One of the darker sides of social media is how it has set standards of beauty that have very quickly plagued everyone’s minds, especially their self-esteem.
Today, there is a ‘perfect hourglass’ figure with the ‘right’ kind of measurements, and people, especially women across the world, are either desperately working towards achieving that body or looking at the systematic disintegration of their self-concept.
The only respite from this toxicity? Body positivity.
While body positivity celebrates and accepts all kinds of bodies, body-positive clothing remains an integral part of the term.
To take inclusivity a notch up and contribute towards the movement of body positivity, Jeevika Tyagi and Kanupriya Mundhra started aastey in 2020 – an athleisure brand for women that is sustainable and size-inclusive.
Jeevika and Kanupriya started aastey after identifying a major gap and pain point in the field of fashion – brands were making clothes by harming the environment and offering them in very, very limited size categories. The categories are mutually exclusive – like either petite or directly plus-size. Nothing in between.
This made the entrepreneur duo launch aastey in 2020.
Size-inclusivity and sustainability were and have remained the two main priorities of the brand.
The founders claim that they are India’s first D2C startup that has cracked and aced the manufacturing of recycled polyester apparel.
The brand has taken sustainability up a notch – wearing one legging from the brand is equivalent to recycling up to 25 trash bags.
Since its inception in 2020, Aastey has been on a journey to offering a clean, sustainable alternative to fast fashion that is extremely harmful to the environment.
But this journey wasn’t very easy and had its fair share of hiccups. For example, it was extremely difficult for the founders to find vendors who were ready to make clothes out of sustainable fabric at a very low Minimum Order Quantity.
Aastey’s product range includes leggings and sports bras, yoga mats, eye masks, tote bags, etc.
Currently, aastey has 200 SKUs, and it sells across India through its official website and e-commerce channels like Amazon and Myntra.
As far as the price range is concerned, the pricing isn’t extremely expensive and does justify athleisure clothing. Aastey’s products are priced between Rupees 1,295 and Rupees 2,495.
Funding and Numbers
Last year, aastey raised a seed round of Rupees 10 crore from Kalaari Capital. The founders are using this investment to find product market fit and also get traction on various channels.
The startup has gained steady growth since its inception. Within just six months of launching, aastey, Jeevika, and Kanupriya crossed an ARR of Rupees 1 crore and have been growing 3X since then.
Today, aastey has built a community of 60,000+ women.
In India, the athleisure industry is worth Rupees 54,000 crore. And aastey does have a promising future ahead.
Founders Jeevika and Kanupriya plan to focus on expanding aastey in Tier II cities of the country.