Organic tee time
An all-woman workforce in Pune is helping change the perception of online shopping and promoting the use of organic materials while saving water too, courtesy e-store SheepStop
SheepStop can easily be branded as a bag of all things good. The platform that was founded by Bhagyashri Dixit, not just falls in the category of brands trying to make a quick buck by online retailing, but also looks at a broader picture of women empowerment and creating a financially sustaining platform for talented artists from across the country.
“I wanted to start something of my own. I also realised that the best online shopping platforms available today lack the fun element that is so central to an activity like shopping and I vowed to get the ‘zing’ into online shopping,” says 31-year-old Dixit.
Business for environment
The entrepreneur shares that the seed to start SheepStop was sowed as a student at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, where she was the president of the Arts and Creativity club. It’s when she realised that artists have a limited market and reach. “So, my aim was to start a business that values artists and their creativity,” she stresses.
In addition, Dixit was firm that she wanted to follow the green path and hence decided to retail tees using only organic material. The e-store offers T-shirts that are produced in a facility in conformance with the Oeko-Tex-100 standards, certifying the T-shirts to be free of any harmful substances. At every stage of cotton growing process for SheepStop tees, toxic chemicals are eliminated. Large quantities of water go into making a single T-shirt. To recycle this, water effluent treatment plants with reverse osmosis system are used.
Power to the woman
SheepStop grows in an environment of an all-woman workforce, some even from underprivileged backgrounds. “We have a team of six women including myself. Although we never planned on having an all-women workforce, it happened by chance. Three are from economically underprivileged families and are the sole earning family members. When they approached us for work, I wanted to give them a chance; they’ve shown tremendous maturity in handling deadlines and work pressure,” avers Dixit.
But, challenges have never failed to crop up. Dixit explains that she wanted to promote organic living and convincing manufacturers to supply tees made using organic yarn, organic dyes and organic processing wasn’t a cakewalk. “Then, we had to identify partners who could screen-print our complex designs using water-based inks that requires printing skills.” Introducing this platform to numerous artists remains a challenge given this is an unconventional earning platform for them.
Log on to www.sheepstop.com