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Linen Trail – the Future of Linen

Kochi, Aug 14: Linen Trail, a slow fashion label based in Kochi, creates timeless 100% pure linen clothing for the mindful individual. Made from 100 per cent natural sources, garments produced by them support the traditional craftsmen like the hand block printers to the women of the Toda tribe for their embroidery, based out of the Nilgiris. Director of Linen Trail, A 100% Pure linen apparel brand hand-crafted for Men & Women. Anirudh Kollara talked to us. Here are a few excerpts:

Linen Trail wants to be a sustainable (slow) fashion label in the following ways: Why did you choose Linen, and what is the viability you see in the fabric?

Linen is the oldest fabric known to man. It is currently still more popular in the Ready-to-stitch segment; this trend had continued into the 21st century even with the popularisation of Ready-to-wear in the Garment Market. It is primarily because Linen has a high shrinkage percentage (The garment would shrink after the first wash). Linen Trail was conceptualised to bridge the gap in the market for 100% pure Linen Ready-to-wear apparel for Men and Women. Positioned as Linen specialists, we strive to get the perfect fit, finish and fall for all of our pure linen pieces through the linius process to ensure zero shrinkage for the product.

According to you, how has the market for Linen been, and what are the trends you are picking?

Linen’s intrinsic value in the market is more expensive than its natural counterparts like Cotton, hemp or Jute. The Indian market has a strong affinity towards luxury goods, which has helped Linen Trail grow its base of customers. Over the past year, we have seen a 15X growth through our website LinenTrail.com. The change in consumer behaviour (the shift to online shopping) post-COVID is a primary reason for the spike of growth in the category coupled with the affinity for premium/luxury goods and sustainability in the Indian market.

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Consumers choose linen apparel; why? What sets this fabric as an industry trendsetter in recent years?

Linen garments were regarded as an expensive buy, but the mood has changed over the years. Linen apparel is a natural and more sustainable choice than Cotton. Linen garments can make a subtle statement of class; it doesn’t even require a logo; the customer knows its value, appealing to the growing affinity towards Luxury goods in India. Linen is also naturally breathable, adaptable, and anti-bacterial.

Retailing linen garments: The future that you are eyeing?

The future is all about sustainability, and Linen is a sustainable choice as its production is a natural process that requires less water. The need for sustainability is now more than ever. We have successfully created a business model for Linen ready-to-wear online based on real demand, which has helped focus on what the customer wants while having an inventory turnaround ratio of about 6. It has helped fuel the growth for the past year, even with the pandemic affecting our retail outlets. Retail for Linen will pick up, but online is where the real growth is for the category.