Compassion is Fashion: Indian Entrepreneurs Show the Way

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
December 22, 2013 Updated: December 22, 2013

A cruelty free fashion brand in the south Indian city of Bangalore has given people a compassionate option for style-dressing.

Ethik, one of the very few brands of leather-free shoes in India, with its message of “Compassion is Fashion” has managed to motivate the customers to choose cruelty free products.

The two friends and the brand’s co-creators, Piyush Lunia, 27, and Pankaj Khabiya, 26, came across the idea of starting a leather-free brand of shoes when they were looking for non-leather shoes and went around Bangalore searching.

“It was difficult because whatever non-leather products we came across were not of good quality. A few people tried to trick us, trying to sell leather products as non-leather,” Khabiya said.

Now a year old, Ethik is reaching people who believe in humanity. “I came here because I believe in a non-violent approach to life,” said Vivek S.K, a customer from Chennai city. Sundeep Jain, another customer, said that he purchased Ethik to save animals.

“On every invoice, we thank our customer for saving a life, and we believe that selling more of our products and expanding our business means saving more lives,” Lunia said.

Khabiya believes that leather products are also not spiritually a wise style option: “When an animal is killed and is in pain, it sweats and all the anxiety-enzymes along with sweat accumulate on the skin. When wearing leather, if you go to a temple, the leather doesn’t allow your body to sustain positive energy.”

To bring out the hidden compassion of their customers, the store’s walls are decorated with moral quotes like: “Humans love our products, animals even more…” and “Humane: The art of being morally and intellectually advanced.”

Lunia said that India is the largest producer of leather in the world, and while non-leather products are increasingly available, they are still not so easy to find. 

While youngsters around India are trying to find a harmonious integration between their personal lives and work, these two youngsters with no management education have made a point of being ethically wise from their perspective, in their humble-yet-lucrative style.


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