“Shoes are a girl’s best friend” and this saying holds true for most women. Shoes complete the look and have the ability to add the right amount of oomph to your attire. Footwear conveys a lot about your style and personality. And while many brands offer a huge variety of glam shoes, Shweta Nimkar is making footwear comfortable and stylish at the same time with her brand PAIO.
As a vegan footwear brand, PAIO endeavor to experiment with new materials and fabrics with each collection, committed to offering you quality, cruelty-free, and sustainable products.
In an exclusive conversation with ‘The Hans India’, Shweta shares about her brand and new collection ‘Coconut’. Let’s have a look into it.
What inspired you to start PAIO?
A keen interest and love for designs, sustainable alternatives and fashion are what pushed me to launch PAIO. The brand as a whole is based on the fundamentals that ‘fashion need not come at the price of a life’. Keeping this in mind, we ensure all our products are cruelty-free, Vegan and a step towards sustainability. As a PETA-approved brand, we pride ourselves on our ability to create beautiful, eclectic designs that are not only fashionable but also ethical.
Tell us about your journey and challenges as a women entrepreneur?
It’s been a challenging, and yet fruitful journey. As with each business, we faced new hurdles and experiences with each new collection, expansion and growth. A particular challenge I faced in my early years was trying to convince vendors across India to take a chance on a young 25-year-old in building her vision of a cruelty-free, sustainable footwear brand.
What is the new ‘Ecoture Collection’ about, and what is ‘Cococut’?
As a vegan footwear brand, we at PAIO endeavour to experiment with new innovative materials and fabrics with each collection; committed to offering you quality, cruelty-free, and sustainable products. After many many months of research and due diligence, we recently introduced ‘COCOCUT’, a collection line made from coconut extracts. This assortment is the first and newest member of our ‘Ecoture’ range and is also a product of an extraordinary process of coconut water fermentation.
The highlight of this collection undeniably stands to be the textured material and its process, as it is organic and eco-friendly. While the material is biodegradable and compostable, the process of making it is equally sustainable with extracts being acquired from agricultural waste.
Has the demand for vegan footwear always been what it is now?
I believe the demand for vegan footwear has drastically increased over the last 5 years. I remember the time when just a few brands were exploring making products/footwear in the vegan/sustainable sector. With the pandemic, advancement in sustainability and the reach today through news and media, consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the adverse effects of leather, leather pollution and waste generated through the fashion industry. They are now more mindful of their choices, looking for sustainable alternatives and stand by brands that offer transparency yet fashion.
What do you think is the future of vegan fashion?
The term ‘vegan’ is broadly used to describe any product manufactured without using any animal skin or animal by-products. With more consumers aware of the harmful effects of the leather industry, they are researching and choosing brands that offer more sustainable, cruelty-free alternatives. This conscious approach and lifestyle change will ensure that companies are accountable and ready to embark upon a change. Veganism may have begun as a fad, which became a trend. It is now not only fashionable but, on its way, to becoming a ‘Classic’.