­mise on the aes­thet­ics, which means it’s a lot of work till we ap­prove the fi­nal look and fit of the shoe. We can’t speak for other de­sign­ers but think the com­mon per­cep­tion is that un­less its leather it won’t be high qual­ity, classy, and durable.

What are some of your pet peeves about the cur­rent fash­ion in­dus­try?

When one does ‘ctrl c & ctrl v’ of de­signs, it’s not cool.

Lately it seems like just about ev­ery­one is “go­ing green.” Do you feel peo­ple see it more as a trend that they re­ally don’t un­der­stand?

Hope not! Good things must last and this one we feel is here to stay.

Can you tell me a lit­tle about your next col­lec­tion! What in­spired it?

We are do­ing a lot more flats since it’s all about com­fort and slouchy fash­ion. We took our cus­tomer feed­back on board and de­vel­oped more styles on the more comfy soles and toe shapes. We are go­ing for the raw look with tribal ab­stract prints, slid­ers with jute soles and haven’t for­got­ten the tas­sels, pom­poms, and charms –the works! Stay tuned!

Where do you see your­self in the next 5 years?

With lots of shoes, suc­cess and more! Our aim is to ex­pand our prod­uct of­fer­ing and cus­tomer base and build a strong, sus­tain­able, an­i­mal friendly brand.

“Even though e-com­merce is grow­ing fast, one can­not ig­nore the brick and mor­tar, as the con­sumer wants a closer look and feel of the prod­uct es­pe­cially in footwear.”

De­vika Sri­mal Bapna, Founder, Kan­abis

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.