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This festive season, turn to these women-led startups for eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones

With Christmas and New Year around the corner, gift with a conscience with these sustainable products from women-led startups.

This festive season, turn to these women-led startups for eco-friendly gifts for your loved ones

Saturday December 12, 2020 , 3 min Read

For decades, nurturing the planet has taken a back seat while urbanisation and tech advancements have led to human beings leading comfortable lives. However, conversations around climate change have increased over the years and COVID-19 has been a definite call towards protecting the environment. 

Individuals and organisations are heeding the call to live an eco-conscious lifestyle around the world. In India, studies have shown that consumers are willing to shell out more money to make the wiser choice. 

This season of gifting, here are five startups led by women entrepreneurs that ensure pampering your loved ones does not come at a heavy cost to the environment.


(From L to R clockwise) Janessaline Pyngrope, co-founder of Daniel Syiem's Ethnic Fashion House; Chaitsi Ahuja, co-founder of Brown Living; Nitika Sonkhiya, founder of MyOneEarth;

Anubha Jhawar, founder of Celes Té; Payal Mittal Agarwal, founder of Tranquilitea.

Brown Living

Mumbai-based Chaitsi started ecommerce Brown Living, an ecommerce marketplace for sustainable businesses in November 2019. It offers a range of curated conscious gifting. 

It is a vault of niche eco-friendly brands offering skincare to everyday utility products, priced between Rs 125 and Rs 11,000.

A former marketing executive in the retail sector, Chaitsi found her values at loggerheads with her professional responsibilities of pushing cheap processed foods and mass-produced FMCG products. Now dedicated to promoting a sustainable lifestyle, she is happy to be shaping consumer behaviours with 2.5 lakh visitors on the website so far.


Nitika Sonkhiya had switched to a completely eco-friendly life and found that most people wanted to pursue a similar lifestyle but end up going the convenient way. After all, neighborhood kirana stores don’t stock up on bamboo toothbrushes. Price is also another concern. 

This led her to start My ONEarth to offer affordable sustainable alternatives to everyday products. Founded in January 2020, the Delhi-based startup showcases cutlery made from coconut shells, dental hygiene products, and yoga mats.  They are available as curated gifting ranges as well. 


Learning about the health benefits of tea and seeing foreigners’ love for various Indian teas prompted entrepreneur Payal Mittal Agarwal to venture into the industry. Today, her startup offers 100 different blends of tea in addition to custom requests, all sourced from tea gardens in Darjeeling. 

Founded in April 2017, the serial entrepreneur has sold 15 million cups of tea (in terms of serving capacity) through B2B operations. Started with an initial investment of over Rs 7 lakh, it now clocks Rs 2 crore annually.

Celes Té 

Daughter of a professional tea taster, most of Anubha Jhawar’s childhood was spent visiting tea estates, tea auction ceremonies, and tasting thousands of cups of tea along the way. After experimenting with various blends of tea last year, she launched her startup Celes Té at the start of 2020. 

Based in Delhi, it has 19 different blends including Choco Spice, Serendipity, Orange Escape, Mind Body Soul, and Her Majesty, priced between Rs 500 and Rs 900.

She says entrepreneurship runs in the family.  Having completed her bachelor’s in interior and product design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, she took the entrepreneurial plunge with Lumenatix, a lighting solution company.

Daniel Syiem's Ethnic Fashion House

Daniel Syiem's Ethnic Fashion House (DSEFH) is among the first fashion houses in Shillong, co-founded by Janessaline Pyngrope and Daniel Syiem.

It designs Indo-Western fusion apparel made of Ryndia, a rare silk fabric which is also known as peace silk as it is extracted without killing the worm.

Priced between Rs 1,800 and Rs 50,000, its creations were presented internationally at events like London Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week in New York, and Nehru Centre, London, among other places.

A graduate in management education from BIMM, Pune, Janessaline has been involved in rural development, working towards creating employment opportunities for traditional weavers while Daniel specialises as a designer.

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan