At its upcoming pop-up, fledgling brand Everwards offers sustainable products, from stationery to body scrubs
Being sustainable is also about being affordable, points out city-based entrepreneur and cofounder of Two’s Company, Veena Balakrishnan. Looking back at the ideation and research that went into Everwards, Two’s Company’s soonto-be-launched lifestyle brand, Veena says she and her business partner Sudarshana Pai kept coming back to the same questions. “Is this product — say, soap — truly sustainable? Can I afford it? Can I keep repeating this (purchase) every month?” The idea was to help potential customers switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle, and these questions were key.
“A truly sustainable product is one that will help its user reduce their carbon footprint,” says Veena. Hence, long lifespans, reusability and enabling multiple usages are an important point of focus while planning or curating their range of products. So is the manufacturing process, and its emphasis on upcycling and repurposing — using raw material that would otherwise have gone to waste. Some of their techniques were simple ones, that have been used by many over the years. “We make drawstring bags that can be used for storage, for travelling, as separators and more. To make these, we collect strips of cloth that are three-to-five metres or shorter, from factories and tailor shops. These would otherwise have been thrown away and ended up in landfills. Instead, we take them, check the type of fabric, and accordingly use them to make either handkerchiefs or bags,” explains Veena.
The smaller bits and rags — particularly cotton ones — are processed into “cotton paper”, which makes its way into
notepads and notebooks. “The cloth is pulped and made into paper. The notebook covers also have quirky designs, and tips for sustainable lifestyles.” The range also features bamboo straws, and cutlery crafted from the oftdiscarded hard outer shell of coconuts. The latter, informs Veena, are made by artisans in Coimbatore.
Another example of repurposed substances is their coffee scrub, and soap. “In general, coffee scrubs have been widely marketed for long, and are popular because of the nutrients in coffee, and its impact on the skin, particularly stretch marks,” Veena points out. For their scrub, Veena and Sudarshana have tied up with local coffee shops to procure their waste produce.
“We repurpose the coffee grounds that are left behind after the coffee has been made, and make scrubs out of them,” says Veena, claiming, “By doing this, we are giving way to a circular economy. Those grounds would otherwise have been thrown into a bin, and anyone making coffee scrubs would buy coffee fresh from the market. We are instead avoiding the usage of a fresh batch of raw material.”
The ‘Experience Zero-Waste Living’ pop-up will be held at Sait Colony House, Egmore, from December 15 to 23, from 10 am to 8 pm. It is open to all.
Eco entrepreneurs Sudarshana Pai and Veena Balakrishnan hope to open a store some day