Bini Bajracharya and Her Fashion Venture, ABIR
Bini Bajracharya, a top contestant of EntreprenueHER wowed the judges and audiences alike with her fashion-forward and sustainable venture “ABiR”, which is an environmentally conscious clothing brand that designs men’s and women’s clothing and accessories mainly via natural fabrics and up-cycling. Started in 2019, Bini shares that ABiR is a Newari word for color “Red” which plays a significant role in people’s lives as it represents love, hope, strength, and unity. ABiR was started with a vision to contribute to sustainable fashion and circular economy in Nepal, by creating upcycled clothing and accessories line using the dead stocks and scraps from the fabric markets and warehouses. They create designs by mix-matching fabrics which are available as a dead stock or treated as fabric wastes. And also provide customization services to recycle and upcycle products. They also promote low energy consuming and sustainable natural fabrics made in Nepal like bamboo, cotton, hemp, banana, silk fabrics, which also creates opportunities for the textile artisans and small producers in Nepal.
For Bini, her grandfather was her biggest influencer that drew her to fashion. Her grandfather was into a clothing line, designing clothes for royalties and armies and Bini was intrigued and knew that her calling was in fashion. She first started out with jobs in fashion designing and providing consultation, and slowly creating a sideline for her own business, and finally in 2019 got together with her partners to start ABiR. While her career revolved around fashion from the beginning, she started her drive for sustainable fashion after being a part of the fashion revolution. The fashion industry is one of the biggest carbon emitters, and therefore going for sustainable and slow fashion is imperative. While Bini understood the importance of promoting slow fashion, she also knew that it should be in a way that is acceptable by people at large. Therefore, instead of going for recyclables, which might not always be acceptable by many, especially in Nepal where the concept is fairly new, she went for using upcycled materials and dead stock. Always buzzing with creativity, this also allowed Bini to use her creative forte in bringing forth knit and woven blends, and many other mixes that were needing an outlet.
Taking that plunge to start your own business can be daunting, and the same holds true for Bini. She shares that taking the first step to owning her own brand felt challenging, and the many family members and friends who were doing 9-5 jobs cautioned her against the instability that could come from giving up her job. When she first started her venture there were many obstacles and personal obligations that slowed her down, and starting all over for the second time was even more difficult with added skepticism from people around. Furthermore, Bini always aimed for a collaborative marketplace and she first ventured out to supermarkets for her product placement, and scaling up from there was a big hurdle.
While there were many technical and emotional challenges, Bini always knew that she had the potential to turn it around and that she wanted to contribute to her country. She took lessons from her time in all her previous jobs, about designing and business operations, which helped a lot for her venture and forming her own brand through ABiR. Starting with her own saving, she has now upped her game with ABiR, which now even gives job opportunities to many. Her brand is future-forward, as Nepal is yet to mature into natural and upcycled fashion, but she believes it’s not a very far-off scenario. Meanwhile, ABiR also provides customization services. ABiR is a designer hub where other designers can also launch their business and promote their products. They have collections of crochet, denim, and upcycled bags section by various designers. Bini wanted to provide a space to young designers as she knew how difficult it was to get started.
One of the top contestants of EntrepreneuHER, Bini shares it was great being part of the program and that it helped her pick many nuances of business operations during the incubation session. After her journey at EntrepreneuHER, she has big aspirations for her business, whereby it is a recognized brand in the market for sustainable fashion. She also sees potential to grow and have different businesses showcased within ABiR’s platform, where all aspect of fashion is embedded.
To up and coming wanterpreneurs Bini says “Possibilities are limitless! It is all about your dedication, you must never doubt yourself and never stop doing your thing.’
Find ABiR on instagram: https://instagram.com/abir_designer_hub?igshid=16154vpyp1lot