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Made in Nepal – The EkSayeAth Story

August 19, 2013 , by Supriya Rai, 1 Comment
Made in Nepal – The EkSayeAth Story » My Dreams Mag

From inception to actual completion, all the steps, all the materials, all the processes that go into manufacturing this t-shirt line is local. When the market is flooded with the stereotypical T-shirt prints of Swayambhu eyes and Nepal flags, the brand’s fresh perspective and narrative offers discerning customers something original and completely new.


When Kushal Vaidya returned from the states after completing his studies, the 108 project had already gone through labor pains and needed just that final push.

Shrijit Rajbhandari, Uttam Gurung and Salil Kumar Thakuri who made up the initial Eksayeath team, had already laid solid foundations for the brand. Countless reshuffles and reorganizations, endless doubts and debates had though, unfortunately, led them to an impasse. Something still felt a bit amiss.

As Rajbhandari, the Creative Head of 108 likes to put it, Vaidya’s appearance in the scene proved to be the missing link that finally “pulled them together.” Under the new CEO‘s helm, this independent t-shirt brand steered towards actualization. Soon afterwards, the label conspicuously launched its virtual outlet on October 8th last year, 10.8.

Eksayeath – where “ek” stands for one thing, “sunnya” stands for nothing and “aath” represents infinity – is a sacred number across many eastern religions, traditions and practices.

Perhaps then the namesake is apt, for the brand embraces religions, culture and customs of Nepali society wholeheartedly. In fact one of the primary motives behind the establishment of this label was to promote and restore the significance of our culture among the disenchanted younger generation.

Eksayeath

 

At 108, distinctly Nepali elements are compacted in cool graphics and printed on 100% cotton tees, which are then packaged and presented in a locally produced bio degradable cotton bag. Dhaka, Maacha Bhyaguta and Flag are the current bestsellers at their online store www.eksayeath.com and retail outlet partner Atelier and Lipsy at Naxal. 

When the market is flooded with the stereotypical tshirt prints of Swayambhu eyes and Nepal flags, the brand’s fresh perspective and narrative offers discerning customers something original and completely new.

Currently the folks at 108 are adding new designs to their growing line of unique tees. Vaidya keenly points out that they have also been working on finding ways to “add value” to their products- their tags these days come with peel off stickers- and ensuring attention to details is paid.

We do not wish to grow quantitatively so much as qualitatively. Ultimately our brand does not compete for customers only in Nepal but also in H.K., China, Australia, U.S., U.K. and more. So quality is key,” admit the duo. 

1Affordability and accessibility is another major concern for the team. The tees were priced at Rs. 899 to begin with, but a cheaper range is now available at Rs. 600, and the higher range can set you back by Rs. 950.

On the reason for tees being the hero of their label, Rajbhandari had this to say, “Tshirts are popular as they are stylish, comfortable and accessible, all the while retaining the ability to reflect the wearer’s personality and attitude. On top of that, as a designer I feel that they can serve as a good canvass for my art.” 

No wonder then that 108 has found its niche market among cool urbanites who have an affinity with Nepal.

Possibly the gist of this homegrown brand to t-shirts could also be put down to its “local” aspect. From inception to actual completion, all the steps, all the materials, all the processes that go into manufacturing this t-shirt line is local. 

Surprisingly the quartet claim that the standard lack of infrastructures, political disturbances, financial conservatism etc. that make entrepreneurship in Nepal challenging were only minor hurdles compared to the big one – societal attitudes. The most belaboring and frustrating challenges they confess were caused by the lack of professionalism, ethically shaky business practices, insufficient commitment to quality assurance and faltering work ethic. These were and are their daily battlegrounds.

Therefore the group of entrepreneurs at 108 makes a conscious effort to move away from these kinds of practices. The motivation for them is to become the brand that ensures professionalism, constant vigilance, product development, quality control and good customer service; one that is synonymous with change.

It is perhaps this refreshing attitude that has earned EKsayeath loyal customers here and around the world. Not to mention helped them land corporate clients like Thompson Nepal, Kantipur Publication, and ODC Entertainment, to name a few. They create customized tees and polo shirts for branding purposes and limited edition promotional tees for specific events. Like for Kanchan Burathoki’s Ukus-Mukus art exhibition. Read our story on Ms. Burathoki here:

http://mydreamsmag.com/article/ukus-mukus-over-kathmandus-art/

Not bad for a company less than a year old, especially one that mainly sustains on word of mouth generated business.

The wish-list of the company today has exactly two entries.

First, an independent retail outlet, and second, its own manufacturing plant. These two goals and a stronger presence on the international market is what the foursome of 108 is toiling towards.

It is very important that we support local brands and local industries. Nepali brands do have the capability to compete in the international market. The resources are waiting to be tapped: all we lack is the support,” concludes Vaidya passionately.

Rajbhandari concurs, “We need to take interest in our own homegrown brands. Give the custom to our local businesses and help the country by supporting Nepali brands.”

 

 

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Image Source: EkSayeAth

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Categorised in: Liefstyle

One comment on “Made in Nepal – The EkSayeAth Story

  1. Chanda says:

    Amazing <3

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