9 kidswear brands setting high standards for children's clothing in India
Kidswear has become one of the fastest-growing segments in India. Ahead of Children’s Day, SMBStory lists out five Indian brands redefining this sector and cashing in on this growth.
Kidswear is one of the fastest-growing segments in India with many players entering the market and the existing ones diversifying their portfolio by introducing sustainable categories, gender-neutral apparel, and much more.
According to Statista, India’s apparel market was expected to grow at about 11 percent and reach a value of $85 billion by 2021. The kids wear segment accounted for about 20 percent of this market in 2018. But the segment is now predicted to reach nearly Rs 1.7 trillion by 2028.
The sector has a huge growth potential in the near future and ahead of Children’s Day, SMBStory has listed out five brands redefining kidswear in India, cashing in on this growth.
Tapping into India’s growing market of kidswear are classmates-turned-entrepreneurs Vandana Kalagara and Smruti Rao.
Their manufacturing enterprisec makes sustainable kidswear and sells them directly to consumers through its own website, and online channels such as , , The Nestery, and more.
In a previous conversation, Vandana told SMBStory:
“We started in 2016 and launched our first product in 2017. Selling our kidswear products online, we are seeing annual revenues of up to Rs 36 lakh. This year, we are targeting Rs 75 lakh.”
Based out of Hyderabad, their kidswear is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.
Veronna Damani is one of those lucky people who found her calling and followed her passion. Today, she is a proud owner of a baby and kidswear label Veronna, which she has built over the years.
In a previous conversation with SMBStory, she said that most of its garments are made from natural fibres like cotton and a few cotton blends that are sourced from New Delhi and Mumbai.
“Our colour palates are very subtle and muted, including our prints which are more vintage and European in aesthetic. We only use yarn-dyed fabrics. Our aim is always to create unique and functional designs,” Verona added.
The brand manufactures the clothes in-house with quality fabrics sourced from local markets.
Started by actor-entrepreneur Alia Bhatt,is a sustainable children’s wear brand launched in October 2020 on FirstCry.
“I wanted to start my own label. When you become semi-successful, you start looking back to see if you can start something of your own. I was interested in clothes and fashion, and when I looked deeper, I realised there was no dearth of clothes or fashion labels for people in the age group of 25 to 45 years. The competition, in fact, is high. There was a need for a world-class children’s clothing brand, which is Made in India,” said Alia, in a previous conversation with SMBStory.
Ed-a-Mamma caters to children in the age group of 2-14 years. It is completely homegrown and has the vision of changing the world one garment at a time, according to a statement. Operating on an exclusively D2C business model, the brand which launched with 150 styles in October 2020, now has 800 options live on its website.
The company stated, while all the products are made with completely natural fibres, Ed-a-Mamma has garnered trust by acquiring SEDEX (global certification for ethical trade), Green Denim Certifications through Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD certification), organic clothing through GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and is a completely vegan compliant brand.
Cuddles for Cubs
Gender-neutral fashion may slowly be picking up, but when it comes to kids and babywear, the old adage – pink is for girls and blue is for boys – still holds true in retail outlets.
To change this, sibling duo Anushka Jhawar and Arjun Doshi startedout of Mumbai earlier this year. Anushka explains that the brand aims to encourage a genderless and imaginative childhood that blurs archaic distinctions between ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, paving the way for an empowered, uninhibited future.
Fully made-in-India, the D2C brand works with Indian vendors that have decades of experience and know the right fabrics suitable for children. The brand uses AZO-free dyes to prevent harmful chemicals from coming in contact with the child’s skin. While currently operating on a D2C model, the brand is also building the capacity to list on all curated marketplaces.
According to the founders, “Many affordable brands dump export-surplus or ‘stock-lots ‘of inconsistent or questionable qualities. These products were mostly created for a Western export market and lack affinities for the Indian consumer. We want to keep our brand relatable, adorable, and affordable. Our products are presently 100 percent cotton grown and spun in India.”
Ashini Shah had been living in the UK as a new mum when she saw quirky and fun outfits for children. She was also exposed to a market comprising multicultural parents who were raising their children as global citizens.
This got her to ideate about entrepreneurial ideas, and inspired her to launch Vadodara-based D2C apparel brand in 2016. The brand works with creative illustrators, vendors, and manufacturers in India to introduce made-in-India apparel for babies and children up to the age of four.
When they launched, Zeezeezoo's founders had two clear target areas in mind — the domestic market, and the international market catering to the NRI and South Asian diaspora.
