This Athleisure Company Is Changing The Fitness Game - SATVA Is A WOC Owned Brand That's Passionate About Investing in Organic Agriculture
How many athletic brands do you know of that are both sustainably made and made by a woman of color?
We were so excited to interview Puja Barar, founder of SATVA! Her amazing woman owned, mission-driven athleisure wear brand is primarily made from GOTS certified non-GMO organic cotton. Recently featured in Forbes, Why This Female Founder Is Investing In Organic Agriculture For Her Clothing Startup, this brand truly believes in transparency and a fair trade business model. They work directly with their farmers, eliminating any middlemen and paying them a premium for their crop. The farmers affiliated with this brand uses non-GMO seeds, practice all-natural growing methods, and earn up to 40% more revenue than conventional Indian cotton farmers. They even extend support towards the farmer’s family by sponsoring the education of their daughters!!!
Check out this interview:
When and why did you start Satva? What does the name mean?
I worked at designer fashion houses in New York City, for more than a decade. But something was missing. “Even though I loved what I did, I felt a disconnect in the way these big fashion houses were producing their garments and the values I believed in”. Raised in India, I was well aware of the challenges of the textile industry: heavy use of toxic chemicals, poor treatment of labor, and negative environmental impact. That’s why after having my first child in 2009, I felt compelled to produce a fashion line that was respectful to people and the planet. In 2012, I launched Satva (which means “pure” in Sanskrit), an athleisure brand using organic cotton and GOTS-certified fabrics.
Why is it important to build more sustainable business models within the athletic industry?
We consider our impact at every step towards building a holistic, ethical and harmonious ecosystem that satisfies customers, supports the economic development of impoverished farming communities and improves the global environment. In my mind, this is the only sustainable way to growing your business. We all need to play our role in solving global issues while making meaningful products.
How do you define fair trade?
We built a supply chain, working with organic cotton farmers in India, focusing on certification for our organic clothes. To do so, we settled on the GOTS certification, or Global Organic Textile Standard, which had an increasing audience. Working directly with farmers, we eliminated any middlemen, paying the farmers for their crop instead. Our partner farmers use non-GMO seeds, practice all-natural growing methods, and earn up to 40 percent more revenue than conventional Indian cotton farmers. Given India's history with GMO cotton, and stories of cotton farmers being buried in debt from having to buy new seeds each season, this was an important step for us to ensure that the farmers were fairly paid. In addition, we work with factories that pay living wages to their workers, and are certified with GOTS.
Does your culture/heritage influence your brand? If so, how?
Satva’s logo speaks both to our past and our future. The figure is created from using the historical craft of Indian dot pattern making an artistic process used to create simple symbols for replication into elaborate patterns. The logo’s simplicity of form is inspired by the roots of our company, as its outer shape is inspired by our organic cotton blossoms, while its bold simplicity of shape is modern and forward looking. I grew up in India wearing cotton for both active and leisure. I believe in the goodness it can bring to our lives, lives of others and the environment we live in.
What are the greatest links between agriculture and fashion?
We at Satva believe that you should #dowhatfeelsgood— including feeling good about what you put on your body. https://satvaliving.com/blogs/satva-usa/why-you-should-make-the-switch-to-organic-clothing