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Can You Take Your Eyes Off Yami?

By ANITA AIKARA
March 21, 2022 09:24 IST
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'Summer Somewhere exclusively creates clothes that are kind to the planet.'

IMAGE: Yami Gautam Dhar's midi-dress is made out of 100 per cent viscose -- a man-made fibre that's bio-degradable and decomposes faster than cotton.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Meghna Goyal/Instagram and Summer Somewhere/Instagram

Meghna Goyal's fashion brand Summer Somewhere is making waves for being a label that is kind to the planet.

The young entrepreneur can count Alia Bhatt, Bhumi Pednekar, Yami Gautam Dhar, Athiya Shetty and Akansha Ranjan as fans of her brand which features garments made from high-quality and eco-friendly fabrics.

"Back in 2018, I found myself desperately seeking an escape," says Meghna. "I just wanted to hit the reset button."

As she started curating her wardrobe for a trip to Bali, the travel enthusiast realised that there was no brand in India catering to holiday clothes that were trendy, affordable and timeless.

"While most of us shop on holiday, we also shop before a trip to curate a certain kind of wardrobe."

Egged on by her determination to create a travel-worthy fashion brand, she started Summer Somewhere, which marries her love for travel and fashion.

IMAGE: Alia Bhatt in the mare midi.
'Alia is a dear friend and also a muse,' says Meghna. 'Her cool girl vibe is quite on brand.'

For Meghna, it was very important that the clothes be versatile and trans-seasonal.

"It had to have repeat value, and the ability to transition into your everyday wardrobe after the trip," she says.

Raised by a fashion designer and a garment exporter, Meghna studied marketing at New York University and grew deeply passionate about the environment.

"The very essence of Summer Somewhere, as the name suggests, is travel. People put a great deal of thought into holiday plans including how will they get to a destination, where will they stay and what must they see and eat," she says.

"Women are equal parts excited and anxious about what they need to wear during this curated experience," Meghna adds.

"Summer Somewhere exclusively creates clothes for your vacation that are kind to the planet and make you feel how you want to feel."

IMAGE: Meghna Goyal dressed in a sweat top from Summer Somewhere.

"The brand is for urban girls like you and me," says Meghna. "I feel authenticity comes from a place of relatability. So every piece is one I would wear. Ones my friends would wear."

During a trip to Mykonos with her girlfriends in August 2019, Meghna shot the launch photos.

"It was like a test run-cum-photo shoot that I photographed and the girls self-styled in tune with their personalities," she recalls.

Summer Somewhere has been a plastic-free label since the word go. "We are conscious about the clothes we produce.

"All our garments are made from high-quality eco-friendly fabrics that are 100 per cent biodegradable.

"We use fabrics such as linen, recycled cotton, Tencel, Ecovero and Viscose."

IMAGE: Meghna at her wedding to Karan Soman, a New York-based tech entrepreneur.

Summer Somewhere has also taken its commitment to being plastic-positive one step further by associating with ReCircle.

According to Meghna, the brand has pledged is to recover 1,000 kilo of low-grade single-use plastic from landfills and oceans this year.

"In association with ReCircle, we will recover 1 kg for every order placed with us," she admits.

Being a conscious clothing brand that is also affordable comes with its own set of challenges.

According to Meghna, the biggest challenge is price.

"We want to make sure we are able to meet our customer expectations in terms of pricing and design. However, the cost of production for environmentally conscious garments is extremely high and staying profitable is key to be a sustainable one."

IMAGE: This look by Summer Somewhere is perfect for a girl's night out.

Another key challenge is consumer perception.

"Consumers label sustainable fashion as overpriced and basic. It's our goal to correct this perception," she says. "With our products, community and content we aim to empower women to be trendy yet sustainable."

The young entrepreneur has some advice for aspiring young women wanting to launch a sustainable clothing brand.

"Follow your gut. There are lot of people who will try to talk you out of it, but trust your instinct. If you believe in it, then just go for it."

IMAGE: Radhika Apte is all smiles in the Lucia Mini.

Summer Somewhere also believes that circularity through resale can help solve the over consumption and under-utilisation of fashion.

It launched Relove Summer Somewhere -- a resale programme -- on its Web site. This allows Summer Somewhere customers to see a resell button in their order history which enables them to list their garments for resale in 60 seconds.

"Customers who wish to buy preloved fashion can now do so on the relove category page of the Web site. Circular fashion is defined as a regenerative system in which items are circulated for as long as their value is retained," explains Meghna.

"That's the future of fashion. Each garment resold saves six times its weight in CO2. Each time you resell a garment, its carbon footprint is lowered by 82 per cent."

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ANITA AIKARA / Rediff.com