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Going eco-friendly is tough, but these ecology enthusiasts are making it easy with Mitti Se

Hema Vaishnavi
15th Mar 2018
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Mitti Se, an eco-friendly enterprise, makes pure and natural body care, health and household products which are free from toxic chemicals.

The market is flooded with products that are chemical-ridden, proving toxic not just to your body but to the environment as well. Often the chemicals found in them can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. And most detergents contain phosphates which pose a serious threat to the environment.

Phosphates cause eutrophication in natural waterbodies. Even if phosphates aren’t used, most alternatives aren’t environmentally sound either. Besides, there are studies which tell us of the dire environmental impact of the daily products that we use.

In an age where environmental concerns are growing every day, it’s wise to switch to natural products. And to make this easier and possible, four friends launched Mitti Se to provide a range of all-natural daily use products.

In search of the alternative

Tuba, Faiz, Rafi and Faakhra, looked for an alternative everywhere. It was in nature that their search ended. Nature not only has all the answers, but has the best answers.

“The more harmoniously we live with it, the better the results at all levels. The cyclical manner in which everything feeds into each other in nature is inspiring. We also realised that most manmade things are linear. Often, they break the cycle of nature and create issues and disruptions,” says Faakhra.

Though each of them belonged to different fields such as Biotechnology, Education, Ayurveda, Software, the founders of Mitti Se were keen to live responsible and eco-friendly lifestyles. Two of them had started their ventures independently six years ago — Natures Lap in Lucknow and Nirvaaha in Bengaluru in 2011. But in late 2014, all four decided to join hands and incorporate a Private Limited Company with the brand name of Mitti Se.

Mitti Se offers safe and effective alternatives to products that contain harmful chemicals. It has products for body care, hair care such as facewashes, oils, cleansers, shampoos, besides detergents and oral care products. Everything is priced under Rs 1,000.

“We are well on our way to prove that a profitable and sustainable business can be done without harming or exploiting people, nature, or the consumer. We want to operate our business in harmony with nature and people,” says Faakhra.

The challenges of going eco-friendly

Formulating 100 percent natural products while maintaining and enhancing their effectiveness as compared to chemical-based products was a challenge. And educating people to switch from mainstream, unsustainable products to natural alternatives was another hurdle altogether.

Since none of the founders had a formal business background, it was a constant learning experience for them in several areas as they worked on the best practices, processes, and strategies.

A bootstrapped initiative, Mitti Se also believes in questioning the trend wherein brands sell different products for different parts of the body.

In most cases, one product suits both men and women, of all skin types. For instance, the Mitti Se Body Oil can be applied on face, body, cracked heals by both men and women. Similarly, the face serum is suitable for all types of skin as it balances the oil and sebum.

All-natural ingredients 

All Mitti Se products are manufactured in Lucknow; Faiz and Tuba, along with a team are involved in the production. The ingredients are procured from trusted farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir. These products are then processed and packed at their manufacturing unit in Lucknow.

The products are handmade, the ingredients are minimally processed, and their efficacy is kept high. They are in powder form or oil based which helps in avoiding the use of artificial preservatives. And they are made in small batches to keep them fresh.

Impact

“In the past three years we have seen a steady, considerable increase in sales. Customers are now more focussed on health, and safe products for themselves and their families. Environmental consciousness is also one of the reasons,” says Faakhra.

The team is now working on shifting to completely eco-friendly packaging. In addition to their plans of exporting products to other countries, they are planning to expand to regular stores, malls and portals and reach out to customers who may not usually visit an exclusively organic store.

“We want to start providing products in bulk to institutions and other brands under white label as we are confident of our expertise in formulating high quality natural products. We consider this as another avenue to make available chemical-free products in those places where we still do not sell Mitti Se products,” says Faakhra.
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