Sustainable alternatives: These women entrepreneurs are enabling consumers to make the eco-friendly switch

Meet four women who took the entrepreneurial plunge to offer eco-friendly solutions to everything from personal grooming and hygiene products to healthy food alternatives.

With the world facing environmental challenges, making eco-friendly choices is no longer a thing of luxury. Indian consumers are now increasingly taking to all things natural and eco-friendly, and more and more brands are trying to meet this demand. 

In fact, a survey conducted by Eurometer found that more people are purchasing personal care products that claim to be natural, organic, or botanical. As many as 71 percent of those surveyed reported willingness to opt for ‘natural’ face cream or lotion, while 38 percent preferred buying shampoo with ‘botanical’ ingredients. In short, Indian consumers are moving with the times and do not wish to add to climate change. 

HerStory presents four women-founded brands that are helping customers go green and find alternatives to everything – from personal care products to everyday food.  

Rooting Back

Aditi Singh and Karishma Jasra went from being concerned mothers worrying about choosing the right daily grooming products like soaps and detergents for their children to starting their own venture, Rooting Back, in 2019. The Mumbai-based startup offers a range of organic and natural skincare and gut health fixes.

The duo claims that the products are formulated using the ingredients available in the kitchen and can be naturally absorbed by the skin, hair, nails, and gut. Products are customised to each skin type as well.

They believe producing in small batches and restricting bulk factory-made production gives Rooting Backan edge over other players in the market.

Despite initial challenges in conducting lab tests to authenticating the products amidst the pandemic, the startup has now obtained FSSAI certification for the edibles range.

Started with an initial investment of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh, the entrepreneurs are now gearing up to grow their team and have separate departments like inventory control and distribution in place so that they can focus on product development.

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Indulgeo Essentials

Seema Arora and Supriya Arora Malik, Co-founders of Indulgeo Essentials

After dealing with a hair loss condition called Alopecia for several years, Seema Arora found the perfect solution in a concoction made from natural ingredients. This prompted her to team up with her daughter Supriya Arora Malik to start Indulgeo Essentials, an organic skincare brand, in 2017 on a mothers’ group on Facebook.

Besides the hair concoction that is now sold as Luxuriant Hair Vitalizer, the brand offers a wide range of products including facial oils, body oils, eye, and brow care products, among others. Seema makes sure to test every ingredient and pays attention to packaging and other specifics to ensure consistent quality. 

The mother-daughter duo takes pride over not only providing toxin-free solutions but having built a women-only team.

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While in Delhi, Tanushree Jain opted to try aromatherapy to ease her breathing problem and keep her asthma in check, and found that the products available in the market had high contents of paraffin and carbon-filled beeswax candles. 

Tanushree Jain, Founder of Nushaura

After several successful experiments with candle-making in 2018, she quit her job to start Nushaura. The startup makes aromatherapy candles along with a range of sustainable, healthy, and handmade utility products like soaps, bamboo products, washable masks, and eco-conscious gift hampers.

A first-generation entrepreneur in the family, her Jaipur-based social enterprise works with over 250 women artisans across 15 villages in Rajasthan. Priced between Rs 99 and Rs 2,000, Nushaura’s products are sold on ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, and Brown Living, among others. In FY20, the brand clocked Rs 12 lakh in revenue. 

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The Live Green Co

Priyanka Srinivasan believes there are over 450,000 plants and over 10 million plant-based compounds that are enough to give flavour and nutrition to the human body. However, the food industry dealt heavily with animal-based, synthetic, and completely processed food. With an aim to correct the food consumption balance, she founded The Live Green Co along with Sasikanth Chemalamudic in Chile in 2018. 

The startup developed an artificial intelligence (AI) engine called Charaka which recommends 100 percent natural, plant-based alternatives to different foods. The startup has also raised seed funding of $1 million from investors in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile.

Edited by Kanishk Singh