The Startup Story behind Bare Necessities – A Brand Promoting Zero Waste Lifestyle

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Sahar Mansoor – The face behind Bare Necessities

Sahar Mansoor - Bare Necessities
Sahar Mansoor

Sahar Mansoor is alumni of the University of Cambridge with a background in environmental policy, Sahar is the Founder and CEO at Bare Necessities (BN)—a hub for zero-waste living in India.

Sahar formerly worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva and SELCO Foundation on renewable energy projects. Sahar also attended INSEAD Business School for an executive education program on Social Entrepreneurship.

 

Awards and Recognitions

Bare Necessities got titled as one of the top 5 handcrafted-in-India brands by Harper’s Bazaar. Google India recognizes Sahar as ‘The Most Inspiring Indian of the Year’ (2017); meanwhile, NDTV named her a ‘Swachh Warrior’ (2017). Sahar also got featured as one of six women re-defining by MTV India in association with Jockey Women.

Most recently, Sahar became a Climate Reality Leader, having received the Climate Reality training from Vice President Al Gore in 2019.

Check out the Bare Necessities platform here.

 

What does Bare Necessities do?

Bare Necessities - Website Screenshot
Bare Necessities – Website Screenshot

Bare Necessities creates products that are handcrafted in India. Bare Necessities attempt to celebrate the beauty and richness of India.

Bare Necessities incorporates indigenous, ancient ingredients whose benefits we have probably heard of but never really experienced for ourselves such as, turmeric, it works wonders with its potent anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. These properties make for remarkably effective personal care products.

The Team
The Team

At Bare Necessities, All the products are powered by natural, bare Indian ingredients, which have no harmful impacts on health or environment. The company uses materials that are ethically sourced. All packagings are recyclable or biodegradable, which means nothing ends up in a landfill while the company takes care of women’s empowerment; all products are handcrafted by women in Karnataka.

Through talks and workshops, the company has addressed over ten thousand people in the past three years! That’s 10,000 more people than before who are thinking about reducing their waste. The company has sold over a thousand reusable straws and bamboo toothbrushes, which means far fewer plastic straws and brushes in the landfill.

Till date, the total waste produced by the company during the 3 years of production period is just a small 500gm jar.

Check out the Bare Necessities platform here.

 

Idea and inspiration behind Bare Necessities

Bare Necessities was started in the pursuit of zero waste living and living a lifestyle congruent with values. Sahar felt overwhelmed by India’s trash problem seeing piles of garbage on the streets. She spent time with local waste pickers and watched them sort through waste with their bare hands. Sahar started to think of the environmental, health, and social justice issues associated with our garbage problem.

Sahar wanted to make it easy for other people looking to consume this idea more mindfully and to encourage others to produce less waste, and this is how Bare Necessities was born.

 

Challenges faced by Sahar in the Outset

Some of the challenges experienced by Sahar was the difficulty in articulating what zero waste lifestyle means?

Sahar found it very hard to find high-quality products that she trusted were chemical-free and plastic-free. And only if these products were available, they were hard to access or too expensive.

 

Recent Collaborations

Collaboration and partnership in the sustainability field are definitely much needed considering it is an up and coming industry and mindset. The company recently partnered with many like-minded individuals and organizations.

Partnership with Third Wave Coffee and Blue Tokai Coffee – To eliminate waste, The Company formed a partnership with the coffee houses in Bangalore and decided to collect their waste coffee grounds and use it in their scrub.

The company formed a partnership with Mason & Co, where they were able to source cocoa butter and cocoa powder from a small local enterprise based out of Auroville.

Recently, the company collaborated with different experts in various fields such as fashion, personal care, health and wellness, sustainable urban city planning, and ecotourism. These experts were from many organizations, including Daily Dump, FairTrade India, Fashion Revolution India, Copper + Cloves, Sustainable Partnership.

 

First Milestone for Bare Necessities

The first milestone of the company was getting the first B2B client, which helped scale the business and move from flea market small social enterprise to a social enterprise that has more prominence and potential in the zero-waste field.

The company’s talk at Google and the article in Femina India were two other significant milestones that helped the company get further recognition in the early days and enhanced them to build credibility and brand awareness.

 

The Vision

The company’s vision is to contribute to transitioning communities to a waste-free environment proactively. The company seeks to create Environmental and Social Impact by offering Zero-Waste Solution to empower local communities and to change the mindset on sustainability in India and beyond.

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