Ecology Conscious Accessories – Arture by Shivani Patel

Twenty something Shivani Patel has been a designer from the time she was in 4th grade. She’d go to her Dad’s Office and spend time at the leather workshop making tiny dresses for her Barbie dolls. When I was her age, I was eating mud and playing with worms in my backyard.

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A Dachshund lover like yours truly, Shivani graduated from NIFT Chennai with 2 awards – Best Project and Best Academic Performance. Taking a break after graduation, she began hand crafting wallets for her friends and relatives, that led to Lemondrop Design Solutions. Now, on the anvil of launching a crowd funding campaign to kick start her brand Arture, Bowties and Bones caught  up with Shivani for a quick round of Q&A.

I have always been drawn towards playing with textures. I would use traditional fabrics in combination with leather.

B&B : Tell us a bit about Arture, why go eco-friendly with it?
Shivani : I had a lot of customers ask me if I make any non-leather products because they were against animal cruelty. That is when I realized that I wanted to bring a change but I didn’t have the answer.
My dilemma stemmed from the fact that the alternatives to leather available in the market were harmful as well! True, they were cruelty-free, but that didn’t make them good for the environment. Take for instance, PU. Which is synthetic and can do no good to the environment.

When I found cork, it changed everything. I cannot begin to explain how excited I got when I learned of it’s potential. I had found the answer I was looking for.

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B&B : Wait a minute, did you just say “CORK“?
Shivani : Yes, I think that’s what makes Arture special. People can expect products that are not only eco-friendly, but do not compromise on style. Fashion, Sustainability and practicality were all the key aspects that went into each of our designs.
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B&B : How are you going about launching Arture?
Shivani : I have been talking to a lot of influencers in the industry, trying to get the word out about my product, as well as get feedback and understand what people think of the idea. Social media marketing is going to be vital. The challenge in crowdfunding is getting noticed, and it’s a new concept in India. This is going to be one of the first few brands attempting this approach in India, so the first thing we need to do is educate customers on what crowdfunding is and how it works.
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B&B : But you said “CORK”, why use “CORK“?!
Shivani : Haha.. When I stumbled upon cork fabrics, I knew they were exactly what I was looking for. I researched and found out that no trees are ever cut down to make cork (even better!) and usage of cork supports an entire ecosystem in the Mediterranean.
As for handbags and wallets, Cork is lightweight, naturally waterproof, strong, just as durable as leather and anti-fungal! It looks great, feels great. So it was perfect in every way!
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The soft launch of the crowdfunding campaign was launched Tuesday night. If you guys would like to be a part of the Arture success story, click on the link and follow through to the end.
You can choose amongst the various rewards that Arture has bucketed for your funding.
Come on now, don’t be too corky!

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