Welcome to our interview series where we speak with purpose-driven business owners and ecopreneurs from around the globe. Every few weeks, we’ll dive into their journeys, learn about their wins and challenges, and the resources they couldn’t do without.
Prepare to be inspired and learn something new!
Today’s guest is Jigisha M Shukla from Bageeya.
Please tell us a little bit about who you are, your background, and what you did before starting your own business?
Hello, I am Jigisha Shukla, an engineer cum designer who has an inclination towards crafts and sustainability which led me towards creating a brand that is a mix of eclectic fashion deeply inspired by nature itself. My technical background helped me understand the DNA of natural dyes exploring some unique techniques to contemporize the natural dyes while maintaining its ethos.
What inspired you to create a purpose-driven company and how did you come up with the business idea?
I wanted to work for sustainable textiles but there were a few problems which needs to be look upon, as I feel the problem people experience with eco dyeing is varied color and print palette, replication of print design, and its aftercare. After researching for 2 years we came up with the idea of using the DNA of natural dyes by exploring some unique techniques to contemporize the nature dyes by maintaining its ethnicity, that’s why bageeya is found.
In your experience, what are the main challenges of starting and running a green business?
There’s still a small segment of consumer base category to understand green businessess which are working in niche market category and secondly, to invest in the promotion of PR marketing which requires a huge amount of global audiences who understand green businesses and ready to invest their time at large.
What is your business mission & purpose and why?
Bageeya is a sustainable brand that works on a circular economy where we procure the flowers from temples that are discarded and the limited herbs to create natural prints. We aim to use all the temple discarded flowers in the city and give them a second life by creating beautiful prints on natural hand-woven textiles. With our innovation in process, we are trying to produce exemplary color and light fastness on fabrics using natural materials. We are also available to achieve a varied palette. With our patented process, we can create an infrastructure to solve the problem of limited and slow production of naturally printed textiles.
How does your work address societal and/or environmental issues?
The use of handwoven textiles will boost the market for the weavers as well. Our social practices include making of the end products for marketing purposes. All our products are biodegradable in nature and is made to compost or recycled once used by the consumers. Re-using of post dyeing water in multiple ways is usually practice by us, after processes in our studio.
What are the most common mistakes you see green businesses make?
A lot of green businesses are taking a huge step to become sustainable in a bid to reduce carbon traces from the environment, many of them consider green businesses to be a very expensive venture for investment. But apart from the huge investment, it should focus on some inexpensive venture of investment in small projects as well. Starting with small steps instead of taking giant leaps can help minimize mistakes along the way. Companies planning to go green should also do ample research on the subject before plunging into it wholeheartedly.
Is there anything that you do outside of your business that is driven by similar (sustainability) objectives?
Sustainability can be practiced in many ways, like reducing wastage of water which we can use in multiple ways further, plant more and more trees, using green resources consciously, using local materials and reducing the usage of single used plastics, living a green lifestyle, and re-use of the waste generated from natural dyeing into compost which is biodegradable in nature.
In which area of your business are you struggling the most to reduce your environmental impact?
Reusing of water and improving our packaging, to save paper and plastics.
What’s your day-to-day like?
- Collecting temple waste and utilizing it as major raw material for printing
- Production- Research, dyeing, printing
- Designing Prints and Designing products
- Sales and purchase
- Training and Empowering
- Awareness spreading
What do you like the most about the work you do?
Every day, we experience and experiment with new design innovations and magical prints and textures that are breath-taking to watch, and are practiced by our artisanal team.
How do you grow and scale your business, and what are the main growth constraints and opportunities?
Our revenue streams come from both production and service. We do direct sales of our produced goods through exhibitions and through different campaigns on social media. We also offer services of printing to other businesses and in return get the decided amount. Having funds to reaching to markets, investments for PR, and advertising.
What green businesses/sectors do you see growing the fastest right now and/or will become mainstream within the next 10 years?
Brown living – they are entering a phase of unprecedented innovations, introducing new models of resource efficiency that are emerging rapidly, they are working on sustainable forces and are emerging small entrepreneurs by giving them a platform to sell their eco-friendly goods and services. They are helping them in building drive force globally so that they can do hand-to-hand businesses with international audiences as well.
What is the role of technology in your business? Any tools or technologies that you find helpful for your business efficiency and/or sustainability?
The Ph meter helps us to create color and light fastness dyes on fabric with required quantity of that, Secondly, the weighing scale (Reputed Micro system scale) for weighing dyes and pigments are used at each time before the processes.
In your opinion, what are the top skills necessary to be a successful eco-entrepreneur?
Adaptability, persistence and hard work are the keys to success in small business, they are three important attributes no matter what your future endeavors are.
Any “lessons learned” or advice you can share with aspiring or current green business owners?
Don’t be afraid to seek help. I’m not saying you should call them up and immediately start pitching up, but always meet them to catch up over coffee or a meal and see if there is any that they are able to help and support.
What inspires you every day to wake up and keep going?
I would wake up every morning with a thought, as to build a successful sustainable model by generating work for India’s second-most employment generating sector and building awareness and product line to contribute towards bringing down pollution created by textile dyeing without compromising on colors and prints.
“From temples of India, to Colors of Life.“
Jigisha M Shukla is the founder of Bageeya Eco-Clothing. She is an Engineer cum designer who has an inclination towards crafts and sustainability led her towards creating a brand that is a mix of eclectic fashion deeply inspired by nature itself.
Her technical background helped her to understand the DNA of nature dyes exploring some unique techniques to contemporize the nature dyes while maintaining its ethos. As a Buddhist practitioner, she believes in creating huge value with her work which is the sole motto behind the brand.