Trends are either created or followed and trendsetters are those who think out of the box to create something which inspire others and make them feel good about it. Umaimah Mendhro is one of those trendsetters who has actually inspired millions of people and have provided them a platform to showcase their creativity.
Hailing from a small village in Pakistan with passion and love for art and knowing the fact that her artistic side won’t make her good money she achieved her Master’s degree in business from Harvard, landing a job at Microsoft. She aimed to revolutionize the textile industry and succeed with her own startup – Vida.
Vida is an e-commerce site, based in San Francisco, bringing together designers and textile manufacturers together on one platform to create items like scarves, blouses & handbags. Vida designers are photographers, calligraphers, textile designers, sculptors, painters and everyone who loves art, all over the world. The vision was to pair technology with textile which enabled designers to design & implement their visions at scale. Vida uses direct-to-fabric digital printing to allow designers to easily send their patterns to textile manufacturers and create clothing in minutes. The theory is simple here, designers submit sketches and patterns to be scanned and digitally printed onto scarves and tops by Vida’s six manufacturers.
Not all textile manufacturers have the ability to print digital designs on high-quality fabric but, Umaimah was lucky enough to find one in Pakistan and has continued to add other manufacturers from India and South America. Before the startup which was launched last December, Vida had raised $1.3 million in seed funding from prominent names like Google Ventures, the Valley Fund, Universal Music Group, Beehive Holdings, Slow Ventures and Jesse Draper.
Promoting & creating ‘fast fashion’ is inspiring more and more designers to work with Vida. At the time of the launch, Umaimah had 200 designers working for Vida, since then she has been able to recruit designers from some of the top fashion magazines: Elle and Vogue etc.
Umaimah is also focusing on the betterment of living conditions and working wages of the workers. Along with the three-month literacy and math education program for workers in factories they produce goods with. Producing efficient and socially responsible fashion is a great step and an effective brick in the wall of creating a difference.
Textile and fashion industry are like bff’s. Since our fashion industry is ascending, textile industry is also booming. Pakistan’s textile industry being the largest manufacturing industry in Pakistan is providing employment to about 15 million people along with contributing 8.5% in the country’s GDP. Combining the forces, a fast fashion trend is setting which is probably the most revolutionized trend so far.