“Thousands will kill for your job” – Prateek Kayan had that kind of job. A banking job in New York meant a lifestyle of glamour and comfort.
Except it wasn’t the case for Prateek.
I knew that my heart lay in fashion. Each day, in New York, reminded me of that. Yet leaving a cushy banking job wasn’t easy, but I’m lucky that I was able to gather the courage, move back home to Kolkata and begin working on my dream.
Prateek uprooted his entire life and moved back to his hometown, Kolkata, to chase his dreams.
Hence, Brown Boy was born. Prateek calls it the “World’s Healthiest & Happiest clothing brand”, and it’s easy to see why.
Launched in 2014, Prateek was careful not to fall in the trap of venturing into the more profitable unsustainable fast fashion market.
It was learning at every step and it still continues. It was at that point that I saw the dark reality of the trade. Among other things, it was the trend of unsustainable fast fashion encouraging modern-day slavery that pushed me to start a new discourse. I chose to not follow the herd into an unethical supply chain, breeding insatiable greed, and instead started a brand which redefines fashion in a sustainable way.
The problem of current cotton usage has also been taken note of:
Cotton covers 2.5 per cent of the world’s cultivated land, yet it accounts for 25 per cent of the world’s insecticide market and 10 per cent of global pesticide sales, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet
The use of pesticides are truly detrimental in the long-run, as they get washed away into water bodies. Pesticide residue can lead to truly devastating effects due to their carcinogenic properties and various other health issues.
In turn, Brown Boy takes up the responsibility of ensuring that their clothes are made up of 100% organic cotton.
Brown Boy clothes are completely organic, cruelty-free, chemical-free and sustainable, making them truly the healthiest clothing brand out there.
Prateek ensures that his team works under proper, fair, and non-hazardous working conditions with his mission to end ‘modern-day slavery’ that is unfortunately prominent in the fast fashion industry.
They are not just my team, but my family and its important to take care of your family. And, that’s why even the colour dyes used are not made of hazardous materials like pesticides, nickel, lead or other heavy metals, that can harm them while working.
Instead of exploiting workers, Prateek ensures that he treats his team members as fellow human beings.
In fact, Brown Boy has also been aptly awarded the title of “The World’s Healthiest and Happiest Apparel Brand” for their efforts in fair compensation and the belief that “happy people make ‘happy clothes’.”
With much uncertainty and going into the unpredictable fashion industry, Prateek knowingly went into an uphill challenge.
Owing to crowdfunding efforts, Prateek was able to raise enough funds to kick-start his business.
Today, it has catapulted into the spotlight, where his clothes have been donned on by various Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities such as Robert Downey, Jr. and Hrithik Roshan:
It would have been much easier for Prateek to simply turn to fast fashion: employees are cheaper, losses can be made up more quickly, and there was generally much more time for trial and error.
Yet it is Prateek’s consistency in his sustainable efforts that have led him to create such a meaningful brand. The success of his clothing signifies the appreciation of his efforts and that many others resonate with his brand.