Building a sustainable loungewear brand with PR and Community – it’s Krisha Kotak from Tula+Tye (episode 385)

Krisha Kotak is the founder of Tula + Tye, a loungewear brand responsibly made from recycled and organic materials, hand-dyed with eco-friendly dyes, and packaged in recycled and reusable bags. Founded in 2020 it attracted over 600 customers in the first year.

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About Krisha

When Krisha was made redundant at work at the beginning of Covid, she moved back in with her parents. It was there that she learned about the negative press surrounding wages of garment workers at textile factories.

At the same time, because of the lockdown and people working at home, she noticed an increasing demand for loungewear. Bearing in mind what she just found out about the unethical manufacturing of clothes, she consciously started to search for ethically-made tracksuits and quickly found that sustainable clothes brands were either expensive or slightly boring in design.

She talked to her parents, who both worked in the textile industry, and began to research how she can fill the gap by producing sustainable, affordable loungewear.

About Tula+Tye

  • Sells unisex loungewear, t-shirts, and accessories
  • Majority of production is done in Leicester
  • Ships worldwide
  • Started on GoDaddy, but eventually moved to Shopify

Krisha also uses Klaviyo for email marketing and the Syncio plugin for inventory.

The Team

At the moment, Krisha does all the work — from marketing to PR, to social media, and customer service. She also designs the clothes she sells.

What she outsources is the production side of things, because she realized that while she was able to teach herself to tie-dye, she would make better use of her time thinking of how to grow the business.

Krisha adds that an extension of her team is her Instagram community. She says they’re very helpful in terms of giving her honest feedback and research for new products, styles, and colors. She considers them her family.

Building The Tula + Tye Community

Tula + Tye’s Instagram community is crucial to the business, especially since they are the conscious consumers who are making informed decisions and making the effort to buy sustainably.

Krisha finds meaning in connecting with her customers and she listens to their comments and suggestions. This is important for her because she considers them the type of consumers who know the difference between companies that are greenwashing and the brands that are genuinely taking the necessary steps to become sustainable.

Putting In The Extra Work

Making sure that she’s doing everything in a sustainable way is extra work, Krisha admits, but the benefits are there.

And because the foundation of the brand is sustainability, there is a conscious choice on Krisha’s part to stay true to her advocacy. For now, while she says not everything’s perfect, she does what she can to stay sustainable and that’s enough.

The Importance Of PR

Krisha is from a PR background and she says that has been a huge benefit for her.

Knowing people in the industry, speaking to them, and asking them if they were interested to look at and write about Tula + Tye was how Krisha got started and from there, the brand just grew.

For her, PR builds brand awareness and credibility and these are things that are valuable for any company.

Further Reinforcing Sustainability

Krisha is very excited to implement a new production process within the next few months. This will allow all the different stages in production to happen within 3 square miles of Leicester.

She managed to find a local group of factories that will work together to create a transparent supply chain that she can check at any given time. This will not only reduce the carbon footprint but also puts emphasis on supporting local manufacturers.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • For Krisha, traditional PR is still important for building brand awareness and trust with consumers, which will, later on, translate to sales.

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Know when to relinquish control and pass certain parts of the process to someone else. This will give you more hours to focus on actually growing the business, which is what happened with Krisha.

Interview Links

Related Episodes

  • 354: Building a Sustainable Fashion Brand with Partnerships and PR. Gergana from blonde gone rogue
  • 372: Building a lucrative second hand market with Kalkidan Legesse founder of Sancho’s and Owni
  • 373: How Sustainability and Community are super-powering this fashion brand with Katie McCourt from Pantee

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