5 startups by ‘green entrepreneurs’ whose products are environmentally sustainable
Over the years, India’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have grown to become an essential gear driving the economy. According to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the 42.5 million SMEs employ about 40 percent of India’s workforce and contribute around 30 percent of the country’s GDP.
While many young and aspiring entrepreneurs have joined hands to manufacture innovative products, many times it is done at the risk of exploiting natural resources and damaging the environment.
With environmental issues such as climate change, scarcity of resources, and pollution taking centre stage, many enterprises are doing their bit by focussing on green products and innovations, as well as by using organic materials. Referred to as ‘green entrepreneurs,’ they aim to bring a change in the mindset of consumers by spreading awareness and educating people about environmentally-friendly products and services.
Here are a few enterprises by green entrepreneurs who, through their various products and innovations, are striving to bring about a change:
Founded in 2017 in Ahmedabad, EcoRight has 18 product lines and 140 SKUs available in around 11 ecommerce websites. The startup says it makes products that are ethically, socially, legally, and environmentally audited as per the pillar standards of SEDEX 4. Its products, which include tote bags, work bags, backpacks, etc., are reusable, made with natural products, and are developed with innovative fabrics to make products better for the environment.
The startup was founded by Udit Sood and Nikita Barmecha, both of whom pursued their MBA from IIM-Calcutta. Udit has previously worked with companies like Zomato, HUL, and TAS before starting his journey as an entrepreneur. Nikita has been working with Airtel Networks for six years before the two of them came together to start a consumer-based startup.
Aimed at finding solutions to environmental problems such as plastic waste, the ecommerce startup claims that each bag it sells will, in turn, replace the use of 50-100 plastic bags. Each of the handbag designs features an eco-friendly message or a pun to spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastics.
The team has also begun manufacturing and supplying of masks amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Chalk and Chuckles
Pallavi Agarwal and Prachi Agarwal founded Chalk and Chuckles which shapes children’s learning, skills, and experiences based on the games they play. Calling themselves “play advocates,” the Delhi-based entrepreneurs discourage the use of gadgets like a smartphone, laptop, PSP, and so on, to entertain children, citing the impact on the child’s cognitive growth.
The Chalk and Chuckles team helps families to unplug and connect with one and another while building character values and key learning skills. The startup’s USP is to offer games, toys, crafts, and activity boxes, primarily focussing on the child’s learning and growth, creativity and imagination, care and connection, discovery, and thinking.
The startup creates every product keeping the planet and the environment in mind. The toys are handcrafted MDF (Class I), and are printed using soy-based ink. Each of its products is tested for compliance on international safety standards and none of them run on batteries or chargers.
While Pallavi has a background in finance, Prachi Agarwal is a Harvard graduate in Educational Psychology. They came together with an aim to create a future where the child grows up to become self-reliant, feels worthy, shows empathy, engages with the global community, and never stops being a learner.
Love Organically is a Mumbai-based beauty manufacturing brand which claims to produce 100 percent natural and chemical-free products.
It was founded by Deepshika Deshmukh who is a student of Ayurveda. She has conducted in-depth research and consultations with experts from the Ayurveda field, as well as doctors, on her family’s skin nutrition secrets. Every product includes nutrients from flower extracts, essentials oils, and aromatic botanicals.
Krya Sustainable Goodies
Krya Sustainable Goodies was founded in 2010 by Srinivas Krishnaswamy and Preethi Sukumaran to create environmentally-friendly products. The entrepreneurs say they use natural ingredients.
The Srinivas and Preethi are IIM graduates and quit their jobs at an MNC in 2009 to become independent entrepreneurs. Began by manufacturing organic laundry detergent, the startup has expanded its product line to include hair, skin, and other home care solutions.
Krya Sustainable Goodies produces goods that address the issues of sustainable city living. Based on the principles of Ayurveda, the startup says its products are natural, vegan, and organic in nature. The laundry detergent is claimed to be 100 percent plant-based.
Finding inspiration from traditional textiles, Bengaluru-based fashion startup MINC, also known as Mini Couture, creates contemporary eco-friendly garments which are sustainable and present a contemporary Indian fusion style.
It was founded by Mini Varkey Shibu and Kochery C Shibu in 2007. Mini is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and calls herself passionate about eco-fashion, minimalist design, and khadi. Kochery, on the other hand, is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy with a career in the Indian Navy. He has experience in setting up design studios, and has worked in the areas of operational development promotions and vendor development.
The startup designs garments while only using natural fabrics, azo-free environment-friendly dyes, and closure made from natural materials like wood, coconut, etc. It also promotes khadi, and the team believes in promoting green living through eco-fashion.
Edited by Kanishk Singh