McCormick students prepare to launch sustainable fashion consulting company


Courtesy of Regina Morfin

McCormick juniors Avantika Raikar and Regina Morfin have been working on their sustainable fashion company for over a year. Lura, which connects small fashion brands with textile manufacturers, is set to launch in about a month

Zoe Malin, Reporter

After over a year of planning and research, McCormick juniors Avantika Raikar and Regina Morfin are preparing to launch Lura, an online service that helps brands source eco-friendly fabric from around the world.

Combining their interests in fashion and sustainability, the co-founders aim to modernize the fashion industry by digitizing and simplifying the process of working with textile manufacturers.

“It’s kind of like online shopping for fabric,” Raikar said. “It can be tedious and discouraging for small brands to work with manufacturers, and we want to change that.”

Raikar and Morfin met in 2018 through the student entrepreneurship organization EPIC and decided to begin a project together centered around sustainable fashion. They interviewed small fashion brands to identify problems in the industry, which inspired them to create a service that streamlines how brands connect with textile manufacturers.

Raikar said Lura is essentially a consulting service. Brands visit Lura’s website and browse through a variety of fabrics that are listed with photos and information about its manufacturer. The website also displays sustainability statistics, like how much water and carbon dioxide was saved when each type of fabric was made. Brands can also fill out a fabric matching quiz.

Once brands decide which fabric they want to use, Lura sends them samples and places orders for them. The company charges a $30 monthly subscription fee to use its services, but the first two months are free.

Lura is made up of a core team of seven student volunteers who work on marketing, coding and web design. Morfin said while managerial roles are often complained about in business, she’s enjoyed it and the team has been passionate about the work

“It’s been incredible to find a group of people who care about what I’m working on,” Morfin said.

While establishing Lura, Raikar and Morfin participated in numerous programs through The Garage including Propel, which is aimed at female entrepreneurs. Raikar said collaborating with staff at The Garage has been an invaluable experience because the co-founders have been mentored in everything from business design to problem solving.

Hayes Ferguson, director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, previously worked with Lura’s co-founders when she served as associate director at The Garage. Ferguson said the co-founders received funding for their start-up through Propel and were “highly engaged” members of the program.

“Avantika and Regina enthusiastically took the lead on organizing informal gatherings for the other women in the group,” Ferguson wrote in an email to The Daily. “Their willingness to take on social and networking planning for the fledgling program was especially impressive since they were both in their first year at Northwestern.”

Currently, Lura is preparing to launch online. Its first goal is to establish a client base. Lura is working with Form & Function Marketing, NU’s student-run marketing agency, to spread the word about its services. They are using social media to connect with brands, too.

“We’re finally ready to take a leap and launch Lura,” Morfin said. “It’s a little scary, but I have faith that it will work.”

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