Women & Design // WID Insights
There's so much going on in the world right now, and while we might not feel it from the safety and comfort our homes provide, the world is changing. We've got to be conscious about our actions and the reactions they may cause; immediately, or down the line. We've decided to bring in a few eco-warriors who're fighting to battle the climate crisis in 2021.
Entrepreneurship is rising in India, with new businesses on the market every month we are hitting newer saturation levels. "India’s growth story has left behind a key demographic: women" Google's report 'Powering The Economy With Her: Women Entrepreneurship In India' states, "Despite improvements in social parameters, India’s growth does not translate to the economic inclusion and development of women".
Today India has "13.5–15.7 million women-owned enterprises", representing a small 20% of all enterprises. While the numbers may seem large at first, when seen in contrast to nationwide results, we're barely covering a quarter of the businesses nationwide. We wonder how many of those 20% women represent the design industry. To add to these statistics, the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, a local research firm recently shared their statistics on the number of urban women in or looking for work at just 7% in November 2020. If you're wondering what it means, it's basically stating that only 7% of urban Indian women have paid jobs. We're just as shocked as you are.
This month, with sustainability on our mind, we wanted to share a few kick-ass women-owned businesses that wowed us with their initiatives. Follow, support, and share!
Eco Femme is a women-led social enterprise founded in 2010, established to tackle the environmental impact of menstrual hygiene products. Women have enjoyed the comfort of disposable sanitary products for far too long without realizing that it comes at a great environmental cost. 12% of 355 million menstruators of our country are able to afford regular sanitary pads and will dispose of about 433 million pads each month which is approximately 150kg of waste. The carbon footprint - 5.3Kg CO2 in one year!
It is ingenious businesses like, Ecofemme that have dedicated themselves to reducing the impact on the planet while also providing quality products and empowering women. Our cycles are natural, So let's also care for them naturally.
According to the Earth's calendar year, Humans have spent approximately 20 mins on the planet. Look at what we have done to the earth in those 20 mins. In the last 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than any other life form on the planet. This 'create, use & throw' system is not sustainable and needs to evolve at every level of the production process. Consumers are at the center of this material economy, we can make a difference by living consciously and disposing of responsibly.
It was in response to this overwhelming waste problem, that Sahar Mansoor founded Bare Necessities. Sahar says, (as quoted on their website)"I am an accidental entrepreneur, though I come from a family of serial entrepreneurs. Bare Necessities started in the pursuit of zero waste living and living a lifestyle congruent to my own values." Sahar decided to stop contributing to this problem and created a brand that mirrored the values of zero waste, ethical consumption, and sustainability.
Sutrakaar Creations is weaving a sustainable future with yarns made using waste paper. "Paper is considered as delicate, but once woven, it is a strong and versatile material, which has a vast scope" their founder Neerja Palisetty shares in an interview with shethepeople.
With their handcrafted methods and processes, they've managed to cut their use of electrically operated machines. Additionally, by using recycled industrial waste for their wraps (cotton or Ahimsa silk) they contribute further to their zero-waste promise. The rawest material is sourced from kabadiwalas. The waste yarn is fashioned into accessories like pouches and handbags, gifting items such as diary covers and photo frames, and home decor accents such as lampshades and room dividers.
Sylvn Studio combines the love for art and earth into an equal distribution; manufacturing décor products from corrugated cardboard and empowering women along the way. The products at Sylvn Studio are manufactured with women in rural areas around Mumbai, helping them stay financially independent and put their talents to good use.
Sylvn Studio uses cardboard as a primary material in their products, "Corrugated cardboard is used to make shipping boxes and it is most sturdy as it is used to package electronic items. It is different from normal cardboard as there is a corrugated sheet between two flatliners. Though light in weight, it is strong," Bandana Jain, the founder states.
We're always open to other perspectives, opinions, and a good chat over some coffee or tea. We'd love to host a conversation with you, head on over to our Discord and get in touch!
With 🧡 Team WID.