In the last few decades, with increased urbanisation and modernisation, people began to neglect the environment. Unfortunately, our actions have resulted in such extreme global warming that it’s critical to take immediate action. However, the pandemic has served as an eye-opener for people to lead an eco-conscious lifestyle. The situation is getting better by the day, with people willing to shell out more money to make a wiser choice, even when it comes to buying gifts.
Let’s take a look at some of the startups led by women entrepreneurs that offer gifts that are not detrimental for the environment:
Brown Living is an ecommerce marketplace for sustainable businesses founded by Mumbai-based Chaitsi in November 2019. The platform offers a repertoire of eco-friendly brands that cover a wide range of categories - from skincare to everyday utility products, priced between Rs 125 and Rs 11,000.
Chaitsi’s motivation to start Brown Living stems from personal experience. As a former marketing professional in the retail sector, she was supposed to push out cheap processed goods, which she was not comfortable with. A true advocate of sustainability, her platform is shaping consumer behaviour, with approximately 2.5 lakh visitors on the website since November 2019.
When Payal Mittal Agarwal learnt about the various benefits of tea and international attention towards the Indian chai, she decided to give this concept a shot. Her startup, Tranquilitea, offers 100 blends of tea, apart from requests for customisation, all sourced from tea gardens in Darjeeling. It might come as a revelation, but the entrepreneur, who established her startup in 2017, sold 15 million cups of tea through B2B operations. She started with an initial investment of over Rs 7 lakh, it now clocks Rs 2 crore annually.
When Nitika Sonkhiya turned to an eco-conscious lifestyle, she realised there is a big reason why people aren’t making the switch to cleaner options. That’s because of the lack of availability of various products at neighbourhood kirana stores. The other concern - price point.
This is what motivated her to start MyONEarth, a startup that offers affordable sustainable alternatives to everyday products. Founded in January 2020, the Delhi-based startup offers cutlery made from coconut shells, dental hygiene products, and yoga mats.
Anubha Jhawar, the founder of Celes Té, is the daughter of a professional tea sommelier, which is why she spent most of her childhood in visiting tea estates or tasting various cups of tea. Since she has a knack for tea, and has experimented with various blends, she decided to launch her startup in early 2020.
The Delhi-based startup offers 19 different blends, including Choco Spice, Serendipity, Orange Escape, Mind Body Soul, and Her Majesty, that are priced between Rs 500 and Rs 900.
Although she is a graduate in interior and product design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, she believes entrepreneurship runs in her genes. She had earlier started Lumenatix, a lighting solution company.
Daniel Syiem's Ethnic Fashion House
A pioneer in its own way, Daniel Syiem's Ethnic Fashion House (DSEFH) is among the first fashion houses in Shillong, started by the duo Daniel Syiem and Janessaline M Pyngrope. The startup is known for its Indo-western fusion apparel crafted from Ryndia, a rare silk fabric, also known as peace silk, as it is extracted without killing the worm.
The collection, priced between Rs 1,800 and Rs 50,000, received international acclaim at global events like London Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week in New York, and Nehru Centre, London, among other places.
With a degree in management education from BIMM, Pune, Janessaline has been working towards rural development, helping create employment opportunities for traditional weavers.
(Edited by Anju Narayanan)