These women entrepreneurs are creating eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives for everyday items
Even before 17-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg initiated the global ‘Fridays for Future’ strikes, climate activists and scientists had been warning against the dangers of climate change. Sustainable solutions and eco-friendly alternatives for products ranging from polluting gases and fuel emissions, to everyday items like toothbrushes have gained momentum as people have become more environmentally conscious and are striving to find solutions to mitigate the effects of climate breakdown.
Entrepreneurs with eco-conscious mindsets and a desire to promote eco-friendly solutions play a big role in helping everyday consumers make mindful choices and switch to sustainable solutions.
Here are four women entrepreneurs who are providing eco-friendly and sustainable solutions for everyday items and are promoting environment-friendly alternatives.
Kopraan, Simran Khara
Simran Kharra, Founder of Kopraan.
Most cleaning products found in every household are filled with chemicals and toxins which promise to eradicate the germs from surfaces. However, such cleaning agents comprise dangerous toxins like Paraben and Triclosan which have shown to have effects on the human body.
This prevalence of toxic chemicals in cleaning products led Simran Khara to start Kopraan, a toxin-free, eco-friendly and plant-based hygiene products startup in November 2019. The products use surfactants naturally derived from plant-based sources like sugarcane and coconut. It avoids using seven harmful chemicals – Paraben, Triclosan, Ammonia, Phosphate, EDTA, Phthalates, and Chlorine — and also refrains from the use of synthetic dye in their products.
Beej, Arundhati Kumar
Arundhati Kumar, Founder of Beej.
Founded by Arundhati Kumar,is a vegan accessories startup with sustainability at its core. The Mumbai-based startup offers bags, wallets, and clutches made with sustainable materials sourced from pineapple leaves, cactus leaves, cork, and other materials.
The founder told HerStory in an earlier interview that the startup connects creativity, ethical practices, and mindful designs to make sustainable fashion mainstream. After being caught in a torrid heat wave while vacationing in Europe, Arundhati realised that climate change was a very real threat and decided to establish a startup in the sustainability space.
The startup uses all plant-based, recyclable, and partially or completely biodegradable materials. It also uses post-consumer recycled yarn and zippers made out of recycled PET bottles. It embroiders/embosses logos to reduce the use of hardware. All products are made so as to reduce waste.
Naturecraft Fashions, Sandhya Purani
Sandhya Purani, Founder of Naturecraft Fashions.
For over a decade, Sandhya Purani had worked as an engineer in the electrical machines industry. However, the useability and versatility of the coconut tree led her to found Naturecraft Fashions to launch, an eco-jewellery brand that offers accessories made out of coconut shells for modern, contemporary women.
“Naturecraft is not just an ecommerce startup; it is committed to nature and culture. It presents carefully designed and curated coconut fashion with designs that have universal, contemporary appeal, but made by working closely with artisans using traditional, ethnic craft. It aims to connect local artisans and craftspeople to global fashionistas,” Sandhya said in an earlier interview with HerStory.
The startup is also incubated at Kerala Startup Mission.
Upcycler’s Labs, Amishi Parasrampuria
Amishi Parasrampuria, Founder of Upcycler's Lab.
Amishi Parasrampuria has two social enterprises that aim to create eco-friendly mindsets and not just indulges the consumers in thinking that buying sustainable products means the end of doing their bit for the environment. In 2014, she initiated The Upcycle Project that upcycles waste into utility products, which are then sold on online stores.
Realising that these initiatives alone could not bring about a change in the mindset, she started theto make children aware of the detrimental impacts of unsustainable products on the environments, and enable them to become powerful agents of change.
Catering to children aged between two and nine, Upcycler’s Lab has designed collaborative board games, puzzles, storybooks, and eco alphabet flash cards based on environment-related topics including waste segregation, forest and wildlife conservation, among others.