Eclectic. Gender Neutral. Upscaled & Sustainable. Ribhav Kapur, the 38-year-old Founder of Econock wanted his brand to epitomize all this and more. In fact, Ribhav insists that he wanted to break the toxic loop of fast fashion by introducing conscious purchase involving multiple utility and hence, Econock, his Delhi-based luxury brand and dream project was born. In a heart-to-heart conversation with Sumita Chakraborty, Editor-in-chief, TheGlitz, Ribhav talks passionately about Econock, his brand which creates luxury accessories through upscaling, sustainable fashion & more…
Tell us about your Econock journey. What made you start it?
I have always been inclined towards eclectic yet functional things. My training in fashion technology at NIFT equipped me to deliver efficient outcomes. Having led operations in the high fashion industry for more than a decade, optimising time and design quality were the primary production parameters. Evident focus on design, quality, cost and time left little room to optimise wastage. It was only at an art project with a luxury European brand that required us to work with limited resources, for whom we curated an installation out of waste. This was truly a eureka moment for me, it gave me a perspective of how limited resources can empower creative designing. Curiosity led me to pursue a graduate degree in Sustainability from Sweden, where I was exposed to the newfound knowledge of sustainable business practices, the circular economy, and upcycling. Combining my love for adventure and innovation, I set out to build my dream project – Econock, a brand that creates luxurious accessories through upcycling.
You have Creation of Eve – a collection of upcycled accessories… tell us about this. Why upcycled? What made you feel the Indian markets are in need of it?
The “Creation of Eve” is the name of our upcoming collection, and it represents our way of shining a spotlight on Eve’s narrative, as she often remains overshadowed. The collection goes beyond fashion, incorporating sustainability by breathing new life into leather scraps through the technique of gold embroidery. Just as Eve herself experienced a resurrection, these materials are reincarnated and transformed into striking accessories. Each piece tells a story of rebirth and reinvention, celebrating the beauty and potential found in giving new life to forgotten materials.
Metal, symbolizing the industrial element, has been ingeniously transformed into exquisite pieces of jewellery which will be part of the new range that not only narrates a compelling story but also contributes to a more sustainable future. The Indian market is increasingly recognizing the need for such collections as they represent a growing consciousness about sustainability and a desire for unique, eco-conscious products.
What are the challenges you faced in your Econock journey? How did you tackle the setbacks?
Running a bootstrapped venture presented financial challenges, and we’ve addressed these setbacks by focusing on organic growth and closely observing the market’s response. Building strong relationships with suppliers who provide our raw materials has been instrumental in ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply chain. We’ve also embraced the challenges of working with diverse waste materials by diligently sorting and creatively repurposing them. Our commitment to sustainability ensures that even the tiniest bits of waste generated during our production process are repurposed as surface embellishments, resulting in zero wastage.
Three major milestones in your journey?
• Formation of an incredible team, spearheaded by the creative genius Gouri Rawat and master artisan Alim Ashraf, who bring an exceptional blend of creativity and craftsmanship to our brand.
• The launch of our first collection “Sophisticated Survivor” collection, a testament to pushing the boundaries of sustainable fashion and design.
• The development of new fabric from waste embroidery threads and the creation of a jacket as the first sample was a personal endeavour that allowed us to test and experiment with sustainable materials firsthand.
What’s next for you?
We’re diving into something exciting! Presently in terms of design, we are in the early stages of designing a new collection, and what’s unique about this one is that it’s made from a fabric we’ve developed from waste threads.
In addition to the above, we are also planning to step into the world of home and decor. We’re exploring how we can bring our sustainable approach to transform homes into conscious spaces. Our aim is to promote sustainability in both personal fashion and the living spaces we cherish.
As a brand, our long-term vision for Econock involves creating a space that brings together individuals with a shared passion for sustainability and conscious living. The Econock Collective aims to be a conscious library and collaborative space where people can learn from our skilled artisans and utilize our machinery to create their own upcycled products. We aspire to build a community that encourages conscious living and inspires sustainable creations.
If there was a quote to describe your work, what would it be?
“What is dead may never die!” This phrase holds a two-fold meaning for us. It refers to waste, highlighting that waste is never truly wasted and can be creatively transformed into something amazing. Additionally, it reflects our commitment to sustainability, suggesting that we aim to create products that stand the test of time and outlast transient fashion trends.