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The girl who made bigger impact

Nitika Sonkhiya
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Nitika Sonkhiya

Highlights

Nitika Sonkhiya, co-founder and CEO, feels very strongly about sustainable living and reducing waste, and MyONEarth was created to serve this purpose. The products at ONEarth are designed to be beautiful, cost effective replacements for single-use plastic products that we use on a daily basis

MyONEarth, a company working to replace single-use plastic and make a substantial positive impact on the environment.

The journey of ONEarth began earlier this year. Pandemic not with standing and have managed to build a brand that connects with over 5000 people on Instagram and is vouched for by happy customers and businesses in India and abroad.

Nitika shares, "We are on our way to become a one-stop eco shop for our customers. The diversity of products we have on our platform is exclusive, and we already have international presence. In addition to working for our customers, we have also given a sustained push to empower local communities."

The thought of making the world a less toxic place to live is what gives Nikita energy day on day.

She adds, "My venture ONEarth is my attempt at generating widespread momentum towards reducing plastic usage and promoting lifestyle products made out of natural and #eco-friendly materials such as #bamboo, coconut and cork. I have previously also worked in the space of sustainable skincare products and recycled jewellery. I think it is high time for us to take responsibility and ownership for our way of life. We have seen the consequences of taking this planet for granted. MyONEarth is the result of a series of experiments I have done in the field of sustainability over the past 4 years.

I have been deeply involved with the idea and wanted to make a bigger impact. I started with organic skincare, but I realized a lot is already being done in this field. Slowly my attention went over to the immense amount of single use plastic we have in our lives, and I started doing something about it. I used my 1st bamboo toothbrush 5 years back, and since then I have made small changes in my daily life which I feel anyone can make and we can have a bigger impact. After I figured out not much was being done in this field across the country, I figured the time to jump in was right."

It was not an easy task for her to convince her parents that she would be leaving a high paying job to do something so unusual.

"My father was supportive however my mother was worried, she thought no one would marry me because I don't have a job. I realized that being a girl makes an entrepreneurial journey, which is already tough, even tougher. I met vendors in places that were not very welcoming for women, infact I couldn't spot a woman far away. Some vendors were not comfortable talking to me because I am a woman and also because I don't look my age. I realized that this space and the industry at large was still very male dominated. As a result, trust was hard to come by. I had to work extra hard to generate trust and goodwill. People underestimate you all the time. I had no experience building a successful business, the little that I knew came to me from my father. He tells me that always do your work with honesty. Rome was not built in a day, building a successful Business needs time and a lot of efforts," adds Nitika.

Corporates everywhere are rising to the challenge and requirement of being more socially responsible, because quite frankly, it is not possible to build a sustainable long-term business if you're not going to give back to the society in one way or another. You must pay back, or pay forward, otherwise you will not find support in communities. It makes sense because a lot of the raw materials for businesses are generated in far flung areas, where people work very hard to ensure quality. If people at this end of the supply chain are not taken care of, then the supply chain will not sustain.

ONEarth has been working diligently towards promoting and up-skilling local women entrepreneurs by giving them a platform to showcase and make the most of their talents. They work with recognised NGOs that share similar interests like their brand. These NGOs contribute to the manufacturing effort by employing rural women so that they may gain financial independence. By virtue of this business model, they have given livelihood to artisans and rural women in different parts of the country in the middle of this pandemic. We are set to further expand our reach and social impact.

Owing to Nitika's efforts, these artisans have access to a much larger market today. Their products are being shipped to 10+ countries, creating a global supply chain.

Nitika adds, "one of the unique aspects of many of our products is that they are handcrafted, thereby ensuring a personal touch to each unit that is sold. Somebody somewhere, not a machine, made what you are holding in your hands. Such uniqueness can only be sustained if our partners in the villages, the artisans, are happy. The women in the NGOs we work with are local rural women who are the primary source of income for the families and they were impacted by COVID-19 when they lost all the work, we gave them work during that time and they were really happy with that. When I see them empowered, I feel great, and there is no way we are leaving them behind. These are the good wishes from these women and local artisans that we are growing and supporting them will always be key for us."

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