The story of this sustainable brand began in January 2017 when three friends Avani Dave, Nehal Desai and Shweta Vijayan were working on a project to make their neighbourhood waste free. As busy homemakers with household responsibilities, the three friends had not thought of commercialising their natural talents earlier. But with the success of the waste recycling exercise that they enforced in their neighbourhood, and the with encouragement from their family and friends, this fiesty trio decided to launch their own company, Green Souls, which they decided would sell eco-friendly products. “In early 2018 we came across Amazon’s seller program through Amazon Saheli (Read more about Amazon Saheli) and decided to give it a try,” shares Shweta. By the third month of joining Amazon, they were already selected for the Seller-fulfilled Prime category as an Amazon Saheli Partner. “It's been an overwhelming and exciting journey for us. Our brand went live earlier this year on Amazon, and in this short period we have had the opportunity to ship our earth-friendly products all across the country,” adds Nehal.
“At Green Souls we have been working towards making our earth greener, and we are proud to say that our brand, Mitti Se Mitti Tak is part of Saheli,” shares Avani Dave, one of the three partners. “It all started with a local community initiative of ours, when we made our neighbourhood waste free,” says Nehal Desai, who handles the product design. Their approach has always been to treat waste as resource, and to plug the supply–demand gap in the marketplace for aesthetically designed, re-usable and recycled products. Since Nehal’s family business is in the garments sector, they began by utilising the fabric scraps from her family’s garment manufacturing unit. Nehal designed various bags, pouches and even textile jewellery with the scrap, while Avani and Shweta handled the paperwork and legal aspects of running the business.
Says Nehal, “We began with limited quantity retail sales, and eventually wanted to go corporate, but it was tough going and we could not do it. Meanwhile, we began receiving bulk orders from other sources.” That was when her domestic help, Sagar, was roped in and trained in handcrafting eco-friendly products. Sagar now supervises a small team of three or four women from her local community. They earn an extra income from the pieces they create for Green Souls, which supplements their earnings working as domestic helps. This extra money has been useful for meeting their household expenses and in helping to educate their children. “Nehal didi and her friends have been my inspiration. It is only because of them that I’ve discovered my own potential. It makes me happy to educate my children and to help other women in my community,” shares Sagar, the young mother of three. Incidentally, Sagar has recently finished her 10th grade school education and has enrolled herself into night classes to study further.
Plethora of eco-friendly products
What sets Green Souls apart in the online marketplace, however, is its innovative re-use of eco-friendly products that would leave minimal or zero carbon footprints. Currently, the Mitti Se Mitti Tak brand is present in the office products as well as luggage and bags categories on Amazon’s shelves. Some of its best selling products include recycled paper pencils with assorted seeds, reusable canvas green grocery shopping bags with an assortment of canvas drawstring pouches, reusable cotton shopping bags, seed pencils, and seed pens in reusable jute pouches. The cotton canvas shopping bags with drawstring pouches are Amazon exclusive products. They were specially created to reduce carbon footprint by eliminating plastic bags. Green Souls plans to add more such eco-friendly products in the coming months. The team is experimenting with various new products for the festive season. “Diwali is all about lights, gifts and spreading love. So we thought of launching a new line of products for Diwali that could also be eco-friendly. To promote sensible consumerism, Green Souls is launching beautiful jute lanterns, packs of recycled paper envelopes, and handloom envelopes with traditional prints for Diwali.