In the fifth edition of our #socialenterprisestories, we hear from Ankit Tripathi about their incredible #startup journey.
Ankit and Atul are brothers and cofounders of #Uneako, a sustainable product manufacturing social enterprise. Both, engineers by education, they followed their spirits of engineering, entrepreneurship, and social development to give birth to their brainchild that aims to change consumer behaviors – to use sustainable and eco-friendly products over generic ones.
Read on to find out more about their journey and the significant impact they are making.
Uneako comes from merging unique, and #ecofriendly, the characteristic to be harmless to nature and environment.
The name concisely defines what the enterprise successfully does. It creates #sustainable alternatives for a wide range of everyday products. They aim to become a one-stop solution for all daily product needs. Uneako’s mission statement is to provide every individual with a product that is a perfectly environmentally friendly alternative to existing products. For example, Uneako pencils are made with 100% recycled paper, and have seeds attached at one end, so when pencil becomes too short to write, one can plant this pencil in soil and it will grow into beautiful flowers, herbs or vegetables.
One may think, so what is unique in plantable-pencils? After all, there are many available in market! Similar to plantable-pencil, there are several brands already exists who sell eco-friendly products, however usually these are available in market at premium price. So, it become a challenge for an average consumer to choose these products habitually, as their choice of using eco-friendly products, becomes much expensive fair. Uneako is revolutionizing this by bringing these eco-friendly products at similar prices to standard products. This aids in influencing the consumer, to shift towards using environment friendly product, as buying at the same cost but with higher societal benefits, creates more value in product and leads to changes in consumer behavior.
But this isn't where Uneako stops in its impact at. They took a step further by adding uniqueness in packaging which is also reusable. Like, the package-box of plantable-pencils, firstly, this box is also made from 100% recycled paper and secondly, it can be reused as a pen holder. Alternatively, the pencil kits are packaged in jute pouches provide the jute pouch as a product in itself. Similarly, a mousepad's packet can be used as a notebook.
Uneako takes uniqueness very seriously, and they succeeded in bringing the exclusivity in how they make these eco-friendly products. They engaged people from rural communities, gave them training on the products, and started giving small contracts to them for manufacturing, on per unit basis. They first hired rural women to create jute pouches and have now expanded to most of their products - manufactured by traditional communities having expertise in their craft.