Always wanted that perfect makeover for your home or your office cubicle? If you’re the kind to deck up your house with somethingunique,handmade, gorgeous and eco-friendly at the same time, then the Eco Corner is just the place to drop by.
Meet 33-year-old Urvashi Mody, a Graduate in Visual Communication from College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai, and the Founder of Eco Corner that began with the idea to bring eco friendly products under one roof.
How did it all begin?
Urvashi mentions, “Before starting Eco Corner at the Atria Mall on 20th of May 2006, we launched Ideas Incorporated, as a manufacturer of handmade stationery products in Mumbai. But eventually we realized there was no store which is truly dedicated to eco friendly products in Mumbai or in India for that matter. Also 50% of the products are made by rural artisans and the remaining in our own factory in Mumbai.” This gave Urvashi an idea to work on the concept of eco-friendly and indigenously created hand-made products to be available on a larger scale to the buyers.
With an initial investment of Rs. 20,000/- Urvashi started out with Ideas Incorporated, which later came to be known as Eco Corner. “My husband, Amish Mody and I started Eco Corner together and though I run the store on my own now, he continues being my mentor and the backbone of Eco Corner,” beams Urvashi.
Urvashi recalls, “Initially when we were located at the Atria Mall, we were faced with a misconception that eco friendly products are expensive; which is not entirely true. While we try our best to maintain competitive pricing, we ensure that all our products are washable and reusable which translates into value for money products. “
She also feels that since people are so used to plastic products and bags, it was hard to convert them to using alternative natural materials.
“We give away newspaper bags and cotton bags at the store with our products. But if we spot a customer carrying another shopping bag, we request them to use the same bag. Why overuse paper and cotton even if it’s eco friendly. Waste not, want not!” quips Urvashi.
What makes Eco Corner products so unique is that every item is hand crafted, made in India and is truly eco friendly. “I travel to the villages in South India, Orissa, Rajasthan, Bengal and Maharashtra training the artisans and sourcing products from them. Since they have the raw material, I tell them how and what product to make. Sometimes, the artisans have their own skills in which case we then only have to give them the design and the colour combination. In fact, they make all kinds of products from baskets, paper bags, table mats, runners, trays, statues, and aroma products.”
On 31st October, 2009 Eco Corner officially moved to the Palladium, High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel. “Since then we have had several orders. But the first order of ideas Incorporated came from Big Bazaar to create merchandise for the Bollywood film ‘Mein Prem Ki Diwani Hoon’. This is where, we had to make thousands of photo albums, photo frames and hand rolled paper pens and I remember we were working 18 hours a day to complete the order. Since then, we have had several orders, but this order from Big Bazaar always comes back to mind with ease and with a lot of pride,” adds Urvashi.
Urvashi shares a few tips to go eco-friendly at home:
- Grow at least 2-3 plants at home. You don’t need garden or a balcony for it. Just 3 small pots and you are set!
- Do composting at home and use it as organic fertilizers for your plants.
- Switch all electronic equipments when not in use. When travelling unplug all switches as they consume 10% of your total electricity bill.
- Go organic as far as you can in your kitchen.
- Allow good sun light to enter your home.
- Recycle whatever you can.
Urvashi states, “We at Eco Corner have a set of public collection bins in Mumbai to recycle used Tetra Packs. These tetra packs then get converted to paper and asbestos sheet for roofing.
Today, Eco Corner is five and a half years old and owes a lot of its publicity through word of mouth, press, television and advertisements. Eco Corner also regularly participates in the Kala Ghoda Festival held every year in Mumbai and at the Farmers’ Market an initiative by eco-nutritionist Kavita Mukhi to promote their products.
So far, celebrities such as Nana Patekar, Juhi Babbar, Shruti Hassan, Bhagyashree to name a few have been a part of Eco Corner’s long list of clientele .
Currently Eco Corner takes orders for out-station clients through their Facebook page and couriers their products all over India. Eco Corner also supplies some of their products to boutique stores in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Guwahati, Ludhiana and Rajkot.
Urvashi mentions, “We are working on launching our website- ecocornerindia.com sometime by the first week of January. Eco Corner is extremely affordable for all kinds of people, where the products range from Rs. 35 for an agarbatti (aroma stick) to Rs. 3200/- for a lamp. We are also looking at expanding to other cities as well. We believe slow and steady wins the race.”
Well, what can you pick up when you’re at Eco Corner? From gorgeous paper lanterns and lampshades, to pure essential oils from Essence Aromathologia, colourful ceramic planters, recycled newspaper baskets, gift boxes and the list goes on.
So the next time you’re looking for something unique to gift a friend or to jazz up your house, just drop by at Eco Corner at the Palladium for a gorgeous makeover in a totally environment-friendly way!
You can find Eco Corner at Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ecocornerindia?sk=info
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