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Q&A: Meet the Founders of EcoSoul

Tackling environmental issues in the retail industry is a daunting task. From sourcing materials to mitigating emissions, there’s a never-ending list of ways to be better. Luckily, our fearless founders, Arvind Ganesan and Rahul Singh, are up to the challenge. We caught up with them this week to learn more about why they started EcoSoul Home and their vision for a cleaner future. 

Q: First thing’s first — what led you to start EcoSoul Home?

AG: Well, taking it back to the beginning, Rahul and I met at Wayfair. I was the General Manager of Home Improvement and Rahul was my counterpart as the General Manager of our Global Supply Chain. 

We’re both parents of young kids and bonded over a shared passion for reducing our environmental impact. Although we were aiming to do better, we noticed a glaring lack of sustainable choices in retail stores. It seemed like almost every product contained plastic or wood — contributing to the world’s plastic problem and global deforestation. So, we decided to leverage our contacts in market research to see just how bleak our options were.

RS: What we found really startled us:

  • More than 85% of retail stores don’t carry compostable, plastic free, or tree-free tableware.
  • Over 90% don’t carry compostable, plastic-free waste bags.
  • More than 92% don’t carry silicone-free, wood-free kitchenware.
  • And over 95% don’t carry tree-free kitchen towels, bath tissues, or toilet paper.

What’s even worse is that where challenger brands did exist, their price points made them inaccessible to the average consumer. This was our “aha!” moment. We saw an opportunity to create a fundamentally different solution, so we quit our jobs and started EcoSoul Home.

Q: What makes  EcoSoul Home different from the existing sustainable home brands out there?

RS: Many brands claim to be eco-friendly, but few have the certifications to prove it. We’ve worked hard from the get-go to ensure that all of our products are certified through industry-leading agencies — like USDA, TUV Austria, The Biodegradable Products Institute, and FSC — so you can trust that they’re better for you and the environment.

We’re also hyperfocused on making our products accessible to all. While most challenger brands use sourcing houses or multi-layered distributors, we have on-the-ground manufacturing operations close to our source materials in Asia. This gives us more control over our supply chain, allowing us to create high-quality products at a lower cost to the consumer. 

AG: Women’s empowerment is another core differentiator for our brand. 70% of the staff in our manufacturing and warehousing facilities in India are women. Many of them have been with us right from the beginning — not only because they’re excited about our mission, but also because we go to great lengths to treat them right. We offer them fair wages, safe working conditions, free meals, and transportation to and from work. 

RS: That’s huge for us. Not to mention, we have big plans to bring sustainable products to every room of the home. While most early-stage brands focus on a niche in the industry, we’ve chosen to go broad. It’s important to us to address the wide scope of environmental issues caused by the retail industry.

Q: There are so many areas of the home that can be more sustainable. What made you start with kitchen and dining?

RS: The kitchen is the heart of the home. When family and friends gather, they always end up there, which makes it an important place to begin — especially since retail stores were missing the mark on sustainability.

AG: Absolutely. And that said, we have plans to expand our tree-free and plastic-free collections very soon, which will take us far beyond kitchen and dining.

Q: How have you become more sustainable in your own home since starting this brand?

AG: We signed up with our town for a compost bin and switched over to compostable waste bags and tableware. We also traded in our gas-guzzling Acura for an electric car that goes easier on the environment. 

RS: In general, we’ve become much more cognizant about the types of products we purchase — seeking out recyclable or compostable options whenever possible.

 

 

" Want to learn more about how you can reduce your household’s footprint with EcoSoul Home?  Check out our Impact Page for ideas and details."