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Sustainability Stars!

Our chat with Bare Necessities

As Pinterest India celebrates Sustainability Month, we present to you, our chat with Bare Necessities Zero Waste. Read on to find out more about loving the planet, eco-friendly production and why India's mindset needs to change towards sustainability.

What made the Bare Necessities brand come about?

Bare Necessities’ founder, Sahar Mansoor, felt overwhelmed with India’s trash problem, having been confronted by it every day seeing piles of garbage on the streets. She spent time with local waste pickers and watched them sort through waste with their bare hands. She began thinking of the environmental, health and social justice issues associated with our garbage problem and decided to stop being part of the problem. Her solution was to live a lifestyle that best reflects the values she cared about. In her zero waste journey, she realized that it was impossible to find personal care and home care products that didn’t contain harmful chemicals and weren’t packaged in plastic. In response to this problem, she created a company that mirrored the values of zero waste, ethical consumption and sustainability. She wanted to make it easy for other people looking to consume more mindfully and to encourage others to produce less waste. And thus, Bare Necessities was born.

Can you explain how your products are sustainable?

Bare Necessities is passionate about creating products that are handcrafted in India. We take a cradle-to-cradle approach to every product, from the design to manufacturing to distribution. All our products are powered by natural, bare Indian ingredients; which have no harmful impacts on our health or environment. By relying on ethical sourcing from local farmers and vendors and by emphasising the employment of women, we solve the often-ignored yet growing problem of waste, and provide ethical and innovative solutions that benefit consumers and society. All of our packaging is zero waste, meaning it is reusable, recyclable and biodegradable. We use reusable glass jars for our products and have them wrapped in cloth scraps sourced from our local tailor and paper scraps from our printer. Our labels are printed on recycled paper and we use only paper tape for our packing In other words, we only use post-consumer packing materials to ship our products from us to our customers! And finally, we encourage customers to reuse the glass jars in the kitchen, compost the toothbrushes, and recycle all packing materials.

What according to you would be the ideal sustainable mindset in India?

The ideal sustainable mindset in India would be one where us consumers are able to understand the true cost of the choices we make on a daily basis. While India is widely known for its price sensitivity, we need a society that takes into account the manufacturing, the nature of materials used and the social and ecological impact a particular item can have. We need to understand that with economies of scale, even sustainable goods can be accessible for everyone. After all, sustainability encompasses people, planet and profit in one!

How can your followers do their bit and start their sustainable journey?

Everyone can do their bit for the environment by educating themselves on the importance of leading a conscious lifestyle. This can be done through online courses and books on zero waste living, sustainability and more! Participating in talks and workshops that discuss such topics will help connect with other like minded people across various sectors to show that you’re not alone in this journey! Check out our online courses, talks + workshops, books and games for more!

What’s your vision for the brand? Where do you see it 5 years from now?

In the future, Bare Necessities seeks to become an interdisciplinary hub, a home for product designers to design products with a cradle to cradle philosophy, a place for policy analysts to work with local government on policy recommendations to manage our waste better, to reduce our waste. A place for behavior economics, ecologists, researchers and consumers alike to build the ecosystem towards a circular economy.