5 lifestyle and personal care brands that will help you embrace sustainable practices
Sustainability is not just a trend; it needs to be embraced as a lifestyle choice. When we think about sustainability, we often envision reducing carbon emissions, utilising renewable energy, recycling, protecting the environment, and living a lifestyle that is respectful of others and nature.
However, deciding to live a sustainable life is not an easy task. It goes beyond small measures and requires an overhaul of everyday patterns of behaviour. Sustainability is about practising day-to-day habits that ensure that our future generations are secure, without compromising on the needs of the present.
Social Story brings you five lifestyle and personal care brands that are embracing sustainability in India:
European multinational brand IKEA launched its premium store in Hyderabad in August 2018. The Swedish brand is known for its unique and quirky designs, ready-to-assemble furniture, and home products such as kitchen utensils, accessories, and decor, but a lesser-known fact about IKEA is that it follows sustainable practices.
Implementing sustainability in its core retail business, the brand is looking to become more climate-positive in its India operations.
In a previous YourStory interview Torbjörn Lööf, CEO of Inter IKEA Group, said,
“Our ambition is to reduce more greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 2030 than that emitted by the entire IKEA value chain, while growing the IKEA business.”
The IKEA purchasing organisation works with over 60 local suppliers who produce IKEA products as part of the global supply chain, enabling them to be more people- and planet-positive and transition to using 100 percent renewable energy in its production.
Apart from this IKEA is also working towards using renewable and recyclable raw materials for products. Its retail stores are also making a conscious effort towards becoming carbon-neutral.
Another important initiative of the company has been to convert rice straw into raw material for products to reduce air pollution, which has resulted in the creation of a new collection, FÖRÄNDRING.
Chief Sustainability Officer of Inter IKEA Group Lena Pripp-Kovac said, “We believe that the best way to minimise our climate impact and to contribute to limiting climate change to 1.5°C is mainly by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. But, we also need to remove existing carbon from the atmosphere. We can make a positive difference through our integrated supply chain, our global presence, and our forest and climate expertise.”
Nicobar by Good Earth
The brand Nicobar was launched in 2016 by Simran Lal and Raul Rai in cities across India mainly as a sustainable premium home decor and clothing brand.
“Inspired by journeys across the Indian ocean, our philosophy is simple: we make products that are designed to last, not trend-driven, inspired by natural design and materials, and influenced by the culture we grew up in,” say Co-founders Simran Lal and Raul Rai of Nicobar on their site.
Nicobar makes a number of products such as bedding and cushions, table linen, clothing for men and women, and travel accessories. The company is headquartered in New Delhi and products are designed by skilled artisans. It uses no plastic bottles (it has opted for glass bottles instead) and uses organic cotton in its core range of products.
“We are a tight ecosystem of people crazy about the design and digital worlds. Our core team works out of our lush garden studio in Delhi (we call it the Treehouse), where designers sketch and drape, the digital teams write and code, and the gardeners plant broccoli and tomatoes, but our people are spread across the country, in our stores, our warehouses, and our café,” note the co-founders.
Forest Essentials is an Indian cosmetic, skincare, and perfume company based on Ayurveda formulations. Launched in 2000 by Mira Kulkarni in New Delhi, the company is completely sustainable and uses Ayurvedic ingredients in all its products.
The company's soaps, candles, and cold pressed oils are all organic, and it follows a zero animal testing policy. A controlled manufacturing process ensures products that are conscientious about the environment.
According to the company, it sources ingredients from local farmers who use sustainable farming practices. It tries to use renewable plant sources as far as possible, and has provided employment opportunities to the local women of Uttarakhand where they source their raw materials from.
House of Wandering Silk
House of Wandering Silk was founded in 2013 by Katherine Neumann in New Delhi. The clothing brand embraces sustainability by using upcycled, handmade, vintage materials to create authentic designs. The brand partners with NGOs, women, and artisans from villages who need to be supported the most.
"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness" is a Mahatma Gandhi teaching the company strongly lives by.
Wandering Silk works with a network of partners to hand craft and bring to customers authentic, ethical, and beautiful textile-based products while maintaining standards of the highest degree.
“Our vision is to be a brand representing marginalised women producers and artisans from all regions of South, Central, and Southeast Asia, showcasing their full range of weaving and embroidery techniques and skills. If we're not already, we hope to be your go-to brand for stunning and unique textile-based lifestyle products that you know to be produced to the highest quality and ethical standards” says Katherine, Founder of Wandering Silk, on their site.
Mumbai-based GreenSole aims to contribute to social good by creating self-sustaining infrastructure that facilitates the provision of footwear a basic necessity, to everyone. It also does good to the environment by refurbishing discarded shoes (zero carbon footprint) and economic good by giving employment to those who refurbish the shoes.
Notes GreenSole on its site,
“Manufacturing a pair of shoes involves a total of assembling up to 65 discrete parts in 360 steps, which generates 30 lbs of emissions; equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week.
“We have made a humble start by providing footwear to 110,000 people in need across the villages of India and, by 2020, we aim to provide footwear to more than 1,000,000 people in need, while restoring their dignity.”
Shriyans Bhandari and Ramesh Dhami founded GreenSole in 2015. Since both were athletes and marathon runners, they knew the importance of good footwear; they usually went through four pairs in a single year.
Since this was a regular challenge, they didn’t want anyone to be in a situation where s/he didn’t have a sturdy pair of shoes. After a lot of research, they decided to come up with a solution where one would not have to keep replacing footwear on a regular basis. The co-founders sought a low-cost, sustainable solution that could benefit Indian society. GreenSole was the outcome of that decision.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)