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I really struggled to find good maternity wear: Alia Bhatt

The actor speaks about maternity fashion and the booming conscious kidswear market in India as she launches a range of apparel for infants

Alia Bhatt launched Ed-a-Mamma, a kids clothing brand, in 2020.

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“When I got pregnant, I really struggled to find good maternity wear, especially in India, which allowed me to maintain my sense of style while also being comfortable,” says actor Alia Bhatt. This was one of the reasons she launched Ed-a-Mamma, a kids clothing brand that has expanded to included clothes for teens and maternity wear, in 2020.

As a business, it seems like a good idea. The Indian kids-apparel market size reached $21.1 billion in 2022 and maternity wear was valued at $18.3 billion in 2021. And these numbers have only grown at an average cagr of 4.3% annually, says Iffat Jivan, the business head of Ed-a-Mamma.

The focus of the brand is offering plastic- and waste-free clothes.

Clothes by Ed-a-Mamma
Clothes by Ed-a-Mamma

Ed-a-Mamma caters to children from infancy up till they are 17, which has always been Bhatt's vision. 

In an interview with Lounge, Bhatt talks about her business, and her style journey as a new mother.

What is missing in the kidswear and maternity apparel market?

When I got pregnant, I really struggled to find good maternity wear, especially in India, which allowed me to maintain my sense of style while also being comfortable. Usually, when we think of sustainable clothing, the first thing that comes to mind is expensive clothing. So these were some of the gaps that we felt along the journey that Ed-a-Mamma as a brand has tried to fill. We put our money where our mouth is, and have the conviction to ensure that we walk the talk on every aspect of the business—stylish clothing at affordable prices, making conscious clothing affordable for a wider consumer base.

Tell us about the product curation.

We launched in 2020 with conscious kidswear for four to 12-year-olds because there was a gap for a homegrown brand that straddled both play and care. We subsequently launched EdHeads, a teen clothing offering from the brand. We realised kids over the age of 11 years now dress like adults. They’re the primary decision-makers, they have a say in what they wear and how they wear it. Then there’s maternity wear, which was deeply personal to me. After a couple of months, we introduced nursing-friendly clothing. This collection brings forth the best of fashionable and functional clothing and is designed to be worn even later. And of course, the timing was just perfect for the launch of clothes for infants. Every mother wants what’s best for her baby and that’s really what we’ve tried to address through our new baby-wear line.

The idea of conscious clothing is wide and evolving. What is your checklist for the brand?

I am so proud of the way this brand has shaped up. We are truly a brand that walks the talk; something that's not easy when you run a business and numbers are as important as being true to your vision. Our garments are made from natural fabrics. Our buttons, trims and packaging are plastic-free, and the dyes we use are safe for kids. With every garment, we give away a seed ball, an activity designed to bring children and their parents outdoors. Each seed ball comes in a potli made from scrap fabric, so we’re reducing waste. Our new infant wear collection is soft and gentle on your baby’s skin and is pH tested, so it’s safe for your baby to put in their mouth.

Has your sense of style changed after becoming a mother?

Right through my pregnancy and even beyond, I’ve looked for clothes that allow me to be myself and don’t let me compromise on my sense of style. The maternity and nursing collection have both been very personal to me. Being a young mother myself, I was extremely involved in designs, fabrics, colours and silhouettes. And I’m extremely excited about the outcome and I wear a lot of styles myself (smiles).

Your styling tip for new moms?

Accept and welcome the changes to your body that come with motherhood— embrace all the newfound bumps and curves. Having a baby not only changes the shape of your body but also changes you. I would recommend going in with what allows you to express and be yourself with ease.

Things to keep in mind when you go shopping post-delivery?

I think that you may want to opt for postpartum fits that are nursing friendly but are also thoughtfully and fashionably designed for use post this stage of motherhood too. Clothes that are comfortable, practical and bridge the gap between fashion and functionality, thereby giving your confidence a boost.

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