Meghna Nayak’s clothing brand LataSita – The New Indian Express

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Meghna Nayak’s ‘aha moment’ that led her to launch her sustainable, upcycled brand in 2012 was the epiphany, ‘Use Less Shit’. The catalog of his clothing brand LataSita has a quilted cotton base and the slogan is printed in large patchwork type. She calls it the defining ethic of business.

“Use Less Shit is a pun because what we perceive as ‘useless shit’ can be turned into amazing things, with the right vision and temerity,” she says.

Inspiration came to the 37-year-old designer after seeing her mother’s wardrobe filled with barely-worn but resplendent sarees in a whole new light. The Kolkata-based entrepreneur began to wonder about the future of India’s rich textile heritage, unused and ignored in the wardrobes of countless homes. She began collecting worn sarees, dead stock from weavers, fabric scraps from wholesale markets and sometimes even puja pandals, turning them into beautiful silhouettes of dresses, tops, jackets and formal wear. . Priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 25,000, LataSita is a made-to-order brand with a 45-day waiting period, and Nayak wouldn’t have it any other way.

The journalism graduate from Cornwall, England, was uncomfortable with the exploitative and cruel methods practiced in sweatshops. It took seven years after returning from the UK to go beyond writing about unethical practices and enter the supply chain herself to run a business based on fair practices. Guided by her love for geometry and an intuitive sense of bodies and the shapes that would complement them, Nayak led a team of three male tailors – who stayed with her for 10 years – to create size-inclusive ensembles. Initially plagued with impostor syndrome due to not having a fashion or business degree, it took her a while to find the confidence to put her work up for sale. “Being assertive, managing my team and their frustrations over time, while learning to communicate better with them was a skill I had to acquire,” she recalls. Its ready-to-wear line is made with original fabrics, while its custom line allows customers to transform their own sarees into popular pieces like the “Reversible Kimono Trench Coat” or “The Let’s Playsuit” or something. again.

Nayak is “far from being a millionaire” with her business, but admits she’s happy with the positive buzz surrounding her brand, which leads an analog life in this digital world. Her clientele is word of mouth only and she has never spent a rupee on marketing or social media. After showing her work at exhibitions and fashion events in Taiwan, Stockholm and England, she was also invited to Lakme India Fashion Week in 2021 to participate in the Circular Design Challenge in association with the United Nations. This trip was his transition into teaching, after lecturing on the Global Sustainability course at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. “For someone like me, without a fashion degree, teaching at schools like MIT is amazing,” she says.

Nayak remembers a time when his master lied to his tailor friends by pretending to work with new fabric on the quintessential ghaghras made in abundance everywhere. “From refusing to work in old clothes to seeing his picture in the papers, he’s come a long way and is now educating his peers about sustainability,” she says. The same goes for Nayak and she still has yards to go.

Meghna Nayak’s ‘aha moment’ that led her to launch her sustainable, upcycled brand in 2012 was the epiphany, ‘Use Less Shit’. The catalog of his clothing brand LataSita has a quilted cotton base and the slogan is printed in large patchwork type. She calls it the defining ethic of business. “Use Less Shit is a pun because what we perceive as ‘useless shit’ can be turned into amazing things, with the right vision and temerity,” she says. Inspiration came to the 37-year-old designer after seeing her mother’s wardrobe filled with barely-worn but resplendent sarees in a whole new light. The Kolkata-based entrepreneur began to wonder about the future of India’s rich textile heritage, unused and ignored in the wardrobes of countless homes. She began collecting worn sarees, dead stock from weavers, fabric scraps from wholesale markets and sometimes even puja pandals, turning them into beautiful silhouettes of dresses, tops, jackets and formal wear. . Priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 25,000, LataSita is a made-to-order brand with a 45-day waiting period, and Nayak wouldn’t have it any other way. The journalism graduate from Cornwall, England, was uncomfortable with the exploitative and cruel methods practiced in sweatshops. It took seven years after returning from the UK to go beyond writing about unethical practices and enter the supply chain herself to run a business based on fair practices. Guided by her love for geometry and an intuitive sense of bodies and the shapes that would complement them, Nayak led a team of three male tailors – who stayed with her for 10 years – to create size-inclusive ensembles. Initially plagued with impostor syndrome due to not having a fashion or business degree, it took her a while to find the confidence to put her work up for sale. “Being assertive, managing my team and their frustrations over time, while learning to communicate better with them was a skill I had to acquire,” she recalls. Its ready-to-wear line is made with original fabrics, while its custom line allows customers to transform their own sarees into popular pieces like the “Reversible Kimono Trench Coat” or “The Let’s Playsuit” or something. again. Nayak is “far from being a millionaire” with her business, but admits she’s happy with the positive buzz surrounding her brand, which leads an analog life in this digital world. Her clientele is word of mouth only and she has never spent a rupee on marketing or social media. After showing her work at exhibitions and fashion events in Taiwan, Stockholm and England, she was also invited to Lakme India Fashion Week in 2021 to participate in the Circular Design Challenge in association with the United Nations. This trip was his transition into teaching, after lecturing on the Global Sustainability course at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. “For someone like me, without a fashion degree, teaching at schools like MIT is amazing,” she says. Nayak remembers a time when his master lied to his tailor friends by pretending to work with new fabric on the quintessential ghaghras made in abundance everywhere. “From refusing to work in old clothes to seeing his picture in the papers, he’s come a long way and is now educating his peers about sustainability,” she says. The same goes for Nayak and she still has yards to go.

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