Hi I am Sahar Mansoor, founder and CEO of Bare Necessities. Through this blog post, I wanted to share my story and the role of SartupIndia in supporting me in my entrepreneurship journey.
When I first faced the facts, I couldn’t believe how something as innocuous as our garbage could be negatively connected to so many of my personal concerns.
I wanted to stop being part of the problem. I had to address my own trash problem first. My
solution – live a lifestyle that best reflects the values I cared about.
I had called myself an environmentalist for about six years at the time. I studied environmental planning, environmental policy and environmental economics in college and graduate school, but I thought I needed to live a life more congruent to my environmental and social justice values.
In my zero-waste journey, I realized we lived in a world with LANDFILL destined products.
Toothbrushes for instance- 4.7 billion of them end in the landfill every year, and take 200-700 years to start decomposing. So every toothbrush you and I have ever produced is sitting on our planet somewhere!
In response to this problem, I wanted to create a company that mirrored the values of zero waste, ethical consumption and sustainability. I wanted to make it easy and accessible for other people looking to consume more mindfully and to encourage others to produce less waste. Thus, Bare Necessities was born.
At Bare Necessities, it’s not just about selling products. It’s about encouraging an earth friendly lifestyle.
In the larger sense, BN seeks to change the narrative on waste in India. 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.
Startup India has helped facilitate a variety of competitions, national and international opportunities and more. The most beneficial being:
- Through financial initiatives (such as the discount while filing our Trade Mark)
- Start up competitions such as (the single use plastic challenge)
- International start up opportunities
March 2020, I was fortunate enough to be part of the CII-StartUp India delegation to attend the India- Bhutan Startup Summit in Bhutan.
I had the amazing opportunity to learn all about the gross happiness index from the PM of Bhutan himself, among senior leaders from the chamber of commerce and UNDP in Bhutan. I met amazing Bhutanese entrepreneurs, got to get to travel and get to know some of my fellow Indian entrepreneurs.
Additionally, I had the opportunity to attend SLUSH in Helsinki, Finland. SLUSH is a world famous startup event! A gathering of more than 20,000 change-makers, including thousands of startups and investors.
One of my favourite sessions was talking about breaking taboos and building future companies for the next generation with Andrea Barrica, Valentina Milanova and Sophia Bendz!
Founder fireside chats, panel discussions amidst this night club feel conference!
So grateful for this opportunity, thank you Startup India for this opportunity.
Pitching at the Startup India Booth at SLUSH, November 2019.
Lastly I wanted to share that Bare Necessities won the single use plastic challenge organized by Startup India. It’s great that plastic pollution is something that has been often overlooked for many years. We are currently living in the largest global garbage crisis of our lifetime. I am extremely glad that there was a competition hosted around such an important issue.
We additionally were invited to do a pitch with Amity University Incubation Lab.
As coronavirus sweeps the globe, many small businesses need your support such as Bare Necessities, especially, ESPECIALLY, now. Sales are down now more than ever, due to current circumstances with COVID-19.
So why say all this? To put it into perspective these people’s livelihoods are at risk. Due to lack of security for small businesses, or even daily/hourly wages for workers, the responsibility lies solely on the business itself.
Many small businesses such as ours are finding ways to conduct business without making contact, and trying to introspect and reinvent ourselves, on our own!
During this time, we received the start up challenge cash prize, it was very helpful to pay salaries and stay afloat.
Want to follow us on our journey? Follow us on:
Websites: https://barenecessities.teachable.com/p/zero-waste-in-30 ; https://barenecessities.in/