World Vegan Day: Meet the 5 startups that are making it easier to adopt veganism

The increased focus on health and wellness has put the spotlight on veganism. On World Vegan Day, SocialStory lists a few startups that make it easier to live a vegan lifestyle.

World Vegan Day: Meet the 5 startups that are making it easier to adopt veganism

Sunday November 01, 2020,

4 min Read

What do Joaquin Phoenix, Beyonce, Benedict Cumberbatch, Natalie Portman, Ariana Grande, Venus Williams, and Ellen Degeneres have in common? They have all adopted a vegan lifestyle. Closer home, Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Kangana Ranaut, Aamir Khan, Shahid Kapoor, and Madhavan espouse the vegan cause.

India is largely considered a vegetarian country, but a surprisingly large section of the population is either non-vegetarian or heading that way. According to the sample registration system (SRS) baseline survey 2014 released by the registrar general of India, more than 71 percent of Indians over the age of 15 are non-vegetarian.

But like the rest of the world, many Indians are waking to the physical, ethical, and economic benefits of food that is plant-based and meat-and-dairy-free.

American physician Dr Brooke Goldner, who suffered from lupus for 12 years until she turned vegan, at a speech at the USDA 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Fourth Meeting, asked doctors and policymakers to take veganism seriously.

“What’s recommended to the public about what they eat should not be based on what’s good for the industry. It should be based on what’s good for human health. The literature is clear: when you eliminate meat, dairy and eggs, people’s health gets better. Please encourage plant-based diets,” she said.

Veganism essentially necessitates a complete rejection of animal products, with vegans primarily consuming plant-based food, nuts, legumes, and fruits, and shunning products and foods of animal origin, including dairy products. It may seem a difficult path to walk on, but some startups are working to make it easier.

On the occasion of World Vegan Day, SocialStory highlights some startups that are helping promote a vegan lifestyle and culture.

Good Dot

Good dot

Good Dot's Vegetarian Bytz (Image: Good Dot)

Plant-based meats are slowly finding their way into the Indian markets, and Udaipur-based Good Dot is popularising this. Keen to “create a more compassionate and sustainable world by innovating to revolutionise the way we eat”, the Good Dot team is innovating to create “delicious, plant-based food that is better for people, animals, and the planet”. The startup launched India’s first vegan chicken substitute, and its product line includes vegan chicken strips, a high-protein substitute, along with Vegicken, a ready-to-cook vegetarian chicken.

Plum Goodness

Shankar Prasad

Founder Shankar Prasad

India’s first vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand, Mumbai-based Plum Goodness was founded by Shankar Prasad. The idea was to “being good”, not just to yourself, but to others and the environment. The brand was created in a London design studio with most products designed in the EU. As India’s first 100 percent vegan beauty brand, Plum claims to have safe ingredients, with natural extracts to suit various skin types and concerns. The product line-up includes face creams, body lotions, serums, and makeup. Plum is kind to animals as well as the environment; their ‘Empties4Good’ initiative collects used bottles and takes them to recyclers.


Zouk, vegan accessories brand

Some of Zouk's vegan and Indian products

Founded by Disha Singh in 2016, Mumbai-based Zouk is a popular, vegan brand for bags, wallets, and accessories. The B2C brand offers an amalgam of Indian craftsmanship and modern functionality in all its products. Materials are sourced from various parts of the country, and all products are made by artisans from Dharavi. The cruelty-free leather used at Zouk is PETA-approved and products bear the tag ‘Carry Responsibly’ to focus on the bigger picture. Fabrics such as Ikat, jute, and khadi are also used. The range of products offers 13 SKUs, including eyewear cases and laptop bags.



Image: Cowvathi

Veganism doesn’t allow the consumption of dairy products, but Mumbai-based Cowvathi aims to get around this with its innovative range. Founded by Shasvathi Siva, the startup offers a range of cheeses and dips that are not made of cheese. The products, made to order, are made with vegan substitutes and are cruelty-free. Choose from various kinds of dips, cheese blocks, curd, and more.

Wegan Foods

Wegan Foods

Kinjal Darukhanawala with her team

Mumbai-based Wegan Foods offers a range of vegan delicacies devoid of both soy and gluten. Founded by Kinjal Darukhanawala in 2017, they offer a non-dairy cheese that can be used like regular cheese. About 50 gm of the product is priced at Rs 350. The startup has raised an undisclosed amount from the Princess of Sharjah, Sheikha Arwa Al Qassimi, and has a 90 percent women workforce hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Edited by Teja Lele

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