Vandana Bhandare is the founder of Vanaras, a own slow, sustainable fashion label. She is a fashion and sustainability enthusiast, driven by for beautiful clothing that does not harm the planet.
What made you start Vanaras?
It's a funny story. I have a friend who constantly commented on every thing I'd do or use like he'd taunt me with how many chemicals I am exposing myself to with lipstick etc. It got annoying after a point and I started researching what the fuss was about and bumped into Sustainable fashion. I always knew I wanted to own a clothing label but when I learnt so much about how the planet's quality is depleting, I could not think otherwise. That's when I knew that my label would be sustainable. I learnt a lot in the whole research and immediately started practicing in real life. For almost 2 years from then, I did not purchase one piece of garment. When I started purchasing, I was conscious about my purchasing habit.
What is the one personality trait which also reflects in the brand?
What is a complete non-negotiator for the brand?
Customer experience. I have observed how poor the customer service is in India and the lesson I have learnt from that is to not let my customers/audience feel the same way.
Every single individual is treated with respect and warmth, actively available over emails/messages, timely updates are given regarding orders, follow ups, I ensure a thorough experience to every single customer. And I take so much pride in that. If not for customer satisfaction, a brand is nothing.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
Green washing. There are so many brands that claim they are sustainable while just one or two steps of their business is sustainable.
But young brands like us thoughtfully curate each and every step of the brand eco-consciously and still cannot convince the audience in the right way.
Do you think an individual's actions matter?
Absolutely. "Little drops of water make an ocean" Little action by every individual done collectively can bring in a huge change.
One quote or a particular perspective that keeps you going in life?
The most famous one by Anna Lappe
- Everytime you are spending money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.