October 23, 2023 (IANSlife) The conversation around conserving the environment and protecting and preserving natural resources is gaining momentum globally. With the complete misuse and depletion of the earth’s resources, it’s time that our lifestyles become such that we incorporate eco-friendly products that are locally sourced and sustainable.
Amala Earth is a one-stop marketplace that enables conscious consumer choices with over 70,000 products. It gives great importance to a value-based community of like-minded individuals. It treasures the authenticity of locally sourced products that are conscious alternatives to be used at home and around us. At Amala Earth, responsible choices are supported and transformation is embraced. The idea is to bring together all brands, products, experts, and consumers on a common platform to drive a change in the consumption patterns of individuals and enable them to incorporate organic products, eco-friendly products, and locally sourced products into everyday living.
IANSlife spoke to Gunjan Jindal Poddar to find out how this is possible.
What inspired the creation of your business, and what core values drive your company's mission?
Gunjan: Amala Earth was born out of a deep-rooted passion for promoting conscious and sustainable living. The inspiration behind our business came from a journey of personal discovery in the way we live. From being a young businesswoman to becoming a mother, I found myself reflecting even more deeply on my lifestyle choices. This reflection led to the realisation that our legacy for the future is our planet, and we needed to encourage consumers to make informed choices to positively impact the environment.
The core values that drive our company's mission are rooted in the Amala consciousness, which signifies the ultimate form of purity in Buddhism. We aim to gently introduce conscious living and create a community of like-minded people. Our vision is to bring together brands, products, experts, and individuals to coexist harmoniously and promote a sustainable lifestyle. We aspire to be a driving force in changing consumer behaviour by providing alternative solutions for a better world.
In what ways does your business prioritize sustainability or eco-friendliness?
Gunjan: At Amala Earth, sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We favour materials that are natural, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly. Our focus is on plastic-free and minimal packaging and products with a preference for recyclable, compostable, or reusable materials to reduce plastic waste and contribute to environmental preservation.
We onboard brands that collaborate with local artisans, promote fair trade practices, and support ethical production. We prioritise local sourcing and earth-friendly practices that reflect our unwavering commitment to fostering a sustainable and eco-conscious way of living.
What future growth and evolution do you envision for your business in the coming years?
Gunjan: We envision significant growth for Amala Earth in the coming years. Our primary focus is to expand our product range, offering a broader selection of sustainable alternatives to cater to diverse consumer requirements and preferences. This expansion aligns with our commitment to providing comprehensive accessible, eco-friendly solutions.
Additionally, we plan to collaborate with like-minded organisations and individuals to create a community that believes in making every day earth-friendly. We aspire to be the go-to platform for consumers seeking sustainable living solutions and to further our impact within the sustainability landscape.
How have you observed the eco-friendly retail industry evolving in recent years, and what factors do you think are driving its growth?
Gunjan: In recent years, the eco-friendly retail industry has witnessed significant growth and transformation. What was once considered a trend has now become a way of life. Consumers are increasingly educating themselves about healthy food choices, sustainability, and the environmental impact of their purchases. Several factors are driving this growth:
Can you share insights into the changing consumer preferences and behaviors, particularly their increasing interest in eco-conscious and sustainable products?
Gunjan: Through platforms like Amala Earth, we offer consumers opportunities to educate themselves and make conscious switches to a healthier, natural, and more earth-friendly lifestyle. Consumers are conscious about the things they buy. This need for knowledge extends to an understanding of the product's origin, manufacture, and environmental impact.
Moreover, health and wellness considerations have taken centre stage in consumer priorities. Sustainable products that not only benefit the environment but also contribute to personal well-being are highly sought-after. This dual focus reflects a holistic approach to responsible consumption, emphasising both ethical considerations and quality standards.
Supporting local artisans and communities is another significant aspect of this trend. Consumers increasingly appreciate products that have a connection to Indian heritage, valuing the cultural significance and socio-economic support they provide.
Waste reduction, especially in terms of plastic waste, remains a top concern. Consumers actively seek products with minimal or recyclable packaging, demonstrating their growing awareness of the environmental impact of waste.
Consumers in India are showing a strong inclination towards eco-conscious and sustainable products that align with the values of knowledge-seeking, health and wellness priorities, support for local communities, and a commitment to waste reduction, shaping a market increasingly focused on responsible and conscientious consumption.
From your perspective, how do you envision the future of the eco-friendly retail sector? Are there any emerging trends or innovations that excite you?
Gunjan: From the perspective of Amala Earth, the future of the eco-friendly retail sector holds significant promise. We envision a continued expansion of this sector as an increasing number of consumers embrace sustainable living practices. Several emerging trends and innovations particularly excite us.
First and foremost, the concept of a circular economy is gaining widespread acceptance. This approach involves designing products with an emphasis on reuse and recycling, thus minimising waste and environmental impact. It aligns perfectly with our ethos of promoting sustainable and earth-friendly products.
Additionally, various eco-friendly apps empower consumers with information to effortlessly make sustainable choices. This tech-savvy approach resonates with our commitment to offering transparency in our product offerings.
The surge in demand for plant-based products is a noteworthy development, spanning multiple categories from food to fashion. This trend is being driven by concerns about animal welfare, health, and the environment. Consumers are increasingly opting for plant-based alternatives as part of their eco-conscious lifestyles, and we're delighted to offer a wide range of such products.
Lastly, collaborations between brands and organisations are fostering creative solutions and innovative eco-friendly products. These partnerships are essential in driving sustainability efforts and creating a wider range of options for consumers. At Amala Earth, we value such collaborations that enable us to curate unique and impactful products for our discerning customers.
In conclusion, the future of the eco-friendly retail sector looks promising, and AmalaEarth is enthusiastic about these emerging trends and innovations. Our mission is to continually offer an extensive selection of sustainable products that align with our values and those of our discerning customers. Together, we look forward to shaping a more sustainable and eco-conscious future.
Could you discuss any challenges or obstacles that the industry faces, and how your business is addressing them?
Gunjan: One significant challenge is the need for continuous consumer education about the importance of eco-friendly products. We address this challenge by not only offering sustainable products but also by providing information and resources to help consumers make informed choices. Our "Butterfly Score" system helps consumers understand a brand's sustainability practices.
Another challenge is the availability of sustainable alternatives in various categories. We actively seek out unique earth-friendly brands and products to add to our portfolio, ensuring a diverse range of eco-friendly options.
In what ways do you collaborate with eco-friendly brands or engage in sustainable practices within your retail operations?
Gunjan: We collaborate with eco-friendly brands that resonate with our vision and values, offering earth-friendly products. We minimise packaging waste by using eco-friendly materials, reducing our carbon footprint through local sourcing, and continuously improving the consumer experience through our app and website.
Our commitment to collaboration and sustainable practices is at the core of Amala Earth's mission to create a positive impact on the environment and promote conscious living.
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