What are you passionate about and what drives you?
I am passionate about being a change-maker. When I saw the problem of fabric-waste in my own home and so many around us had the same problem – and it drove me to find a solution!
We live in an age of a retail boom where everything is easily available to us through online-offline routes. This constant shopping led to my wardrobe being filled to the brim. Looking around me, I knew my friends and family- everyone had the same problem. Overflowing wardrobes, yet still shopping for new things and not really sure what to do with all the unwanted things lying on their shelves. This led me to think that there must be a better use for all these fabrics lying trapped in unwanted things and there must be a better way to keep on shopping that will benefit society and environment too. Fashion as just a linear line of consumption bothered me increasingly and I knew it was necessary to make Retail a sustainable circle. I felt so deeply about the problem but realised there was not much being done about it. So I decided ‘to be the change that I want to see’ and started Twirl.store.
Twirl basically means to go round or spin- the name Twirl for the brand signifies the ‘sustainable circle’ that we want retail to become, and this mission drives me forward.
What were your personal challenges and how have you defined them?
The idea of Twirl.store was based on a business model that had never been done before in India. Being an engineer by degree, my education/work experience/contacts were not along this field at all. But with my passion to do this work, I decided to battle all the odds piled up against me and start off. www.twirl.store was launched toward end of 2017.
The road for Twirl.store, as a social enterprise, was a difficult one and as an entrepreneur I have realised that Murphy’s law- if something can go wrong, it will go wrong- is exactly true. I have encountered numerous lows and problems but prefer to move on rather than think back on them now.
Must add here, The Twirl team is an all-girls team. We are a group of motivated, young women determined to break stereotypes and bring about a change in society. At Twirl, our focus is to be all-inclusive and give opportunity to girls from all kinds of background and nurture their talents in various ways. We are proud to say from Manufacturing to Operations- its girls from various stratas of society who handle the show.
But, our biggest challenge was and is to make people aware of Twirl and the work we are doing. It is an ongoing effort to make people realise the adverse effects of cloth wastage on both society and environment.
But now we are happy to say we serve customers, individuals and organisations across the country.
In 3 years, Twirl.store has conducted numerous donation drives across urban slums, villages & shelters of West Bengal and basic clothing has been provided to over 4000 needy people including the differently-abled, the elderly, children and many more.
At the same time, conserving resources like water through each product, thousands of fabrics have been upcycled till date. To encourage women empowerment, Twirl.store has worked for extensive skill development and has ensured sustenance for women from lower economic strata by selling upcycled products handcrafted by them.
Twirl.store has been felicitated at Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019 and named as one of the best ideas to transform India by IIM-C and DST,Govt of India. We have also been chosen as Industry Disruptor by UNWomen and DO School,Berlin. As Twirl.store founder, I have received Devi Award, powered by New India Express, from the hands of Mrs. Smriti Irani, Union Minister. I was also awarded Swayam Siddha by Eastern Chamber of Commerce and Women-on-a-Mission by YourStory media.
Twirl.store contribution towards society and environment has been featured in Outlook Magazine, The Telegraph, Business Standard, Dainik Jagran, Entrepreneur, Divya Bhaskar, Radio Mirchi, ETV Bharat and many more media outlets across the country.
How have professional networks empowered you
We must encourage and help each other to grow. When I started Twirl.store, I knew no one in the industry. But I am thankful for the guidance and support I have received from a number of people from professional networks.
Who are your role models and why?
I have many role models, all empowered women but I must specially mention Mrs.Sudha Murthy- her grace and humility continue to inspire me.
what does worklife balance mean to you?
I think women are naturally multitaskers and able to manage both family and professional commitments in their own way. Similarly, I am busy mother of 2 young kids aswell as the proud founder of Twirl.store!
How would you like SHEconomy to help you?
We hope members of the SHEconomy will embrace our handcrafted, upcycled products and thereby help in our mission to reduce wastage and encourage women empowerment. Our products can also be customised and designed for bulk requirements. Please do consider our range of bags, accessories, home décor etc for regular use, gifting purposes, return-gifts etc.
What would you like to share with SHEconomy?
Please join and support us because Together we can Twirl to a Better world.