Ekramul Hossain Khan, an entrepreneur and marketer, found himself seeking new opportunities during the Covid-19 pandemic when his income took a hit. He wanted to create a unique online business with low competition and great branding potential.
Despite never having worn a lungi himself, he saw the potential to make this traditional attire more appealing to the younger generation. The main challenge with traditional lungis was the knot and the absence of pockets to carry modern items like phones and wallets.
With the help of three friends, Ekramul created prototypes that addressed these issues. They found the lungi to be much more comfortable than regular trousers, sparking the idea for a business.
Now, Ekramul runs the Loonguy business and offers a more comfortable and convenient lungi, designed with adjustable elastic waistbands, double-layered pockets, and breathable cotton fabric. The product is especially suitable for hot summers.
Initially targeting the younger generation seeking comfortable at-home wear, they discovered that many customers bought Loonguy lungis for their elderly fathers who had difficulty with traditional lungis. Some women also began wearing them at home. Loonguy is available in a single free size, with plans to launch a kids' size.
The response to Loonguy has been overwhelmingly positive, with grateful customers sharing how the product has made life easier for their sick fathers. Despite some trolls and humorous comments calling it a skirt or petticoat, Loonguy embraces these remarks due to its branding focused on humour.
"We think lungi is a Bangladeshi thing, but that's not completely true. Other countries have their own variations. Scottish men have kilts, Japanese men have hakamas, and there are more variations in India, Bhutan, etc. So people who think that an elastic lungi is a skirt, they need to know a bit more about the world outside," said Ekramul.
The future plans include large-scale production, introducing a kids' size, and exploring international markets like the Middle East and India, where there is substantial demand.
Loonguy aims to make the lungi more acceptable and convenient for a broader audience, not to replace traditional lungis.