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Building a Brand with Purpose: Kritika Kohli’s Commitment to innovation & Sustainable luxury at Maison Candelé

“Maison Candelé isn’t merely a label. It’s a movement toward a more conscientious and sustainable tech-driven future in luxury fashion.” 

Entrepreneurs Today got the opportunity to get in touch with Kritika Kohli, founder of Maison Candelé, to learn more about her work and how she got started in the fashion industry. 

Kritika Kohli, a former talent from GQ Magazine India and Vivienne Westwood in Paris, has always had an eye for sustainability, haute couture, and tech-driven innovation. Drawing from her expertise and passion, she founded Maison Candelé, a brand that intertwines opulence with eco-consciousness. Her vision for Maison Candelé is poised to expand further into a future that harmonizes luxury, ethics, and innovation.

Kritika’s background

Hailing from Delhi, India, Kritika studied at Mumbai University and received a master’s degree from Parsons School of Design in Paris, France, where her love for fashion and the city’s heritage came together and shaped the foundation of Maison Candelé—a blend of Indian and French culture. 

Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Kritika also consults for companies in India and France, leveraging her expertise to drive impactful change in the fashion and digital spheres simultaneously. 

True calling

Looking back into the past, before she had the idea to build something of her own, she revealed, 

“I recognized the detrimental impact of fast fashion on our planet and envisioned a brand that marries luxury with sustainability. My inspiration stemmed from a passion for exquisite design coupled with a commitment to reducing the fashion industry’s ecological footprint.”

Kritika further added,

“I recognized a gap in the luxury fashion industry about sustainability. Every brand introduces sustainability practices after the product is already on the market. Still, I wanted to make sustainable decisions and choices from the starting point of the product’s design.”

Maison Candelé’s USP

Maison Candelé’s differentiation within the luxury fashion sector lies in its steadfast allegiance to sustainability without compromising on style or quality. What sets it apart from competitors is its meticulous integration of eco-friendly practices across every facet of production. This encompasses the use of ethically sourced materials, innovative waste reduction techniques, and a commitment to transparency throughout the supply chain. She explains, 

“At Maison Candelé, we source textiles from local textile villages in India around Jaipur and Jodhpur. The dresses are made by highly skilled female artisans in Delhi, India, and Paris, France, depending on the product’s design.”

Crafting exquisite, top-tier clothing that radiates elegance and refinement while upholding minimal environmental impact, Maison Candelé distinguishes itself through its dedication to innovative design methodologies, emphasizing the creation of timeless pieces over fleeting seasonal trends. 

By offering exclusive, limited-edition collections, the brand creates a sense of exclusivity and individuality for its clientele, further setting it apart within the competitive landscape.

Navigating challenges 

As with every entrepreneur, Kritika too had to encounter a series of challenges while founding Maison Candelé, each demanding thoughtful solutions to align with the brand’s vision of sustainable luxury. She shares, 

“Sourcing ethically sound, high-quality materials posed a significant hurdle, demanding extensive research and partnerships with suppliers sharing the same eco-conscious ethos. The delicate balance between sustainability and luxury craftsmanship demanded innovative approaches.”

Moreover, educating consumers about the inherent value of sustainable fashion within a market largely swayed by fast trends proved to be another obstacle. This required, 

“Strategic storytelling and branding emerged as essential tools to convey the brand’s mission, emphasizing not just the allure of luxury but also the ethical backbone of each creation. ”

Additionally, reconciling the potential cost disparities associated with sustainable practices while maintaining competitive pricing added complexity to the equation. While navigating these challenges didn’t come easy, it helped to have meticulous planning and collaborations with like-minded artisans and experts in place, along with an unwavering commitment to adaptability. 

Achievements so far

Kritika Kohli’s yardstick of Maison Candelé’s success includes a comprehensive framework. The brand meticulously tracks and minimizes its environmental footprint through innovative strategies like waste reduction, eco-conscious material sourcing, and carbon emissions reduction.

Kritika also believes that customer engagement serves as a crucial metric, which should be gauged through satisfaction rates and feedback from their clientele.

Some of the major accomplishments till now are pioneering advancements in sustainable fashion, impactful collaborations, specific milestones in reducing environmental impact, and positive recognition in French media for its commitment to sustainability and innovative design. 

Interviewer: What does success mean to you personally, Kritika?

Kritika: “Success, for me, resides in a harmonious blend of financial prosperity, environmental stewardship, industry acclaim, and unwavering adherence to the brand’s ethos when it comes to sustainability.”

Plans ahead

Kritika’s future plans for Maison Candelé revolve around global expansion while intensifying its dedication to environmental responsibility. She aims to enhance accessibility to sustainable luxury by innovating scalable production methods that maintain the brand’s high quality and ethical sourcing standards. 

Interviewer: How do you plan to achieve this?

Kritika: “Collaborations with artisans and technology experts will facilitate the development of cutting-edge eco-friendly materials and processes.”

Maison Candelé’s focus also includes ongoing consumer education about the significance of sustainable fashion through engagement initiatives and transparent storytelling, fostering a community deeply committed to ethical consumption. The brand aims to set new industry standards by leading initiatives that redefine luxury, infusing it with heightened eco-consciousness. She notes,

“Strategic partnerships, possibly with other sustainability-driven brands or initiatives, could further propel Maison Candelé’s mission to create a more sustainable fashion landscape. I envision a future where Maison Candelé serves as a beacon, inspiring not just style but also a global movement toward responsible, elegant fashion, achieved through an unwavering dedication to innovation, collaboration, and ethical principles.”

Lessons learned

Kritika Kohli gleaned crucial lessons throughout her journey in founding Maison Candelé. Key takeaways revolve around resilience amidst challenges, unwavering commitment to personal values in a competitive industry, the potency of innovation in blending luxury with sustainability, and the importance of fostering a community rooted in shared ethical principles. She also reminds everyone how important it is to stay persistent. 

“Many times, difficult situations occurred that made me question my risky decision to start a business on my own, but I kept moving forward and slowly started getting recognition for my work.”

Note from the founder:

“Remember that it’s mostly purpose-driven businesses that thrive. So, it’s important to understand and believe in the mission of your venture, as this passion will sustain you through obstacles. Embrace challenges as learning opportunities, and remain adaptable and open to evolving strategies. Lastly, forge ahead fearlessly and create a business that not only succeeds financially but also makes a positive impact on the world.”

Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
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