Published: 05th June 2019
This Chennai duo is offering cheap, eco-friendly items that will keep the environment happy for- Everwards
From toothbrushes made from bamboo to pens made from newspaper, this Chennai-based duo has 40 alternatives for your daily-use plastic items that they sell through their product platform Everwards
A lot of people want to make a change, take an ecological step towards making the world a tad bit more liveable for the upcoming generations. But something was stopping the regular crowd from practising sustainable living and then this Chennai-duo found out why — it was because of the inaccessibility and unaffordability of sustainable products. Meet Sudarshana Pai and Veena Balakrishnan, the faces behind Everwards India, a product platform that creates fun, simple and inexpensive products to counter serious and hazardous environmental issues.
Started in June 2018, Everwards was born as two young happy-go-lucky millennials, Sudarshana and Veena made the decision to live a life of minimal impact. Everwards is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to shop mindfully and consciously. Each of their products has a story, making no one look further than this product company while moving towards becoming a responsible consumer. "Everwards is our product platform and e-commerce store. We create everyday essentials in an eco-friendly manner. Our aim is to help people change their lifestyle into a more mindful one. Currently, we also have different stores in the city, two stores in Besant Nagar, and two others in Egmore and Nungambakkam," says Veena.
The duo initially began with a blog that later turned into their start-up called Two's Company.
We began blogging in May 2018, having conversations with people, creating awareness about environmental issues through our blog. Then we officially launched Everwards in June the same year. We saw that a lot of people who want to consciously change their lifestyle, after being aware do not have the right kind of means or the platform to help them do so, thus we wanted to be there to tackle that.
Veena Balakrishnan, Co-Founder, Everwards
Both the youngsters, one, 22-year-old and the other, 24-year-old, studied Fashion Technology from NIFT, Chennai and have been well aware of the unsustainable ways in which the fashion industry works and the amount of non-biodegradable industrial waste it generates. "We had a subject called sustainable production that was an elective in our final year where we studied about the impact. Then it came to us that we should change our lifestyle or at least try and make a change. Things that we are using every day in our lives. We slowly started changing our own lifestyle and that's how this journey began. Now, we are both doing this full time," she adds.
Their products include things used daily, starting from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. A lot of thought goes into the making of the products and they particularly see to it that no excessive amounts of resources are used than what is required. Some resources that tend to end up in landfills which can still be utilised, they recycle use those types of resources too. "Our products are also socially sustainable. Through our company, we are also generating jobs for the physically challenged, people from the economically backward sections, and artisans and paying them more than what they earned at a daily wage job," explains Veena.
Among some of their exciting products, they have pencils made from graphite and newspaper – priced at Rs 49 – while toothbrushes are made from bamboo. They also make nearly 40 products that are sustainable alternatives to plastics used in everyday life, and prices range from Rs 49 to Rs 799. They also have a lot of coconut shell-based products like spoons and forks, soap dishes and teacups.
Water bottle cleaning brush
The duo also tests the products themselves to ensure quality. "Consumers do not contribute to any trash towards the end of their consumption. We also make sure that the packaging is also sustainable. We use a lot of stainless steel packaging, glass, all of which are recyclable and you can also reuse multiple times. We also offer people to refill, so they don't have to buy every time, which also allows them to recycle the containers. Basically, the things that go to waste, our idea is to turn them into a more productive commodity," she says.
They conduct a small-scale event every year to invite more local makers to come and showcase the work they are doing to save the environment. "It is extremely important for Gen Z to take up sustainable practices and then promote them. This year we conducted an event on June 2 called Alternate To, which also included a small workshop to teach sustainable spending — when you spend on an eco-friendly product it actually means that you are saving on a larger scale. This was the second edition of the event, we plan to do more every six months," says Veena.
At this point, the duo is not really focused on making a profit, but their idea is to create awareness and help people change into a more environment-friendly lifestyle. As Veena concludes by saying, "If the alternatives are extremely expensive you won't buy your everyday essentials for that massive amount."
Take a look at some of their products:
Spoon and fork made from coconut