In a conversation with ICE Business Times, Manish Chauhan, Chairman of Noize Jeans and Co-Founder of LoveGen Bangladesh, Anurag Chauhan, Managing Director of Noize Jeans and Co-founder of LoveGen Bangladesh and Don Sumdany, Managing Director of LoveGen Bangladesh, talk about the growth and future of Noize Jeans, and LoveGen, its sister concern. Noize Jeans’ sustainable production design enables them to offer fast fashion to international buyers at globally competitive prices. Its sister concern, LoveGen is establishing brand identity through Blue Ocean Strategies.
How did you decide to open a manufacturing unit for Noize Jeans in Bangladesh?
Anurag Chauhan: I was working for a company in India. They asked me to move to Bangladesh for a job which I accepted.I came to Bangladesh in the year 2000 and I saw great potential in the rising garment industry in the country. Being quite well-versed and experienced in the garment industry myself, I thought if I had to do something of my own, this this is the right place because of its endless opportunities. We saw a gap in a market; there were barely any trendy fast-fashion products being manufactured in Bangladesh and thus In 2004, Manish Chauhan and I decided to start our own business.
How has the company evolved over time?
Anurag Chauhan: We started as a garment trading company. We met with a few customers who were happy to work with us, and we started trading with them. Over time we gained the confidence of the customers and built a good rapport with them. Our partnership worked well and all the moving parts fell into place. But in 2008, we had a setback during the Global Financial Crisis.The both of us then proceeded to focus on fashion production in Bangladesh. Our aim was to produce fashion products with the likes of China, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. We decided to focus on denim because it is versatile and a lot can be done with it. That’s when we founded Noize Jeans. We conducted a lot of research, invested in R&D, studied the global market and understood the fast fashion format. We then proposed to global fast-fashion brands that we can supply them with fashion denim from Bangladesh. After a few trial runs, their reception was very positive and today, we are the biggest supplier of denim in Bangladesh.
Although we were already trading denim, we had to evolve further and do a lot of R&D. We needed to do own manufacturing because we did not want to rely on third parties. We formed an association with our local partner, Shyan Zubair, and started in-house production. With continued effort, today we are one of the best factories in Bangladesh producing sustainable fashion denims.
Besides producing jeans for some of the biggest apparel brands in the world, Noize has its own label. Can you please tell us about your production capacity?
Anurag Chauhan: Right now, we are producing close to 1.5 million pairs of jeans per month. We are expanding our production capacity to 2.5 million pairs of jeans per month. The majority of the production is going to the brands we work with. We have our own brand called LoveGen which is very new, and we haven’t reached those numbers yet. We hope that in 5 to 10 years, we will be there, but for now, the majority of productions are for other brands.
Could you share some information about Noize Design Studio?
Anurag Chauhan: We opened Noize Design Studio in 2016 in Spain to facilitate our buyers. Most of our customers are from Europe, so we wanted to set up a design studio in a location where our buyers could visit us, and we would be able to present them all the latest designs we have worked on. Every 10 days or so, buyers visit the design studio, where they can see the latest designs, consult with our designers and explore the latest trends in the fast fashion industry. This process is working very well for us, and it is one of the reasons why our buyers keep placing trust in our styles.
Fast fashion and sustainability often appear to be conflicting ideas. However, Noize has been able to offer both. How have you been able to achieve that?
Manish Chauhan: By the time we started, sustainability in designing and production had become a key factor for consideration for buyers. As a result, we built our production facilities centred around sustainability. Not only does this minimise the impact on the region’s environment, it also helps improve our brand image and recognition. The way we source our raw materials and design our production facility, our carbon emissions are 50% less than the competition, and our water consumption is 70% more efficient. Conventional methods of washing 1 pair of jeans consumes 80 to 100 litres of water. Our goal is to achieve zero-waste production, that is, no carbon emissions, and no water discharge. Our aim is to achieve this over the next 4 years. We firmly believe that it is our responsibility to do our part for a better tomorrow.
Anurag Chauhan: Most of the brands we work with are environmentally conscious. During our meeting with our buyers, we propose designs with sustainability in mind. Additionally, we use organic materials, and ensure that 70% to 80% of our materials are recycled. We are also now in the process of converting old and rejected denims into yarn and fabric and reusing it. So, while there are more garments, our dedication to reusing and recycling everything minimises the impact we have on the environment.
You have launched your own brand, LoveGen. Could you tell us how LoveGen came to be?
Manish Chauhan: When Anurag and myself started this journey, we invested a lot in research and analysis. As a result, we excelled in three things; design, faster lead times, and amazing prices. Our confidence in our strength was further solidified by the positive reception of our customers. Most of their bestsellers were coming from us. This is when we realised that we should start our own brand as the market was already attracted to most of our products, and we should capitalise on that. And that is how LoveGen came to be.
This one is for Don Sumdany – could you please tell us what inspired you to join LoveGen and what your plans are for the brand?
Don Sumdany: My relationship with Manish and Anurag began through training. I was training the Noize factory team, and at the end of a session one day, Manish and Anurag asked me to join them in a discussion about their new brand called LoveGen. They wanted to break the barriers to entry through an unconventional strategy that would challenge the status quo of fashion in Bangladesh. They wanted me to lead the marketing and sales, while they would do the production and design. I gladly accepted because opportunities like these don’t come knocking every day.
Our plan is to make LoveGen the number 1 fast fashion brand in the country in the next 5 years. With the inspiration of Manish and Anurag, we have come up with a Blue Ocean Strategy to venture into the music industry as a way to promote the brand. We just launched the first LoveGen track with the artist Tanveer Evan. The song is called ‘Hariye’ and within 2 weeks of its release, it got 500,000 organic views.
By working with influencers and musicians, we are able to promote LoveGen content to those who best resonate with the brand. Our collaborative effort with musicians aims to release Bangladeshi artists worldwide. We are in partnership with a studio in India owned by Anshul Garg and Tony Kakkar and we will be releasing a Bangladeshi artist in India next month. We are optimistic that with our marketing strategy, LoveGen has the potential to be the trendiest brand in Bangladesh.
In any business, success largely depends on good collaborations. How would you describe the dynamics of your relationship with Manish Chauhan and Anurag Chauhan?
Don Sumdany: The partnership is very strong and smooth because Anurag oversees the design, Manish sees the production, while I handle the marketing. While we play to our individual strengths, we also sort of have a collective mind. On occasions, Manish and Anurag know that some of my ideas may not hit the target as I envision them, but that insight and feedback makes me take better decisions for LoveGen.
Where do you see the brand in the next 10 years?
Anurag Chauhan: The vision we see for our brand in the future is based on what the youngsters of today are engaging in. They are moving to digital platforms which facilitate exposure to the entire world. They are well informed about what’s happening in the US, Europe and the rest of the world, and they want to experiment and try out new things, especially in fashion. Our idea is to give them fashion that has a global appeal but at prices they can afford. As we travel to different parts of the world, we see that there is a demand for this fashion at this price range. So, we are slowly trying to make the brand global. We are now in discussions with partners in the Middle East, and next we are looking at US and East European countries. So, in 10 years, we will see LoveGen in this sub-continent for sure, but we also wish to see our brand across the rest of the world.