June 2020: Coronavirus has made hygiene a rule to abide by. Unfortunately, most of the conventional cleaners are derived out of chemicals and increase water pollution: Urban Indian households release 21.6 billion litres of water contaminated with harsh chemical cleaners down the drain every single day. Bengaluru-based The Better Home, India’s first sustainability-focused consumer brand, aims to address this problem by bringing plant-based, child- and pet-friendly cleaners that have already saved 15 million litres of harmful chemicals from flowing into the ocean in Q1 FY20-21, having already sold over 21,000 bottles.
Brought to you by Dhimant Parekh and Anuradha Kedia, this homegrown brand of cleaners contains bio-active ingredients like good microbes and enzymes, which facilitate natural cleaning action, rather than the brute force of industrial-grade chemicals. These products are free of toxic agents, making them completely safe for infants and pets, and effective against all harmful bacteria and viruses. In fact, the WHO has certified these ingredients as an effective sanitization method against viruses. Even the waste-water generated from these products can be used productively, for example, to water plants. When released into the drainage system, it doesn’t change the vital and delicate ecological balance.
“The idea was to enable and empower our community to make that switch to eco-friendly products without compromising on two fundamental things: effectiveness of the product and convenience of purchase – Our powerful and effective cleaners come in a subscription kit that can be customized based on individual usage. Our customers don’t have to worry about forgetting to restock - we deliver every month to your doorstep come rain, hail or shine. Since we began operation in February 2020, we have already shipped 21,000 bottles of our product to around 200 cities in India and prevented 15 million litres of chemical-laden water from flowing into our water bodies,” says Dhimant Parekh, Founder & CEO, The Better Home.
The Better Home products have received phenomenal feedback from the community and customers and active customers. Celebrities who are known to be passionate about the environment such as Dia Mirza, Neha Dhupia, Sandhya Mridul and Chinmayi Sripradha have taken to social media to praise the efficacy of the product and the brand’s sustainable ways.
“We extensively researched the carbon, energy, green and brown water footprints of available packaging options. Alternatives like steel, glass and bio-plastics exist, but each one of them comes with their limitations. Metal and glass, for instance, have a higher footprint if one accounts for mining, processing and even shipping. Bio-plastics, as trendy as they sound as alternatives, are yet to undergo research to establish their real impact on the environment, and their production at scale is still a challenge. There is no such thing as a purely sustainable material; there are, however, Sustainable Systems - which is what we created. Our first kit comes in reusable plastic bottles, and all subsequent kits contain paper pouches, which one can empty into these bottles. We also run a take-back program where you can send the refill pouches and the bottles back to us for responsible disposal and up-cycling.” says Anuradha Kedia, Co-founder, The Better Home.
All refill pouches are sent in self-addressed envelopes, and customers are encouraged to send these back to the company in case they have no means to recycle/upcycle it themselves. They have partnered with an NGO to collect these materials and recycle them to ensure they don’t end up in landfills and oceans.
“We have engaged MSMEs in Ahmedabad and Pune to manufacture the products. As we scale, we will engage more local businesses and impact more livelihoods. We are passionate about making the world a better place to live in and are excited about the large-scale lasting impact the brand will create,” the enthusiastic founders say.
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