This blog was originally posted on Homegrown on Jul 06 2020.
With over 7 years of experience in the digital marketing and strategy space, Chaitsi Ahuja had initially wanted to carve out her professional trajectory in the high-profile corporate world. But destiny had other plans for her. While she was ploughing away at her last job in a large retail company, she felt overwhelmed and unhappy by the shape her life had taken.
Her role in the company entailed creating high-budget marketing campaigns to push low-price sales of FMCG products that were processed foods created for mass consumption, something which led to waste accumulation in our oceans.
On weekends, however, she engaged herself in beach clean-ups and walks along nature trails. Indulging herself in these two strands of starkly contradictory activities was difficult to reconcile with. It clearly did not make sense in devoting as much time to cleaning up wastes, as she spent in creating the same. So, she finally quit her job and started exploring ways and means of promoting a sustainable lifestyle for people. However, this wasn’t as much of a watershed moment for her, as it was a tipping point.
“I have been an earth-lover ever since I was a child. I spent a lot of time with my plants in my home garden growing up, going vegan at a young age of 15 and have since then have been conscious about living low impact,” says Chaitsi.
Moreover, she has been on a journey to live plastic-free, chemical-free, and zero waste production for the past few years. However, she realised that living a sustainable lifestyle demanded a steady supply of the right kind of products which would not contribute to further ecological degradation.
On realising how much effort and time went into finding the right product as a consumer, she “became obsessed with understanding ingredients, methods and packaging materials” for the same.
“I always wanted to make these beautifully handcrafted and earth-friendly products mainstream - both for the makers and for the users,” she says.
Hence, with extensive experience in website design, UI/UX, Digital marketing and a proven track record of helping businesses grow, she wanted to put her skill to the right use and bring about a change in people’s lifestyle choices. This was how her online community and marketplace, Brown Living was born.
It’s a marketplace for a wide range of everyday products, specially curated for a sustainable, vegan, chemical-free and zero-waste lifestyle. Each product is handpicked from ethical brands across India, after having its environmental impact evaluated. Moreover, they also stock an entirely plastic-free product range to promote a chemical-free, carbon-neutral, and plastic-free shopping experience. They have eliminated plastic containers, styrofoam, plastic tapes and bubble wraps from their shipping journeys. In a measure to promote an inclusive environment, the organisation works mostly with enterprises run by women from marginalised communities, artisans and specially-abled people.
Brown Living is also a platform for artists, craftsmen, artisans and small businesses who make sustainable products that are plastic-free and climate-positive.
The organisation which wants to focus on the Indian market, for now, is provided logistical support by a team of earth advocates, aiming to promote a sustainable way of living.
They have created an online platform, through which they want to make sustainable products easily accessible to their consumers.
On their platform you will find environmentally-sustainable products handcrafted by marginalised artisan communities from rural India, thereby keeping their craft alive, whilst promoting slow and conscious consumption.
Today, they have 100+ brands listed spanning across 1200+ products in various categories (from food, fashion, home decor, zero waste essentials, skincare and more). Many more categories are in pipeline for the next few months (as soon as things go back to the “new normal”).
You can check out Brown Living’s website here.
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