In 2012, we (Yash and Sachi) were eating a donut at one of our favorite shops in Mumbai. As we finished, Yash looked down at the plate in his hands.
These plates that we had used for less that 5 minutes was going to sit in a landfill for the next 500 years.
We are siblings who grew up in Mumbai. We pride ourselves on being conscientious citizens.Sachi has worked with marginalized communities for years. Yash always wanted to do a meaningful job that went beyond spreadsheets and the bottom line. In principle, we cared for people and the environment. Yet, till that moment we had barely given a thought to the environmental consequences of such a basic action - eating from a disposable plate.
Our realization was that we need products and solutions that have as close to zero footprints on our earth as possible. If we don’t make this switch and fast, life in a few years is possibly going to be unrecognizable.
Shunya. Zero. Zero waste, zero footprints. Born out of the need to make that change. We realized that the two of us had to start the change, and luckily we had complementary skills to pull it off.
We bootstrapped out of our balcony for some months, speaking to eco-activists, negotiating with suppliers, spending long hours researching products. Our tiny balcony was piled high with boxes recycled from the Kirana store downstairs. Mom sent a constant stream of chai and food to the back of the house. Bagasse plates were the first product that we launched, as a direct response to the styrofoam plates that triggered the genesis of Shunya. When the piles of boxes got too tall for the balcony, we found our first office, a lovely cottage in the by lanes of Vile Parle. Friends rallied in support. They contributed in knowledge and resources, with web design and camera skills, and small amounts of seed money when it was needed. We found our first team member, an office boy who could help us in our daily workout of carrying and packing boxes.
Since then, we have launched many new products. Some have been designed in-house, some have been sourced from people doing brilliant work somewhere else. Our range now includes bamboo straws, eco-friendly bags, coasters, and toothbrushes. We have revamped our signature tableware collection, constantly responding to market needs and making better, friendlier products for everyone. And we constantly look out for new products and solutions, so let us know what you need, or what you can help us make. Our only condition is that they should make the planet a better place. So locally sourced, biodegradable, handmade, rural, are big plus points.
And we don’t claim to know it all. We are co-learners in the process of ‘greening’ lives. And although we have long moved out of that balcony, and now have a team, we are still learning and unlearning. Change takes time. So we are in it for the long haul. But we want to help as much as we can, as quickly as we can in making these changes. Through products, and in ways that go beyond transactions. So we have a blog, and make regular videos on awesome eco-practices and brilliant people who lead them. And if you have any ideas, we want to hear from you. And don’t forget to spread the word and make the earth a better, cleaner, safer place.
For any inquiries contact us here:
Yash - firstname.lastname@example.org | 09920407033
Sachi - email@example.com | 09920877443