Binks: This Y Combinator Company Makes Tailoring Indian Women’s Fashion Easier

By Annie Baker ● August 19, 2019
  • Binks — a startup that makes finding Indian women’s fashion apparel much easier — is currently participating in Y Combinator’s accelerator program. These are the details behind the company.

Binks is a startup that makes finding Indian women’s fashion apparel much easier. The idea for the company began as Binks co-founder and CEO Aamna Khan found it difficult to find well-fitting women’s clothing in Indian cities, according to TechCrunch.

Using computer vision and machine learning to detect clothing sizes, Binks is currently participating in Y Combinator’s accelerator program. And customers are provided with the clothing in their measurements in just three days including the shipping time.

Khan pointed out that shopping online is usually difficult since a standardized Indian sizing chart has not been developed yet. Clothing companies often use a combination of U.S. and European size charts — which leads to inaccurate sizing. This is why the return rate for apparel ordered online in India can be as high as 30% to 40%. In India, men and women usually buy ready-made clothes and then have it altered by tailors.

“The tailoring market has not moved with the times, so the experience of getting something tailored is the same as it was 10 years ago. You have to buy fabric, give your measurements to the tailor, then there are usually a couple of fittings, and all of this means physically visiting the shop,” said Khan via TechCrunch. “It’s very tedious for Indian women who are leading a busy life but still want well-fitting clothes.”

On the Binks website, customers can select a style and fill out a form about their measurements including height and bra size. And customers can select the tops and pants that fit them the best. To gain a better measurement, customers are also asked to upload a full-length photo of themselves from the front and side. From there, a Binks consultant calls the customer to discuss customizations before the order is finished.

“Indian fashion commerce looks very similar to the US today, with its high return rates and deadstock,” added Y Combinator partner  Adora Cheung via TechCrunch. “Thanks to the inexpensive tailoring market in its backyard, India can look really different and we’re excited about that.”

The orders are currently made by a single tailoring unit in Bangalore. And Binks is planning to automate patterns so that the company can set up a standardized process for sizing and quality control.

Binks co-founders Khan and Raj Vardhan had worked together working at an online payments company called Simpl. They also hosted physical pop-up stores in Bangalore and started taking online orders in June. Since then, sales doubled month-over-month with 30% of customers placing a second order within the first month and a return rate of less than 1%.