For the love of D2C, beautiful things, and the planet- Brandcurry
It was just another day at the (virtual) office. We were on one of those endless, beautiful calls where we spoke about everything- from life to possibilities; streamlining and expansion; hopes and dreams for the future, and plans for the weekend.
Boss-man Pratik is obsessed (like me!) with notebooks and was telling us about this great stationery brand that I had never heard of. Another teammate told us about this brand that repurposes old sarees into shirts and tops. Someone mentioned this brand that was re-defining our experience of coffee, and a brand that had gone entirely plastic-free in their packaging, and another that made fully biodegradable phone cases. I had never even heard of any of these before, and I was almost ashamed that I hadn’t.
I went on to do some research and I found so many beautiful brands that were doing some amazing things and telling great stories. It was only then that I discovered the Direct to Consumer (D2C) model, fell in love with it (like Pratik had already) and learnt everything there is to know about it.
I really am far from brand-conscious in the traditional sense. I used to buy random things I saw online, didn’t think twice about it and that was that. I honestly didn’t care where I bought things from as long as they looked cute or somehow satisfied my never-ending need for retail therapy.
I have realised in the past year though, that I need to become brand conscious. Not in terms of buying vanity things for a lot of money, but in terms of shopping responsibly- knowing where the things I buy come from and what went into making them.
We spend so much money buying stuff that we know so little about. But the damage here is not only to the pocket. It impacts the environment, ecosystems of nature, animals and people. The plastic involved in logistics, children involved in manufacturing, harmful chemicals, unfair trade practices- I don’t know where to stop but I kid you not, rainforests are being wiped out on account of the clothes we wear and things we buy.
Luckily for us (and the planet) there are a lot of sustainable, ethical and minimally exploitive brands that have been founded in the past few years. Most of us just don’t know about them yet.
All the arrows pointed towards a D2C boom in India- just as it did in the US a few years ago, and as SaaS did here recently.
So many D2C brands are doing such wonderful things. They put their customers first, value feedback and constantly deliver high quality, functional products.
The way I saw it, in an ideal world, responsible brands would lead the way, and consumers would follow towards a nicer, more personal, and most importantly- a sustainable, conscious process of making and buying.
Unfortunately, the likelihood is that most of these brands would get lost in marketplaces in the likes of amazon and flipkart, in a sea of mainstream brands and drop shippers. It would be a damn shame to watch them be reduced to small pictures and fake reviews.
Online shopping has become so impulsive, that it is almost robotic. In a matter of a few clicks we can buy things without thinking about it, and we are none the wiser. It has lost the charm, the experience and the excitement.
Brandcurry is our experiment for better eCommerce.
Although it was not something that I had always dreamed of building — Brandcurry quickly became something that needed to be built. We laid the foundations on the need to be a part of the solution, and the opportunity to be able to help.
After nearly a month of having many conversations amongst ourselves, with founders of D2C brands, shoppers, friends, family, and peers- we finally pulled our sleeves up and got to work.
It was insane that it took solid research to find most of the brands we have listed. We realized how important it was to bring responsible brands to the spotlight, to help tell their stories, and make more people fall in love with them, just like we did.
In every decision we have made so far, we have tried to make the experience as personal as possible. We have spent hours in tagging each product and highlighting the features ourselves. From the stories we write to the brands we feature- Brandcurry is designed to make it easy for people to make conscious choices about the things they buy.
We have created an experience where people can come and discover beautiful, functional products from sustainable and ethical brands. An experience that is less robotic and more human. No, humane.
Now and Next
It took a long time for our little idea to grow into the platform that is today. It took many hours (read months) of curating brands, building the directory, decisions and doubt, design and redesign, development, and constant tweaks in pursuit of perfection. Now, while it may not be perfect, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and I could not have asked for a better team to create Brandcurry with.
Today, Brandcurry houses over 80 handpicked brands and features over 150 products. While it may not be the same as (the illusion of) having 100,000 choices, it certainly showcases the better and best choices. Oh, our members will soon get exclusive deals on our platform :D
Looking ahead, we are toying with a few ideas and struggling to pick our battles. There are so many experiments waiting for us, and so much potential- we are just not sure where to start! I’m not complaining one bit though. These are great problems to have at the start of what looks like a beautiful journey, and we are excited for the ride.
If you have ideas or want in on the action, get in touch!