Deivee is an Indian based fitness clothing brand that believes in ethical practices and empowers Indian women to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about their amazing story, or view their Eco-Friendly products.
In case you didn't know, Yoga was born in Northern India over 5,000 years ago (many locals are still passionate about its practice today) and Westerners flock to the country to find their zen. Yet, according to Deivee founder Darshan, modern yoga wear is simply not made for Indian women. He realized this fact long ago: “Indians had very different body types, environment and very different sensibilities in comparison to the western world. And, there was no brand catering to these nuances.” She felt like “everything in the market [was] designed for the west and just pushed down our throats.”
So, like any other serious business, Deivee was created to solve a problem.
In addition to a need for active wear that fits and feels good, Deivee responded to a desire for eco-friendly clothes that are all too rare in the infamously polluting textiles industry. So, the company quickly turned to organic and sustainably manufactured fabrics. They had the revelation that they could not help empower women while simultaneously sustaining the exploitative treatment of female workers taking place across Indian farms and factories in the supply chain. So, the brand also joined forces with Fairtrade India, and became the standard-bearing brand that they are today.
Faire was lucky enough to ask Darshan a few questions about Deivee's journey, and his background. We hope you enjoy learning about them as much as we did!
What do yoga and healthy living mean to you?
Yoga for me personally is something I learned as a child and had long forgotten. It has now come back into my life and helps me remain sane in this journey of being an entrepreneur. And yoga for me is much more than just an exercise, it is a spiritual journey.
What drove you to start your business?
I have been a serial entrepreneur and am always excited about the opportunity to make a larger impact. In the past, I used to organize marathons and sports events, so being part of something larger than oneself is something that makes me tick.
Who are your employees or your artisans?
I have an all-women team as I believe if Deivee (pronounced “deh-vee”––which means goddess) has to be true to its name and propose I should be empowering women everywhere, internally and externally. We also have speech and hearing impaired weavers weaving for us.
What impact has your business had on your community?
The business is in the early days as we have been operating for just a year so I really can't quantify the impact. But, I do know that our production partners employ lots of people and our Fair Trade pricing gives many people a good livelihood. Even our rural artisans who weave mats are currently able to keep the art form alive only because of our orders. These artisans had mostly quit weaving and gone on to do other manual labour jobs at farms and construction sites. We are helping in a small way to keep this art of hand-looming alive.
What was the most difficult part of starting and running your business?
I believe the most difficult part of our ethical business is consumer education and fundraising. No one really cares about making a difference. VC's [venture capital sources] only care about profit and the public only cares about cheap prices. We live in a time where one is happy to go dine in a fancy restaurant and leave a 500 buck tip, but would then bargain hard with a local vegetable vendor and try to get some free chilies or lemons. So, educating and making it all work is challenging. And, in developing economies like India, it is even harder.
What has been the most rewarding outcome of your business?
Well, the most satisfaction I get is when I receive customer reviews and emails expressing gratitude for solving their problems. And, when we see our weavers and factory workers expressing gratitude, that too feels great.
What is your company's mission?
I personally believe that if the women of the house are fit, then the whole family will be fit and in turn, the whole community will be fit. So the vision for our company is to make the world a healthier place one woman at a time.