As covered by Deepa Soman on March 2, 2013
kHadi for the connoisseur
Mini Shibu weaves her life around khadi. Familiar with the warp and weft of the fabric, she designs elegant clothes for the Indian woman.
Khadi as a style statement is no longer a novelty. But when Mini Shibu began to nurture a passion for this garment in the 90s, the scenario was quite different. The possibilities that Khadi offered always fascinated this designer-cum-business woman, who now owns MINC eco fashion – a line of boutiques that offer trendy khadi apparels for the tween age section (teenagers and those in their twenties). While the ride so far has not been trouble free, it certainly was exciting for this passionate fashionista.
“The texture of khadi and the fact that the fabric had not been used to its full potential inspired me to want to experiment with it,” says Mini, who hails from Calicut and graduated from University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad and National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. With a husband (Shibu) in the Indian Navy meant a life of travel for Mini too until 2005, when he opted for voluntary retirement. Opening of MINC store at Sigma mall, Bengaluru in 2007 was the beginning of a dream come true. “I wanted to focus on women’s Indo-Western clothes and design clothes that fit regular Indian women. We also cre-ated an elegant line for senior ladies. I firmly believe that there is no age limit to being stylish,” Mini says.
Her hard work and passion helped her overcome the hurdles posed by the unexplored fabric. “There were issues regarding the availability of khadi in keeping with the latest fashion trends both in terms of colour and print types, sourcing organic cotton, finding the khadi yarns working method-ology, meeting fashion forecast and developing exclusive colours,” she remembers. Thanks to supportive friends and customers, she sailed through smoothly even during recessionary times. It was around that time that she opened her second boutique. “The two boutiques keep me going, ” says Mini as she signs off.
MINC is now located at it’s independent store & studio at: #110, 1st Cross Vivekananda Nagar, near ITC Infotech Park, Bangalore – 560 033