Unpacking Homegrown Label Behno's Ethical Approach To Quiet Luxury In India

Unpacking Homegrown Label Behno's Ethical Approach To Quiet Luxury In India

While in the public health sector, South Asian diasporic entrepreneur Shivam Punjya was working closely with many garment workers in the nation. After returning home and coming across the news of the Rana Plaza complex that took the lives of many garment workers just like the ones he had met during his stint in India, Shivam was moved to do something that could make an impact in the garment industry. While the narrative of ethical practices and fair treatment of garment workers is gaining momentum now, Shivam Punjya’s Behno New York was a leader in the realm, when they started. He started the brand from the ground up, creating factories that abided by their ethical manifesto that ensured fair rights and treatment to the workers.

Behno's journey began with a focus on conscious manufacturing practices, challenging the status quo of the fashion industry. Shivam's experiences shaped the brand's philosophy, centred on empowering garment workers and redefining the narrative around 'Made in India’ by creating timeless, elegant pieces. As he reflects, "Made in India is a statement we're proudly championing, while staying resolute in our values of ethical production." The brand's global presence and recognition set the stage for its recent foray into the Indian market. Despite being 'Made in India,' Behno faced the task of reintroducing itself to a home audience, a challenge met with strategic partnerships and thoughtful engagement. Collaborating with iconic figures like Katrina Kaif, Behno seeks to bridge the gap between global recognition and local resonance.

Unpacking Homegrown Label Behno's Ethical Approach To Quiet Luxury In India
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Shivam elaborates on the significance of this transition, stating, "It's about revisiting where we started and understanding our role within that space." The brand's commitment to India goes beyond retail presence; it's about fostering a deeper connection with consumers, understanding their diverse perspectives, and tailoring offerings to meet their evolving needs. While Behno is looking to find firm footing in a nation where logo mania still prevails and is only slowly changing, Behno's central mission is still its dedication to the well-being of garment workers. Staying true to the Behno manifesto and partnerships with local artisans, the brand aims to elevate the narrative of Indian craftsmanship and redefine luxury through a lens of social impact. As Shivam emphasizes, "Everything we do on the backend is powered by the ethos and manifesto we set in place in the beginning. It's just how we operate."

Behno's growing presence in the Indian market is during a pivotal moment in the larger fashion narrative of what it means to be ‘Made in India’. Through initiatives like market research and consumer engagement, Behno seeks to not only establish a presence but also foster a meaningful dialogue around sustainable fashion practices. The reclamation of 'Made in India' in the fashion industry signifies a broader cultural shift, one that celebrates indigenous artistry and challenges Western-centric narratives. Shivam reflects on this evolving landscape, noting, "It's about India taking ownership and reclaiming something that's always been a part of its identity, without an oriental perspective."

As Behno embarks on this new chapter with the reveal of the 'Behno Manifesto' with Katrina Kaif as their global ambassador, Behno’s mission remains unwavering: to redefine fashion ethics. Through mindful interactions and keeping a keen eye on what the modern Indian consumer is seeking sartorially, Behno continues to inspire a movement towards a more sustainable and inclusive future for fashion.

"I hope a handbag can have a similar trajectory as a saree or jewellery handed down from generation to generation. That's been kind of a design philosophy from the very beginning — a modern sensibility with timeless silhouettes."

Shivam Punjya

Staying true to a manifesto created almost a decade ago while adapting to changing trends, and now in entering the Indian market more resolutely, while keeping an eye on the modern Indian shopper, Shivam Punjya is substantiating the very idea of timelessness. After all, the notion of doing right by the people who craft your pieces and pairing this with classic design are two things that define Behno. And that will never go out of style.

Follow Behno here.

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