This fashion label is encouraging body-positivity through sustainable clothing

Dubai - Lea founder Lavanya Aneja on creating a fashion brand that encourages size-inclusivity



by

Somya Mehta

Published: Wed 1 Dec 2021, 8:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 3:27 PM

Born in January 2021, Lea took root from the intention of building a brand with a strong overarching purpose that seeks to encourage women to own and flaunt their curves regardless of their size or skin colour. Sparking a body-positivity movement, Lea, which is Latin for lioness, is made to “grace the wardrobes of fierce women who aren’t afraid to question the status quo and be bold, confident, and impactful in everything they do”, says Lavanya Aneja, a UCLA-graduate and the young founder behind the ethos of the empowering brand, and its sister company Saanjh by Lea.

How does the brand seek to address the size-inclusive gap in the market?

For far too long, women in India have been shamed for possessing the bodies they naturally do, while being pushed to attain an unrealistic, Eurocentric beauty ideal (read: skinny, tall, fair). Our styles are made to embody the three foundational brand pillars of body positivity, sustainability, and size inclusivity. Designed with petite-friendly hemlines, curve-accentuating silhouettes, and a minimalistic colour and print palette, Lea delivers timeless designs that can become a long-term fixture in customers’ closets instead of adding to the trend-driven, fast-fashion pile. Our entire collection is available in sizes XS-5XL and shown on all body types accordingly!

Why is sustainable fashion important in today’s fast-fashion-driven economy?

As one of our foundational brand pillars, sustainability is at the root of our brand. We upcycle export surplus fabrics to make over 70 per cent of our collection, to give a new life to these soft, discarded fabrics, and give them a new life in a customer’s closet. Our mission is to not only manufacture high-quality clothes and prioritise customer satisfaction but also ensure they are made ethically.

‘Made to celebrate your curves’. How did this ethos get translated into the attire?

The plus-size fashion options in our country are mostly limited to shapeless clothing designed to disguise “flaws”, and not designed to celebrate and accentuate bigger bodies. In fact, the loss of access to the Chinese brand, Shein, was a major pain point for a majority of the young, female, plus-size population in the country; while quality and ethical standards for the brand were abhorrent, it was essentially one of the only places to shop fashionable, affordable, plus-size clothing.

How valuable are influencer-brand relationships in the age of social media?

It’s no secret that Lea and Saanjh have thrived owing to several strategic influencer collaborations that have led to the explosive growth of the brand(s). In the age of social media, content is the key to success, and good relationships with the best content creators ensures a sustainable, long-term strategy for organic growth.

What does the future of conscious fashion look like?

The future of conscious fashion, in our opinion, looks less trend-driven, and more focused on timeless style and innovation. We hope to see more brands adopting sustainable practices not only in the raw materials employed but also in the ethical treatment of labour in accordance with the highest industry standards.

somya@khaleejtimes.com

Lea Clothing is taking part in the Numaish Winter Show 2021, from December 10-11 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers


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