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The sustainable fashion entrepreneur

Inder Bedi, BComm 95
By Charlie Fidelman

Inder Bedi, BComm 95

Design buff and entrepreneur Inder Bedi plumbs oceans, landfills, junkyards and scrapyards for material to transform into beautiful items at the crossroads of fashion and sustainability.

“I design stuff made out of trash,” he says.

In 1995, Bedi launched MATT & NAT, a vegan leather accessories company. In 2013, after 18 years at the helm of what by then was a successful Montreal-based accessories brand, he walked away.

“I wanted to get my hands dirty again,” Bedi says.

He then founded Bedi Studios, a made-in-Canada fashion design company whose brand promise is that one day, everything new will come from something old.

“I’m very fortunate that I get to work with something that’s in line with my passion,” he says.

Milestone

“The courage to leave a successful business [MATT & NAT] at 39 and start over again. That was big for me.”

On the ethics of slow fashion

“From local production to minimal design, good wages and sourced materials to the intent to clean up the environment … it’s everything we do at Bedi Studios."

Hurdles

"Being persistent for years, waiting for the world to come around. Banks refused to finance MATT & NAT. They didn’t understand."

On persistence

"You say to yourself, 'I’m going to make it happen — there is no plan B.' Believing in something so much that you’ll do what it takes to find the community that believes in it as much as you do."

Concordia factor

“Our professors represented companies [Nestle’s, Calvin Klein] in the real world. Their stories planted a seed for entrepreneurship. In my last year, I had to complete an entrepreneurship course that didn’t appeal to me. It was part of the program, so I came up with a business plan for a vegan fashion business, the basis for MATT & NAT.”

Paying it forward

“We donate a portion of our sales to Plastic Oceans Canada. I give my time to student entrepreneurs who want to brainstorm and come up with ideas.”



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