Hecoll is a manufacturer of cotton fabric that filters around 95% air pollutants and blocks 99% UV Rays. Hecoll fabric protects people from various kinds of viruses like H1N1 and Covid-19 and bacteria like salmonella and E.coli, respectively.
During Covid, when people found it difficult to dispose of masks, Hecoll came up with a fabric that will decompose itself in 14 weeks. Moreover, it employed more than 140 women and LGBTQ+ to manufacture masks.
Goa Institute of Management
Deepthi Nathala invented a fabric called 'Hecoll,' an abbreviation for 'Healthy Cover for All,' that blocks 99 percent of UV radiation, filters 95 percent of pollutants, and suppresses viruses and germs upon contact. This was done after figuring out a way to connect the cloth with 'bodyguard molecules,' which could filter particulates, block UV rays, and kill viruses and bacteria on contact. Cotton as a fabric cannot protect against viruses or filter UV rays on its own, but it does have voids that can be filled with 'bodyguard molecules.'
There are three kinds of bodyguard molecules:
1) Plant Extracts
2) Metal with nano chemical composition like- Nano Copper
3) Nanotechnology, which is used to fill the voids with specific chemical compositions
Hecoll is also working toward UN Sustainable development goals like good health and wellbeing, gender equality, decent work, and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, partnerships for the goals. These SDGs help a company to make a special type of bond with customers and also protect the environment. All these nine SDGs help hecoll add value to their brand and attract customers.
The fabric used in products composts in 14 weeks. The work environment is also gender friendly, as the raw material is sent to women who are not able to come to their production facility.
Hecoll takes pride in doing its part for society by donating bedsheets, headgear, and baby wraps made of HECOLL fabric to hospitals in disaster zones and the UN Association of AP and Telangana.
Deepthi Nathala’s major source of inspiration was her father who had retired from his job. She didn’t want his talent to get wasted, so she was keen to do something for her family who was facing skin issues because of chemicals used in manufacturing fabrics.
She is a hard-core traveller which made her interact with many foreigners who inspired her to think about the weather and UV Rays. Because the temperature is rising from global warming, she also wanted to contribute by “giving back to society.” In place of using sunscreen that contains chemical that may cause skin cancer, she came up with a fabric that can be used as a face cover and as a mask. The cover protects the wearer from harmful UV rays and pollution.
She says: “People in India have great potential, and retired professionals and housewives should keep doing some work, educating the youth with their experience, and contributing to the economy to make the world a better place.”
She also said: “You don't need to do CSR and NGO if you can incorporate activities like gender equality, healthy well-being, etc. in your Business Model and strategies.”
In the short term, Hecoll has played a great role in helping people to fight with the Covid-19 by providing quality masks and providing employment to marginalized and weaker sectors of society. With the help of their innovation, Hecoll is helping to reduce pollution in the environment that is created by non-decomposable masks and plastic used in the manufacturing and packaging of masks. The fabric used by Hecoll to manufacture masks is decomposable within 14 days.
In the long term, the company will expand its focus on a different product line. They will keep using their fabric and will also spend more on R&D to develop another product that is environmentally friendly. Hecoll will continue to employ more women and people from LGBTQ+ for their support.
Hecoll earns revenue mainly from two sources. The first one is from the direct sale of its fabric and the second is from its different products like masks, bed sheets, baby rugs, doctor coats, etc., which they sell on both their website and different e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
Hecoll hires people from rural and semi-urban area, and tries to employ more women and people from the LGBTQ+ community to promote inclusivity. The company keeps up the well-being of their employees through upskilling. Not a single employee has been fired during the Covid-19, which has helped maintained the long-term relationship between the company and the employees. Instead, the company had employed more people during Covid.
In the future, the company is looking to launch a new product using new in-house designed fabric and is looking to spend more on the R&D to make their fabric more effective.
The founder has designed goods employing nano-chemical technology and materials that can be decomposed after being used.
Studies have pointed out that exposure to direct sunlight on the skin for a longer amount of time can lead to skin cancer and using sunscreen daily is also not good for the skin. This fabric not only protects the skin from UV rays, but also has the added benefit of protection from excessive dust, pollution, and pathogens due to the nanotechnology used in the cloth. Other cloths protect up to only 15-20 percent of sunlight and minimal protection against pathogens. Hecoll, however, provides 99 percent protection from UV and 95 percent protection from pathogens and pollutants.
They produce Antiviral face masks, headgear for children and adults, baby wraps for infants, fanny packs, caps, hats, and things to prevent hospital-acquired infections such as patient gowns, doctor jackets, bed sheet linen, surgical gowns, all made using their effective fabric.
Another intriguing feature of the Hecoll fabric is that it is environmentally friendly. One of the most serious problems raised by the current pandemic is the widespread usage of surgical masks, N95 masks, and personal protective equipment (PPEs), which has increased biomedical waste. One would be able to take any HECOLL product, cut it into little pieces, and mix it with kitchen organic waste. This feature is unlike other goods that are much more difficult to despose. The Hecoll fabric degrades fully in just 14 weeks.
Another interesting part of the business is the focus on women's employee happiness. Aside from stitching training, work-from-home courses, market quality testing, and dispute resolution exams, there is a strong focus on mental wellness.
Deepthi Nathala, Founder and CEO
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Hyderabad, Telangana, IN
Business Website: https://hecoll.com/
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Hecoll is a manufacturer of proprietary cotton fabric which blocks 99% UV rays, filters 95% pollution, and inhibits Viruses and Bacteria upon contact.
The company uses a Nano chemical that impregnates the cotton fabric to have Virus and Bacteria inhibiting properties. The fabric is decomposable within 14 weeks.