Akshata Bhadranna – we decided to manufacture eco-friendly pencils on our own

‘Rahul and I moved to Bangalore from Indonesia in March 2018. Like many others, we never gave a second thought about climate change but while we both were working, we used to order a lot of food and every grocery came in Multi-Layered Plastic. That’s when we realised the amount of plastic waste being dumped by us into the dustbin, it kind of spurred us into action. We decided to phase plastic out of our lives and tried to set up a home that has the least amount of plastic. We started by giving up the use of plastic cutlery and replaced it with the traditional steel cutlery. We stored the take out boxes and the soft drink bottles to be given to recycling and started composting at home. This was a liberating experience. Our plastic waste was reduced about 80% and this pushed us to do more. We started researching on finding alternatives to everything we could.
Slowly, we switched to a bamboo toothbrush and gave up our traditional plastic one but we realised going eco-friendly is a luxury in India and eco-friendly products available at the market were very costly compared to the conventional ones. We wanted to bridge this gap and make eco-friendly items a common man’s product. We started sourcing eco-friendly products from other small manufactures and started selling on our platform. We made sure there was some branding and each product came with a handwritten note. We had 50 mid sized and 80 travel sets. Our products were sold out in 2 hours.
During this process, we came across the pencils made using recycled paper. This idea inspired us a lot, as 8 million trees are cut every year to make 20 billion pencils worldwide. So we decided to manufacture eco-friendly pencils on our own. That is when we both decided to come up with ‘Dopolgy’ which was born out of our need and then we extended it to make it available for everyone. As we grew, we tested a few products like wooden combs, straws, seedpaper. The biggest boost for us has been the eco-conscious community in Bangalore. In an year, we have done about 600 orders in 8 cities, available in 3 stores across 2 cities, done about 8 events, met hundreds of people. And this is just the beginning.’ said Akshata Bhadranna

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