For Kolkata born and raised Sanah Agrawal, her natural inclination had always been to create something that will preserve India’s varied crafts and culture. Thus, growing up in the beautiful state of West Bengal, which is home to incredible craftsmen and artisans, the zeal to bring these heritage textiles and techniques into contemporary wear began. And, given the current state of the fashion industry, which is dominated by polyester, nylon, and synthetic fabrics that are harmful to the environment, the idea of creating a sustainable and eco-friendly brand GOADOS.
She completed her MBA with a specialization in marketing, and after a series of roles as a digital marketing and branding specialist, she began working with Tata Trust as a behavior change consultant for Swachh Bharat Gramin and never returned to the corporate sector. After working in the development sector with Tata Trusts, Sanah founded GOADOS in 2021.
“GOADOS is an ethical & sustainable fashion brand where we use indigenous textiles and techniques to make contemporary clothing. All our products are 100% handwoven and plastic-free. We believe in making a sustainable lifestyle and wardrobe more accessible and available to all. From the very start have strived to give back, from using Handwoven Khadi to using Coconut Waste Fibres for our upcoming collection”, says Sanah, the young and dedicated designer.
Sustainability is the key Pillar
One of the key pillars of GOADOS is sustainability. The brand has a dual approach to being sustainable. First: it is an eco-friendly and ethical brand that can give a new silhouette, aesthetic, and market to the dying indigenous crafts, and provide an opportunity for artisans and craftsmen to continue their generation-old rich art. Their first collection was made entirely of handwoven Khadi cotton. The materials were sourced, woven, dyed, and built locally.
The second is by using environmentally friendly techniques, fabrics, and closures. They are using Coconut Fibre waste and Banana Peel waste fabrics alongside the Handwoven Khadi Cotton in their upcoming collection. And do not use or incorporate elastic and synthetic blends in their products at all.
An all-women team
GOADOS is a 100% women-led company including all its vendors and employees. “This wasn’t intentional but has somehow just shaped itself this way, and we are very proud of that”.
Starting something new is bound to bring challenges and they did and still do face our fair share of them, starting with – Starting a fashion brand on a small budget, Navigating the unfamiliar fashion industry, entering the competitive market of homegrown brands, figuring out a secure and swift way to connect with the artisans and follow deadlines, as most of their craftsmen reside in the rural parts of the state- establishing an effective communication was a challenge yet a priority. And the biggest challenge was to curate a solid design team, create clothing that did not use elastics or any synthetic material, and to still make it fit the body. These were to name a few of their initial roadblocks and struggles.
Future plan and the vision
With dedication and hard work, the brand aims to incorporate textiles and techniques from all over the country, not just from Bengal. “We want to make indigenous textiles a part of people’s daily lives and clothing and encourage our consumers of all ages and preferences to choose a sustainable brand over fast fashion. And we intend to use new and innovative textiles in our upcoming collection, which heavily incorporates food/crop waste textiles”.
Check out their collections at www.goados.co