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Web Exclusive | June 2016

Whitenife grows to become Asia’s largest ethical fashion platform

In an endeavour to promote sustainability while catering to the growing demands of fashion industry, Whitenife, has curated Asia’s largest marketplace for ethical fashion goods. “Fast fashion is significantly deteriorating the world we live in, making ethical fashion no longer a niche, but a necessity,” says Sonia Agarwal, CEO & Founder of Whitenife.

While the fashion industry is known to be the most waste producing industry after oil and gas, it also is one of the biggest contributors to the world economy. Whitenife aims to use the power of fashion to empower communities and conserve the environment. It currently houses more than 30 brands and NGOs from over 16 countries and ships globally. Whitenife retails some of the leading ethical fashion brands including Abury, Study NY, Kokku, Upfuse, Elvis & Kresse, Slow Artist and more.

Whitenife works to create awareness among the fashion designers and fashion enthusiast, to help them produce and consume more responsibly. There are many ways a brand can be ethical: one can use natural fibres/dyes, pledge to fair trade, adopt zero-wasteage production methods and not harm animals. Some of the other causes Whitenife supports are slow fashion, women empowerment, upcycling, vegan, social development, conflict-free mining and craftsmanship preservaton. “Everyday we are introduced to unique brands that innovatively work to address some of the world’s biggest socio-environmental problems”, says Agarwal.

Sustainability and CSR are buzzwords that most marketeers drop irresponsibly. This form of green washing has impacted the general consumer confidence. Whitenife maintains a stringent vetting process before a brand is invited to join their platform. Each brand undergoes two rounds of auditing, to verify if they truly are socially responsible brands. Whitenife works towards sharing the exact impact each product has with their consumers.

Whitenife is rapidly expanding its brand portfolio and extending its product and price categories. Consumer have a wide spectrum of apparel, jewellery and accessories ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 4 lakh to their e-commerce platform. “We are also expected to launch footwear and beauty on our platform this month. We also want our customers to know that even a Rs 100 product can change lives,” Agarwal.

Whitenife, pioneering the concept of ethical fashion in India, brings forth unique products from leading ethical fashion brands in front of eco-consumers that currently remain fragmented in many pockets of the world.

Agarwal’s inventive spirit laid the foundation of Whitenife in late 2012 with a belief that fashion is a powerful and a beautiful medium to change the world. In 2013, it had introduced Elfh, a patented, PeTA certified, mineral-based composite that was 89 per cent close to genuine elephant ivory. This vegan ivory, was introduced to save elephants which were rampantly poached to meet the growing demand for ivory. In 2015, Whitenife also designed the crown for Miss World Australia with Elfh. Now, it specialises in Elfh jewellery and works with leading jewellery designers on capsule collections.

From a journey which started just three years ago, Whitenife has been extremely fast-paced and confident about the growing appetite of the Indian population for ethical fashion. Whitenife has now begun extending their marketplace to leading NGOs. Products from WWF, CRY and Akanksha will be expected on their platform by end of May 2016.

Whitenife operates in a classic drop shipment model, in order to minimize their carbon footprint and remain cost effective. Whitenife is a zero-investment opportunity for ethical brands/NGOs to seek their marketing & sales support.

Talking about her venture, Agarwal, said, “Whitenife, celebrates the love for social entrepreneurship, conservation and fashion. I am happy and content with the way Whitenife has shaped. Our journey forward will magnify and multiply the impact of many ethical fashion brands/NGOs around the world.”

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