New Delhi, Aug 4 : “India is a scattered market with few boutique brands offering limited organic clothing. International brands available in India also have only 10-30 per cent of range in organic clothing,” says Ankit Shukla, Country Head — India and Middle East, Norlanka Brands.
After recently buying a majority stake in Lilly + Sid, the company has launched the brand in India. IANSlife speaks to Shukla and Emma Hassan, Founder, Lilly + Sid, to find out more details. Excerpts:
Tell us about your brand. Why did you decide to enter the Indian market now?
Emma: We founded Lilly + Sid in 2009 with a mission to create clothes for children, combining quality with organic fabrics in a planet friendly manner, as an antidote to fast fashion. I am proud to see how the brand has evolved to be one of Britain’s top sustainable kids wear labels with ‘unique designs for little people and their planet’.
We have won multiple accolades over the last ten years including the ‘Top 10 Ethical Brands Worldwide’ by Guardian, UK and the prestigious ‘Loved By Parents’ Award in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
From the shelves of heritage retailers like Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, the brand is now in India. It is being presented in India by Norlanka Brands, the retail arm of the PDS Multinational Group that is responsible for launching the brands of the Group in India, Middle East and the South East Asian market. As Indian parents become conscious of their purchases and their responsibility to the environment, we offer organic solutions for everyday clothing for boys and girls.
The label aims to fill a void in the market for young, modern parents who are actively involved in the growing years of their children and want to create new traditions as a unit. These parents are invested in building a sustainable future as a family. With its organic offering for children, the brand promises to be the perfect new addition to the ever evolving kids wear market in India.
Tell us in detail about your sustainable practices.
Emma: With a 100 per cent organic cotton clothing line, our focus has always been on sustainability without sacrificing style! While conventional cotton uses about 16 per cent of the world’s insecticides and 7 per cent of pesticides, organic cotton doesn’t damage the soil, has less impact on the air, uses 88 per cent less water and 62 per cent less energy. Engaged in responsible sourcing, we work only with SEDEX certified factories and each of our products has received the prestigious Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres. We also focus on maximising the lifecycle of our products through thoughtful design features that enable garments to grow with the child through the years. Our multi-wear separates and reversible garments are a key part of the collections — two looks in one are a great win for sustainable wardrobes with less washing and less pieces needed to create looks for little ones!
How do you view the current Indian kidswear market?
Ankit: India is a scattered market with few boutique brands offering limited organic clothing. International brands available in India also have only 10-30 per cent of range in organic clothing. The children’s wear market for ages 0-14 years is projected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17.9 per cent from 2018 to 2023, according to Euro monitor India.
The Kids wear category has registered a spike in sales over the last year making it the highest growing segment. Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the global market for Children’s Wear estimated at US$252.2 Billion in the year 2020, is projected to reach a revised size of US$325.9 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 3.7 per cent over the analysis period 2020-2027. Norlanka Brands, which recently acquired majority stake in Lilly + Sid aims to own the space for 100 per cent organic kids wear in India.
The projected sales for babywear and kidswear market in India for FY 2021 is 22-25 billion USD and babywear and kidswear contribute 25-30 per cent of the total Indian apparel market which offers a great opportunity for us. We are a 100 per cent organic kids wear brand that celebrates childhood everyday with its fun and trendy clothes for boys and girls, made with sustainable fabric which is a gap in Indian market. As kidswear evolves to be an important lifestyle focus for parents, we are proud to launch an award-winning brand in India and aim to build a 100 crore kidswear brand in India over the next 3 years.
What is your business strategy?
Ankit: The brand enters the Indian market in a digitally forward format with an exclusive tie-up with Reliance Retail’s fashion marketplace: Ajio.com, supplemented by their own website www.lillyandsid.co.in. This E-commerce first approach allows Norlanka Brands to follow more environment friendly processes for digital supply chain management and adopt sustainable practices for overall reduction in their carbon footprint.
We will be pushing our online sales via a robust digital marketing approach involved social commerce as well as influencer-led campaigns that drive brand discovery and curiosity. Norlanka Brands will partner with Lilly+Sid as a technology driven enabler, offering a springboard to the brand in India while the founders will focus on product development and design for the Indian consumers in line with what parents across Britain love about Lilly+Sid.
Are you planning to launch physical stores in India anytime soon?
Ankit: Currently, we have decided to adopt an online first approach since Direct To Consumer brands have grown by almost 30-40 per cent in the last 12 months.
Are the collections offered in India specially curated keeping the Indian sensibilities in mind?
Ankit: Yes, we have curated the collection for India to present a mix of garments that allows children to enjoy the natural rhythms of everyday life in comfort and happiness, as they grow surrounded by our happy prints and colours. The product range for India is for Boys and girls from the age of 0 – 8 years, with a wardrobe mix for both girls and boys — shorts, t-shirts, shirts, dresses, tunics, leggings, skirts, playsuits, rompers, tops and trousers among others.
What are your future plans?
Ankit: Norlanka Brands will continue to grow the portfolio of sustainable brands in India, Middle East and South East Asian Markets. We will soon be launching another 100 per cent organic unisex brand for children: Turtle Dove London, in the sustainability space, in India. We will provide B2C solutions, through the expertise that our manufacturing arm brings with over ten years of operations in Sri Lanka