Something fishy bout Mayu bags
Mayura Davda-Shah, 27, was pursuing her graduate degree in Boston, USA, where she lived for the better part of a decade, when she took a trip to Iceland in November 2015 with her friends. Little did she know that her experience would lead her to build a start-up venture that boasts of its eco-friendly nature. “Passing the local markets of Reykjavík, I came across these beautiful small leather goods and I was intrigued by the way they looked and felt. When I inquired, I learnt it was made from fish skin and salmon leather,” says Mayura. She adds, “In the Nordic region, the concept of using fish leather to keep warm or make shoes is about 5,000 years old. Fish skin waste is a byproduct of the fishing industry,” says Mayura.
Born and brought up in Solapur, Maharashtra, a place known for its abundant fresh catch, Mayura took her piscatorial fascination to creating wallets and clutches out of fish skin waste in her brand — Mayu. But what is it? Mayura explains, “Fish is caught and sent to fish processing houses, but before the filets are cut and packaged, the skin needs to be descaled in most cases. Salmon is one such fish. That is what gets converted into leather in tanneries in Iceland and Germany. The fish processing unit and the tannery operate side by side so as to further minimise waste.”
Inspired to bring this exotic, yet sustainable look to fashion, she decided to bring this concept to India. However, her ambition was met with a rude halt. “When I visited places in India that are known for leather manufacturing, I realised the waste water that comes out of the industry, the affluent system and the working conditions of employees were not pleasant, to say the least. I had to decide between putting up a tannery and beginning operations from level zero or just sticking with designing products and outsourcing the material. I chose the latter,” she says. The benefits of designing, she adds, also had higher margins and value addition to the fashion label.
Mayura’s specialty lies in her claim that in the entire process of making her ethical statement, no fish is ever killed in the making of these products. “This is a green product because we are not killing fish for the skin,” she affirms, adding, “We are using parts that would go into the bin. The high-end, ultra-luxury brands of today use hide of animals that may be endangered, which we are not doing.” Their current line of products uses salmon and wolfish, because “visually the skins looked the best”. She adds, “The kind of look people demand from a water snake skin or python is what salmon skin closely resembles. Wolfish has spots and just like our fingerprints, no two fish skins are alike,” she adds.
And so, with the fish leather being imported from tanneries in Germany and Iceland, she began manufacturing the finished goods in a “zero waste” facility in Chennai. Keeping ‘sustainability’ in check, Mayura claims to not exceed 1,000 wallets and clutches, in terms of output.
While she is still awaiting certification by B-Corp and Positive Luxury (globally recognised sustainable fashion certification) Mayura has already conceptualised and started work on her next venture. “There is a certain section of the market that is looking at animal-free products. My next collection is on vegan products, which is made out of plant and fruit waste,” she says. The waste material from plants, resembling textile and leather texture, she adds, is procured from a company in London, UK.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- NBA coaches' casual dressing, during the league at Walt Disney World in Florida, inspires basketball coaches across America to eschew the traditional game day attire of coats, ties and dress slacks in favour of polos, quarter-zips and warmup pants as comfort over style becomes the new fashion trend
- Khushi Kapoor is currently holidaying in Delhi and giving us winter wardrobe inspiration. The 20-year-old has been spotted wearing a lot of delicate crop sweaters and wide-legged pants.
- Nora Fatehi, who is currently holidaying in Dubai, has been serving us some royal looks lately. Her recent statement-making kaftan dress is fit for a queen and we love it.
- Anne Hathaway forgoes the traditional red carpet premiere of her film ‘Locked Down’ but treats fans to a slew of luxurious looks in three dazzling metallic gowns from Vivienne Westwood, Versace and Azzaro and we can’t stop swooning
- Samantha Akkineni recently slayed in a denim midi dress at the promotions of her upcoming web series, The Family Man. The actor flaunted her enviable curves in the distressed bodycon outfit.
- Manish Malhotra encourages men to experiment with colours this wedding season, nails a dapper magnificent look in a purple textured sherwani with a bold animal emblem and a pair of white pants and we are in awe
- Gauahar Khan shared images of herself looking absolutely stunning in a sweater worth ₹2k and pyjamas along with husband Zaid Darbar. The fashionista can slay any outfit and these images are proof.
- Want to look your 'vinatge best' on a date night with bae this winter? Sonam Kapoor Ahuja sorts fashion woes on how to sizzle up some romance and make a steamy monochromatic statement like she does in a sultry black velvet dress from Anand Ahuja's Bhaane. Read on for styling cues
- Want to make a fashion statement in office while sticking to an easy fit no-fuss garment? Look no further as Bhumi Pednekar sorts your fashion woes with her radiant look in a dirt yellow and beige jumpsuit that is sure to steal all the spotlight at work
- 13-time PGA Tour winner, Justin Thomas was dropped as an ambassador by the fashion brand Ralph Lauren on Friday, after the golfer was caught uttering a homophobic slur last Saturday during a tournament.
- For Makar Sankranti celebrations at her home, Aditi Rao Hydari wore a breathtakingly beautiful anarkali suit that featured an exquisite floral print.
- Karisma Kapoor exudes the richness of sartorial traditions as she nails work from home fashion in a vibrant ready-to-wear handmade midi dress, in romantic pink hue, by Anita Dongre and we are smitten
- Sonam Kapoor Ahuja proves to be ahead of the fashion curve yet again as she looks like a dream while flaunting a sensual and generous silhouette in Stephane Rolland’s Imperial China inspired gown, ravishing pictures set the Internet ablaze
- Milan Fashion Week 2021: Though Dolce & Gabbana have withdrawn from the four-day men's fashion event, brands like Fendi, Etro and Kway are opting to broadcast live shows while Ermenegildo Zegna, Tod's, Prada and Church's have opted for pre-records as rising Covid-19 cases dampen the buzz in Italy