By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Alia Bhatt's brand Ed-a-Mamma brings it one step closer to creating an 'Ed-a-Mamma' world by introducing its latest infant clothing. Encouraging children and their mothers to prioritise the environment, Bhatt who is the investor and founder, feels the environment has always been a top priority for her and that one owes a healthy planet to our children.
The actress speaks to IANSlife about how the brand is getting closer to its objective of changing the world one garment at a time.
What motivated you to launch an infants' wear collection? Why wasn't it launched earlier, when the brand was first established?
Alia: The brand was launched with a vision to create an all-encompassing Ed-a-Mamma universe with earth-friendly products for all age groups. Our first offering is Ed-a-Mamma clothing, which we launched in the middle of the pandemic. Our strategy was to launch in April 2020, but then the lockdown was announced and the earliest we could launch was in October. Despite having the wrong merchandise launch in the wrong season, the product was really appreciated by parents. And it was this encouraging response - towards our product and its positioning - that helped us know we were on the right track.
Maternity was born out of a personal need - I struggled to find good maternity wear in India and realised a gap in my wardrobe reflected a gap in the market. After the immense love garnered by Ed-a-Mamma for its first-ever maternity and nursing collection, infant wear felt like the natural next step. Again, the decision to launch this collection was a deeply personal one.
As young mothers, we want to give our children the best of everything. And so, on my quest to find the best possible clothes for my baby, we embarked on the journey to create this infant wear line, which I am so happy to share with you. The idea is to build and reinforce the same narrative across the child's journey - and there's no better time to start than when they're young and plant the seeds for a better planet.
What distinguishes the company's newborn line from other brands?
Alia: Our brand is inclusive in every sense of the word. We walk the talk by using fabrics that are natural and fully biodegradable. All garments are pre-washed and tested to ensure they are pH safe for babies. Ed-a-Mamma prioritizes state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques that ensure comfort and care. The brand only uses AZO-free dyes that are safe for kids in addition to buttons and trims that are plastic and nickel free.
What about the fabrics used to make the outfit? What were the difficulties you encountered?
Alia: The Girls and Boys infant-wear ranges are 100 per cent cotton and the Unisex range is a premium line where 100 per cent GOTS-certified organic cotton is used and the graphic treatment & garment details are minimal. Sourcing the right fabrics has never been a challenge but maintaining premium quality at these affordable price points is tough.
Tell us a little more about the three themes: Jungle Joy, Cute-a-saunas, and Woodland Wonders.
Alia: Our first infant wear collection is inspired by nature. Jungle joy is an outdoor adventure, exploring all things nature. Cute-a-Sauras is all about dinosaurs, with playful, happy prints. Woodland Wonders is a personal favourite and features adorable animal graphics.
What are your thoughts on the offline space? Do you want to expand across India?
Alia: While the brand is currently available across 22 Lifestyle outlets, pan India and we've launched at Azorte as well. But, hopefully, we'll be able to launch our exclusive stores later this year - a place where the kids and their parents can truly experience the world of Ed-a-Mamma. Yes, and after doing well in India, the brand is set to expand the business beyond India starting from the Middle East, where we will be available in the next 6 months.
Anything that you've learned or been inspired by while creating the line?
Alia: I get involved in design and communication - to ensure we're truly maintaining the brand narrative across categories. Both maternity wear and baby wear are deeply personal for me.
The former was born out of a gap in my personal wardrobe. We then realised there was a need for comfortable yet functional nursing wear - this was something that our consumers highlighted. This is why a couple of months later, we launched a line of nursing wear.
As a young mother, I always want what's best and safe for my baby, which is how our infant wear line came about. And just like our other products, this line is good for your baby and our planet. The environment has always been a big area of concern for me and as a mum, I am even more mindful that we owe our children a healthy planet.