While being a fashion designer may seem glamorous from the outside, many on the inside will tell you just how challenging it is to bring a collection to life: designers must be equal parts visionaries and project managers, with the ability to harness creativity while syndicating timelines, managing multiple teams, and negotiating with factories. With so many tasks to juggle, it’s no wonder that so many fashion brands flop.
Our guest today on the Electric Runway podcast is Kunal Amalean, the co-founder of Runway Kit. Runway Kit is an end-to-end digital platform that democratizes the design and manufacturing process for fashion startups and design entrepreneurs who want to bring swimwear and activewear collections to life. By leveraging the expertise and facilities of its parent company (MAS Holdings) Runway Kit provides equal opportunity to small to medium fashion enterprises and provides them with everything they need to start-up and scale up.
Transcript from this Episode:
Questions by AC, Amanda Cosco, Founder of Electric Runway
Answers by KA, Kunal Amalean, the co-founder of Runway Kit.
AC: For those who don’t know, who are you and what is Runway Kit?
KA: My name is Kunal, and I am the co-founder of Runway Kit. Runway Kit is an all-in-one platform that provides you with everything you need to start your own swimwear or activewear collection. We empower fashion designers and apparel entrepreneurs by enabling them to streamline processes and manufacture ethical, sustainable collections in ways that are easy and accommodating for small to medium-sized businesses.
AC: As I understand it, Runway Kit falls under the larger umbrella of MAS. Can you please provide our audience with a brief background on MAS?
KA: MAS is the leading apparel manufacturer of intimate wear, activewear, and swimwear. We manage a portfolio of businesses with a revenue of $1.8 billion and 100,000 employees all over the world in 16 countries. We have more than 30 years of experience working with some of the most established brands. We are proud to be globally recognized for our ethical standards and sustainability initiatives. While we continue to help bring the most well-known labels to life, we realize the world is changing, which is why we created Runway Kit. Runway Kit was established to help democratize the design and manufacturing process.
AC: Now that we have a better understanding of MAS, can you tell us about who Runway Kit was built for and the specific problem it’s solving?
KA: Runway Kit was created with fashion designers and apparel entrepreneurs in mind. What we noticed was these business struggle to establish themselves in the marketplace because they’re competing against much bigger players. When you want to manufacture a product, many large factories will only work with you if you’re ordering 100,000 pieces or more. This is out of reach for a small startup, but with Runway Kit, we offer low MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities). Additionally, Runway Kit offers an intuitive, user-friendly digital platform that connects startups with manufacturers to help them make their fashion dreams come to life.
AC: As I understand it, you’re starting with swimwear and activewear, but have plans to move to other categories soon. What other categories can we expect down the line?
KA: Yes, right we’re leveraging MAS’s expertise in swimwear and activewear, but eventually we’ll be expanding to intimates for those who want to launch their own undergarments collection.
AC: As I understand it there are three different packages with Runway Kit. Can you talk about each of them and discuss pricing so our audience can get a sense?
KA: Yes, we have three different packages! First, the Design Package starts at $299 USD per style and was created with the apparel entrepreneur in mind. For this price, you’re getting the support you need to put together all the technical specifications required to manufacture your product, including a fabric swatch.
The second package, Sample Making, was created for those looking to visualize their collection. This package is $599 USD and enables you to collaborate with our manufacturing team to view your design as a virtual prototype and select fabrics.
Finally, the third package is Manufacturing. If you already have the specifications and the sample made, you can move straightaway into production with us. The cost of this varies depending on requirements, so get in touch with us to discuss what you need.
All three packages provide you with access to the Runway Kit platform, which ensures all information, attachments, and conversations are kept secure.
AC: These days, many brands and consumers are becoming more conscious of where they manufacture their clothing and who makes their clothes. Can you tell us about MAS’s factories and the people who work in them?
KA: Certainly— I’m glad you asked: MAS is headquartered in Sri Lanka but has factories all over South Asia. At MAS, our people are one of our core strengths, and workplace safety is a top priority. We have a number of standards and initiatives in place to promote worker well-being, and we’re especially invested in empowering women since they make up 75% of our workforce. We do this through a number of standards and initiatives that protect women’s rights and provide them with access to entrepreneurial opportunities and upward mobility
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AC: Another big concern is sustainability, including water use. Can you talk about Runway Kit as it concerns sustainability?
KA: Both social and environmental sustainability are core to MAS, and these values have informed Runway Kit. As an organization, we have been recognized with multiple awards for our efforts to conserve water, generate renewable energy, eliminate inefficiencies, remove toxins, and even restore habitats across Sri Lanka.
What makes Runway Kit unique is that it offers businesses access to sustainable fabrics and ethical sourcing, so even small brands can make sustainable choices. The virtual prototyping offered by Runway Kit is another part of our sustainability efforts: it allows our users to visualize what a design will look like on the body without having to send it back and forth overseas. This cuts down on lead time as well as reduces the overall carbon footprint of the product. If you’re interested in learning more about MAS and sustainability, visit masholdings.com/sustainability
AC: Overall, how do you feel Runway Kit is using technology to improve the design process?
KA: In addition to the virtual sampling I mentioned earlier, Runway Kit leverages the latest in 3D imagery, as well as our all-in-one platform to make the design and manufacturing process as quick, seamless, responsive as possible. In doing so, we’re making it easier and more affordable than ever to bring designs to life. It’s a really exciting time for fashion, and we’re thrilled to be providing tools to enable the next generation of small to medium fashion enterprises!
AC: How can people follow Runway Kit and stay in touch?
KA: People can learn more about Runway Kit by visiting the website as well as staying up-to-date with us on social media. We’re on Instagram and Facebook all you need to do is search for Runway Kit.
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Electric Runway podcast. For more episodes, subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app. If you love the show, please leave us a 5-star rating. It helps listeners like you find content like ours. This episode was sponsored by Runway Kit.