Published: 19th May 2021
How COVID got this sustainable Delhi brand to mix their business with social issues
Origin One had donated all their profits towards COVID relief until May 17. We take a look at the factors that inspired the business to support the nation at this time of crisis
“We normally try to keep business separate from anything else because we want ours to be a very happy brand, in that sense. This time, it’s just so bad that there’s no other way to do this but to participate in any way we can,” says Pushkar Thakur, founder of the design firm The Grafiosi and the sustainable brand Origin One. Until May 17, all the New Delhi-based label’s proceeds were directed towards COVID relief. Having set up The Grafiosi 16 years ago, the intention behind setting up a brand of his own was based on his hope to work with the Indian retail industry. Pushkar wanted to introduce good design into the Indian market and with this thought, Origin One was set up in the early months of 2015. He describes his own work as global. “We are not limited to geographic boundaries and we don’t follow any particular design language. We are literally creating our own language all the time.”
The company has always aspired to give back to the world that it has been inspired by. An environmentally conscious initiative from the very beginning, Origin One has always walked the talk when it comes to sustainability. All of their administrative paperwork is printed on non-wood pulp papers and strictly uses close to zero plastic. They also introduced a tree-planting drive in Delhi. In the last ten months, they have managed to offset about 13,000 kg of carbon dioxide by planting close to 650 trees. The trees are traceable and dedicated to each customer as well as who has backed the project. “We thought of dedicating our profits on the weekends, like everyone else. But we just kept extending it. We weren’t the first to start this, we were inspired by many other brands who decided to give back too,” says Pushkar.
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After having started with a few posts on their social media platforms urging people to join in, they extended their COVID drive by a number of weeks. Pushkar explains, “Business is down right now, but we were hoping to help out in any way. Sadly, the response has been very dismal. We were not even doing 1/10th of the business we normally do during a month. That left us in a bit of a paradox. It’s just been a surprisingly low amount that we've raised, a few other brands have said the same. Towards the end, a lot of people came through and tried to help out. We’re hoping it will make a difference.”