Ecohoy, the Online Retail Portal that Helps You Go Green
Ecohoy is a startup in the environment space focused on bettering the environment. Their recently launched online portal works to provide eco-friendly and green products for everyday needs.
Not only is Ecohoy offering eco-friendly solutions from cookware, kitchenware, organic food, personal care and hygiene, baby care and toys to eco-fashion products, but every Ecohoy product is also analyzed in-house through research and development for their eco-friendliness before they are listed. The products listed on their website are accompanied with notes and features about why a particular product is eco-friendly.
Ecohoy founder and Director, Aayush Sharma, spoke to The Tech Panda about the inspiration behind a product portal with an environmental edge.
“Environmental Issues and climate change is the challenge of our times, and our actions can very well determine the future course for generations to come,” he says.
Sharma says the idea of Ecohoy started when he became aware that whenever environmental issues are talked about, individual contributions are limited to planting trees or not using plastic bags. Unlike many one-point lifestyle solution apps or websites in areas such as fitness, meditation, yoga, and music, there seemed nothing of a single-point solution for people who wanted to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle.
While information is available, it is scattered across websites, and the information is usually news based and not actionable. Sharma found that while several articles about new innovative eco-products appear, the information on where to buy the products was limited.
“This problem is compounded when it comes to larger organizations, where they are dependent on multiple vendors to design individual solutions, which may not necessarily be in synergy with each other,” he says.
Sharma explains that the idea of the Ecohoy portal is to provide green and sustainable alternatives to every-day products that a person uses.
“All Ecohoy products come with full disclosures on why a certain product is eco-friendly and details about its product lifecycle. This makes adopting a sustainable lifestyle more informed and easier,” he says.
So, how can Ecohoy’s approach lead to a larger change? Sharma says that the whole idea is to make environmentalism more participatory and easy to access with the use of technology, structure, and research.
“While one single purchase from the website will not have a huge impact, when the same is aggregated across geographies and volumes, these small changes can lead to positive impact and give the much needed impetus to catalyze growth of circular economies, sustainable economic systems, and also economies of scale for eco products and services,” he explains.
Sharma, who has a Master’s in Business, has worked in finance and has held leadership positions from a young age, which provided a learning curve that helped when they started thinking of Ecohoy. Thus, when the idea struck, there was already some understanding towards what running an operation entails.
Among the many features that the Ecohoy website offers to its users, is an India-centric carbon footprint calculator that they have developed. The feature has customized emission factors for all Indian electricity grids, motor vehicles, and public transport. A user can find out their current yearly footprint by answering a few simple questions.
“This helps quantifying and comparing their impact and acts as a starting point towards making changes,” says Sharma.
The portal also offers green alternatives for conventional products. For example, a person seeking a sustainable alternative for a plastic toothbrush can opt for a bamboo toothbrush. The product lifecycle, which includes the raw material used, manufacturing process, impact upon use, and how a product is disposable, is all quantified and analyzed along with the product listing, so that a user can make informed decisions.
Additionally, products in a category can be filtered on the basis of eco-factors such as the raw material being used, manufacturing process, impact upon disposing a product, certifications, etc.
Currently, Ecohoy has alternatives across categories such as cookware, home decor, stationary, personal care, organic food supplies, fashion accessories, bags, child care, toys, electric accessories etc. A user can thus visit and explore the eco-alternatives available.
“At the very least, the portal is a single platform where the user can look up eco-alternatives,” Sharma says.
Ecohoy considers anyone or any organization that wants to make positive environmental changes as its target audience. Having said that, relatively larger urban towns and metro cities, where people are already accustomed to online products and services and are more aware of environmental issues and climate change, make most of their target segment. They are also getting international orders and trade enquiries.
A year since the launch of their website, Sharma says Ecohoy has seen a steady and gradual increase in awareness levels in their customer base. Both nationally and internationally, there has been an increase in repeat customers.
“The response has been encouraging, conceptualization of the idea and quality of the products are being appreciated,” he says.
The Ecohoy team also conducts environment workshops on climate change and carbon footprints for institutes and corporates. They consult practices with institutions to aid in reducing their respective carbon footprints. For the Ecohoy team, after launching their retail website, providing organizational solutions was the next step.
“Organizations can play a major role towards positive change due to their sheer scale and their impact on the eco-system they operate in,” Sharma explains.
While the entire service offerings are still a work in progress, the company has kick started the process with Sustainability and Climate Change Workshops, Green Gifting Solutions, Sustainable Office Supplies, Design and Implementation of Green Practices, and Assistance towards Environmental CSR. Sharma says they have had successful associations with companies and educational institutions.
“The feedback that we are getting is encouraging and a strong source of motivation. We will continue to strive towards enhancing and bettering ourselves for our customers and most importantly for the planet that we all so dearly love,” he says.