Nish Parekh, Co-Founder, Kapdaa; The Offcut Company; Founder, The Sustainable Hub
Nish used to see a lot of cloth being wasted in his mother’s outlets. He didn’t like it so he decided to give those waste clothes a good life. To fulfill this mission of his, he founded ‘Kapdaa – The Offcut Company’.
This is the story of a boy who tells us why one should never think of waste as waste!
Nish Parekh, who is our guest for this episode of The Brand Called You, is the son of a fashion designer. He used to see a lot of cloth being wasted in his mother’s outlets.
He didn’t like it so he decided to give those waste clothes a good life. To fulfill this mission of his, he founded ‘Kapdaa – The Offcut Company’. He is also the founder of The Sustainable Hub.
Nish has proven that you can make a huge brand out of scratch if you are passionate and you put the right mind into it.
What is an offcut fabric?
Nish tells us that whenever a garment is made, there is always some cloth leftover in the manufacturing place. That leftover cloth, which is a waste from the manufacturer’s perspective is the offcut fabric. This fabric, if put together, is a lot of fabric that is generating waste.
Explaining the second type of offcut, Nish tells us that whenever a company decides to make a certain number of garments, it always buys cloth for more than the decided number as a backup if something goes wrong. If nothing goes wrong, then that extra fabric is an offcut.
The third type of offcuts is the test prints and misprints done by designers on a small amount of fabric which is of no use for them. This is again an offcut.
Nish’s motivation to start this company
Nish, at Kapdaa – The Offcut Company, works with interior and fashion designers to use their fabric offcuts and convert them into sustainable products.
Nish tells us that since his mother is a fashion designer, he has seen offcuts all his life. He saw them being of no use. One day, he sat with one of his mother’s studio managers and made a product out of offcut. He put branding on it and gave it to a customer as a free gift. That product got popular and this is how Nish got the motivation to start this business.
Nish also tells us that initially when they started it as a business, it was quite challenging to convince the designers to work with them. However, over a period of time their model work started to prove itself. Designers understood that Nish and the team are helping them monetize their waste, they grew more and more interested in working with them.
Where does Nish draw his design inspiration from?
Nish tells us that when he sees little products like journals, notebooks, bags, cardholders, etc. made from new fabrics, he sees there is a lot of raw material used. He feels that the new material does not need to be used because there are offcuts available.
Whenever he gets any offcuts, he tries to make as a usable product as he can so that people can buy it and lesser new material is used and more offcut is used. This is also good for the environment.
About the Sustainable Hub
Nish tells us that during the COVID lockdown, their clients were facing three major challenges:
- Struggling to keep up with minimum order quantities
- Increase in packaging manufacturing and cost as online delivery requires more layers of packaging.
- Gen Z started to look into the supply chain of the brands.
Nish saw this as an opportunity to produce all the garments and the packaging under one roof. Earlier, the garments and their packaging were being manufactured in different countries. This was increasing cost and carbon footprint. He founded the Sustainable Hub with the idea of manufacturing all under one roof with their raw materials to solve that issue.
Why are sustainable clothes more expensive than the other kinds?
Nish gives multiple reasons why sustainable clothes are more expensive than the other kinds.
In Nish’s opinion, waste fabric requires a lot of paperwork and certification before going under the manufacturing process which increases the cost a little. He also tells us that designers and brands see this as an opportunity to charge more as the product is sustainable. However, Nish feels that we need to break that mindset of sustainability being expensive.
Business Advises by Nish
- Nish advises that if you plan on doing a startup and you calculate a budget for it, just double it, because that is how much it is going to take.
- He also says that if you make a guiding document for your business, you should keep it, but you should not stick to it no matter what. If an opportunity crosses by, be sure to take it.
- Nish advises young people to do what they love rather than working just for financial stability. He says this because he feels that after a period of time, your financial goals would be achieved. The thing that would keep you engaged in work would not be money, but your passion and love for the work.
Playing at my mother’s feet in her fashion studio, Nish dreamed up endless creative possibilities for the unused fabric dotting the floor. Many years later, when some of these textile pieces and Nish were on a first-name basis, Nish picked up one and crafted a one-of-a-kind bookmark.
Nish didn’t even know it, but that first offcut marked a fresh chapter of my life, which told a story of eco-friendly, sustainable products that were a labor of love.
They also spread the offcut messages to a wider audience offering sustainable, quality products that are also affordable. This is what they hope to achieve with their eCommerce platform – a website that brings you upcycled quality products from a range of designers.