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Clothing brand Tura Turi delivers sustainable fashion that makes ‘stories come alive’

Tura Turi is a homegrown brand founded by Mumbai-based sisters Payal and Priyanka Bhattacharya in 2015. The brand is ambitious about representing Indian prints and motifs through the best quality of muslin; a soft, comfortable fabric that is at the center of all their creations. They design and create outfits for kids and adults alike, which also include matching prints for the family.

The concepts of storytelling, along with motherhood and sustainability are deeply embedded into the brand’s ethos. By designing all their creations in-house, from scratch, the sisters aim to deliver fashion that is fresh, vibrant, and that thoughtfully makes “Stories Come Alive.”

Excerpts from an exclusive interview with the founders – 

What makes Tura Turi different from the rest?

“The women and children’s market is extremely saturated today and if you’re an avid shopper or an avid Instagram user, you will see how so many smaller brands and labels start looking similar.”

The brand’s USP is its design, which is created with utmost originality and authenticity. This essentially sets them apart from their competitors who might have designs that have already had their run in the world of fashion retail. They add, “If you have a Tura Turi print, be rest assured that you’re not going to see it anywhere else.”

Our brand is led by our motherly instincts before our business goals. We are mothers first and want to create clothing that is comfortable and wearable for our children. “Only once our kids ‘approve it’ does it go into actual production… Our target audience is every new parent who will try Tura Turi for her newborn, and then keep coming back to us year after year, so the brand can grow with her baby.”

Tell us about your market presence?

Even though Tura Turi is fairly new in the market, we currently retail on our website www.turaturi.com, and ship all over the world.  We have taken a conscious decision to not be in too many marketplaces too soon. We are two mothers who believe in nurturing and growing our brand sustainably.

What are your plans for growing the brand in the near future?

Online Presence:

“We love the dynamism and equality that the online world offers. With an online store, we can reach shoppers in any remote corner of the world. It is also an extremely equitable space where a small website run out of Bombay has access to the same digital real estate as a behemoth like Amazon. The internet has been a great leveler allowing start ups to meet their target audiences with very little set up costs”

Brick-and-mortar:

“Both of us (Priyanka and Payal) often dream of a cozy store; a place that is not just about shopping, but also about cakes, coffee, books, and activities for little children and a happy space for young mums who want to shop while their kids have something fun to do as well. Given that we are Mumbai girls, our first and flagship store would always have to be somewhere in Mumbai.”

What is your omnichannel and marketing strategy?

At present, we have consciously chosen to retail solely through our website www.turaturi.com because it helped us retain total control of our sales, returns, and growth. But as we are growing we need to expand to other marketplaces as well. We are currently in talks with various other online marketplaces so you can expect to see a lot more of Tura Turi soon.

Like any other D2C brand, we reach out to the majority of our customers through social media and our website. We’ve built such a strong group of clients over the years that we get a lot of new customers through referrals from mums who love and use our products. The mom’s networks are amazing and we love to keep in touch with them.

Our clothing starts from Rs 750 and goes up to Rs 3000. We have kept our pricing very competitive and affordable because we want everyone to be able to access it. So apart from word of mouth, we also work with other agencies that support our brand through advertisements and assist us in building the brand further.

What is the major customer value proposition of Tura Turi?

  • Natural, sustainable products:

We only use products that are natural and sustainable. Cotton is at the center of all our clothing and we ensure to source and use only the top quality, sustainable kind. The buttons of our kurtas are made out of coconut shell and we use paper and cloth packaging extensively. As much as possible, we try to keep our products as fuss-free and as environmentally friendly as possible.

  • Mom-led brand:

This might sound like a fancy marketing term, but it means so much more. A regular brand might sell you a great-looking lehenga for Diwali, but your daughter will never wear it because the zari work is scratchy.

A mom-led brand like Tura Turi will know exactly what a child likes or wears in terms of collars, sleeves, fabric, etc. Our brand is about clothes that not just look great, but feel great.

  • Focus on Indian art and folklore:

Every print we create tries to tell a story. We take inspiration from well-known and not so well known Indian folk art, in an attempt to make it more accessible to children.

For example, instead of a simple animal print, our tiger print would be based on say ‘Bhil art.’ So while the child wearing the outfit is thrilled that he has a tiger print on his kurta, he is also getting exposed to an art form from his country that he would have otherwise only seen in books.

Expansion Plans

The brand primarily started as a baby store selling muslin swaddles and blankets for newborns. Founders say, “The quality of our muslin/malmal got great feedback from mothers who often wrote to us asking for clothes in the same material and prints. It was a natural pivot for us and we test-launched a few kurta-pajamas just for newborns to age 5, which was a huge hit.”

They add, “Each expansion at Tura Turi has been customer-led. We almost have a 35% returning customer rate which keeps us on our toes. Suddenly mothers of babies who had used our swaddles and baby kurtas were demanding the same for their older kids, then for their husbands and themselves.”

Based on their consumer demands, Tura Turi now creates their popular vacation-wears, which includes matching prints and designs for families that want to travel and wear a similar style of clothing that is comfortable and Instagramable!

“Today we make Indian wear and Western wear for newborns to adults. We see ourselves as a Family First Brand – offering something for everyone.”

Emerging Categories at Tura Turi

One of the brand’s founders (Payal) was keen to try out matching kaftans for herself and her daughter, so the company launched its Beach Kaftans collection in early 2022.

On successful sales and positive feedback from the collection, they said, “People loved the idea of matching kaftans for mammas and daughters, so we had to immediately launch matching shirts for boys too. Today we are in the process of expanding the idea of vacation wear. Our newest collection goes beyond just the Beach Kaftan. We have tried to incorporate vacation clothing for all kinds of travel – airports, jungle safaris, an evening out, lounging at a resort, etc.”

Any plans to explore new markets?

“The world is our oyster! However, before we reach out to other markets, we want to fully realize the potential of our homegrown domestic market. It’s a very exciting time to be a retailer in India today. Though the metros drive a huge chunk of our sales, it’s very thrilling that we get online orders from the remotest places in the country. That’s the magic of online retail.”

The brand’s take on sustainability:

The founders of Tura Turi are intent on maintaining a high quotient of sustainability across all verticals of their operations.

“Fashion is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is a huge part of our economy, giving employment and contributing to the economy, and on the other, fast fashion is also a huge culprit and contributes to about 10% of carbon emissions. It’s important for me as a fashion brand, and as a mother to understand this dichotomy.”

Initiatives:

  • We at Tura Turi see tremendous re-use of our clothes. If your child wears a soft malmal kurta for Diwali, he can re-use it at a family dinner or playdate (It is difficult to do that if the clothing is not comfortable). Soon, that kurta can also be used as nightwear for your child, because malmal cotton only keeps getting softer.
  • One simple decision of making a festive kurta in soft, natural materials with minimal embellishments (that might poke or scratch or irritate the child) has led to our garments being re-used many more times and has delayed its entry into the landfill. And once in the landfill, it is a natural fiber that leaves no micro-plastics in its wake.
  • Opting for natural fibers at times creates issues when it comes to colour fastness, printing, etc. In moments like these, opting for synthetic fabrics are a much cheaper and quicker way to go. But our conscience as mothers kicks in and we soldier on with our best quality cottons.

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