While the domestic market contributes to 60 percent of its revenue, international demands counted for about 40 percent. The brand has over 200 designs as well as customised options priced between Rs 200 and Rs 899, and the products are available on its website, and Amazon. The brand is currently also in talks to launch on Ajio.
Little Pockets Store
The Pink city of India, Jaipur has been famous for its historical monuments, vibrant Rajasthani culture, architecture, cuisine, and world-famous arts and crafts. And now, a kidswear brand too! Fashion designer and stylist Snigdha Bihan (32) was always fascinated by her region’s traditional handwork. Her mother’s involvement in the city’s traditional arts, crafts, and embroidery also inspired her to start her own business.
After she became a mother herself, Snigdha realised that there was a considerable gap in the kid’s apparel market. So in 2015, she decided to create a brand that is a fusion of traditional Rajasthani craft designs and contemporary clothing for kids at affordable prices. Thus, Trendmongers Pvt Ltd was born.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh, Trendmongers now has an annual turnover of Rs 65 lakh.
It operates under the brand 'Little Pockets Store' that specially caters to the ethnic wear segment for kids with Rajasthani handwork.
The idea of living consciously and sustainably was the inspiration behind Greendigo. Founders Meghna Kishore and Barkha Bhatnagar Das, both belonging to corporate backgrounds realised that the available kidswear in the market contained a lot of synthetic fibres, toxic materials, dyes etc., which can cause health hazards. The two quit their jobs to start a business rooted in organic textiles with an initial investment of Rs 15 lakh.
The Mumbai-based brand started its operations in August 2019. Today, Greendigo is an organic clothing brand serving kids up to the age of 12 years. It claims to have over 500 customers with 20-22 percent being repeat customers.
The brand has termed its wares as ‘capsule-wardrobe friendly’ (clothes that don’t go out of fashion).
Owning a few good quality garments which can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple looks and outfits is something that Greendigo endeavours to produce through this concept of a capsule-friendly wardrobe.
Until some time ago, kids’ fashion meant a pinafore dress, preferably in pink for girls and grey-blue-black for boys. But now, things have clearly changed. And that realisation struck 40-year-old Rahul Anand, an MBA from Harvard Business School, who was living in New York in 2012 when he saw his friends in Mumbai, who had become parents, travel all the way to NYC just to shop for their little ones. That’s when Rahul realised that providing access to unique and trendy clothes for children could be a viable business idea. Thus, Hopscotch was conceived.
Naturally, the next big step was funding. Rahul was working as the Director of Product Management at Diapers.com that had emerged as the number one online baby retailer in the US at the time. He convinced his ex-boss and the leadership team at Diapers.com to invest in his company before he moved back to India to give shape to Hopscotch.
At present, Hopscotch claims to be India’s fastest growing kids fashion brand, available across 1,300 cities.
It aims to provide an unbeatable value proposition by offering parents the latest global fashion trends in clothing, shoes, and accessories for their kids. The company launches about 500 new styles daily, a feat made possible only through a team that consists of international designers across China, Thailand, India, and the US, who track fashion weeks and couture trends to source and curate the best of global kids fashion trends in real-time.
Ensuring a strong digital presence coupled with a seamless customer interface, Hopscotch products are also available across online marketplaces like Amazon, Paytm, and Myntra, amongst others.
Shopping for a child is often tedious, especially if it means carting your children from one shop to another. At the end of it, nerves are frayed and sometimes, the entire family is left in a bad mood.
Though online shopping and large malls have brought about a decent amount of convenience to the whole process, there is nothing like visiting one store and finding everything your child needs there.
Understanding this gap, Sharad Venkta and Ankur Agarwal founded Toonz Retail in 2010 in Bengaluru to help parents find everything they need for their children under one roof.
Sharad recalls the time when he and his wife were spending their weekends running from shop to another collecting essentials for their child. This was when the idea to open a one-stop-shop destination for parents sprang up.
He discussed the plan with Ankur and the two teamed up to form Toonz Retail.
It was clear that kids’ retail business was on the rise. “We both saw a lot of scope and an untapped market in kids’ retail and that is how we decided to go ahead,” Sharad explains.
Toonz Retail operates multi-brand kids’ outlets for all needs and occasions for children aged up to 12 years. The stores carry anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000 SKUs, including infant fashion, kids fashion, baby essentials, toys, accessories, baby care, and hard goods. It opened its first store in Bengaluru in 2010, and now has around 100 stores across India.
The company was founded with an initial investment of Rs 10 crore by Ankur Agarwal. Today, it records an annual turnover of Rs 100 crore.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta