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Live Sustainably, Every Day

Goli Soda Store

5. Gender Equality 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land

Overview

Goli Soda Store is an online store that sells sustainable daily use products. It is a conscious brand that examines each and every step, starting from manufacturing to packaging and recycling. The brand believes that making minor alterations in our consumption patterns can benefit the environment in ways unimaginable. It also aims in providing sustainable careers to women.

Over these few years, Goli Soda Store has managed to build itself as a one-stop solution for all things sustainable.

Goli Soda Short Video

Authors

Arushi Sachdev

Arushi Sachdev

Shivam Katkar

Shivam Katkar

Samarth Gupta

Samarth Gupta

Ayush Patri

Ayush Patri

Mayank Sharma

Mayank Sharma

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

Divya Singhal

Divya Singhal

Innovation

Goli Soda Store was started in 2013 as a physical store in Chennai, India. It was one of the first brands to make bamboo brushes, coir scrub pads, vegetable bags, upcycled pencils, etc. The brand also has a huge focus on sustainable women's health and menstrual hygiene.

Goli Soda store's unique selling proposition (USP) is a line of products that have probiotics. It is the only brand in India that infuses probiotics in home and personal care products. Usually, such products are in liquid form which has numerous environmental issues associated with them. But these products are mostly in the bar form like- dishwashing bars, shampoo bars, and face wash bars.

The brand makes sure that they follow the UN Sustainable Development Goals with a huge focus on SDG 12- Responsible Consumption and Production. They are not only looking at the environmental impact but also the socio-economic impact by taking into consideration SDG 5- Gender Equality. It has established itself to be a platform for generating employment for the rural population, women, and self-help groups.

The brand uses all-natural and organic ingredients which are locally sourced. The products are chemical-free, toxin-free, and vegan. The use of palm oil is avoided as a lot of harmful effects like deforestation are associated with it. Goli soda store also uses plastic-free and zero-waste packaging. This has a huge contribution to SDG 13- Climate Action, SDG 14- Life Below Water, and SDG 15- Life on Land.


Live Sustainably, Every Day

Inspiration

The founder of the Goli Soda Store, Ms. Sruti Harihara Subramanian had always been mindful of what was happening to the planet and mother nature, even as a young child. At the age of 6, she stopped using plastic bags, silk, and leather items, and quit eating non-vegetarian food.

2012 was a turning point in her life. An awakening came into her when she saw an overflowing dustbin right in front of her house. Later on, she realized that the waste was generated from her house. She mentioned, “Avoiding bottled water, carrying an own bag, etc. wasn't enough, there was more that needed to be done to solve this at a greater level.”

"The idea grew out of my personal need. I was always on the lookout for brands that sold eco-friendly and sustainable products". She realized that there was a gap in the market that had to be taken care of. She fashioned Goli Soda to be a shop next door that sold sustainable products to help herself and others by providing sustainable solutions.

She created a network of like-minded people who were equally conscious about the environment and were starting off their small businesses at that time. Goli Soda Store became an online distributor for these small brands to grow.

In 2015, the brand shifted to an online store called - golisodastore.com. It continued to help small brands grow and create awareness about sustainability.


Overall impact

The brand started its operations at a time when the word 'sustainable' wasn't even there. People were more familiar with terms like 'eco-friendly' and 'eco-conscious'. In the initial years, people were embarrassed in making changes to their lifestyle. Carrying their own bag or bottle seemed like a burden to people. They didn't find it happening and didn’t bother much about the environment.

Goli Soda Store aimed at making sustainability cool. They wanted to be identified as a fun brand with a quirky name so that people can associate more with it. "Sustainability is totally cool if you're not following anything sustainable, and you're the black sheep". But at that point, people following anything sustainable or being eco-friendly were looked like the black sheep and they thought it was all boring. Goli Soda wanted to be the first one to break this mindset and let everyone know that “Sustainability doesn't mean going back in time, you can live the lifestyle that you want, but these small changes in your lifestyle will be positive for you and the environment. You can use a toothbrush, but instead of the plastic, you buy a bamboo one”. Their overall idea, even today is to manufacture or sell products that give an easy and convenient shift to be sustainable.


Business benefit

Goli soda store is partnering with more than 40+ brands selling hundreds of products ranging from essentials to personal care and hygiene. Collaborating with brands not only helped in giving a platform for small businesses to grow but also helped Goli Soda to gain popularity. In 2016, they ventured into manufacturing products under their own brand name. Their business model has been ever evolving since then.

In the initial years, they conducted a lot of workshops, demonstrations, seminars and events to raise awareness about their products as well as sustainability in general. It was important for people to realize the importance of sustainability and encourage them to switch to better alternatives. Their motive was to create a community of people who respected the planet and are empathetic towards it.

After few years, they discontinued these sessions as sustainable products had created a niche for itself. Information is widely available on the internet just at a click of a button. Social Media platforms are full of influencers and people who are working for this cause. The awareness amongst people has has been an added advantage for the brand to grow and be profitable.

Social and environmental benefit

Making Sustainable changes is the need of the hour. It is our responsibility to protect our environment for our future generations. A lot of brands are entering this space and are calling themselves eco-friendly and sustainable. But if the ingredients are not natural or they use plastic in their packaging. The whole idea of being sustainable is defeated.

Goli soda is a sustainable brand inside-out. They regulate and scrutinize each and every step of the supply chain. At Goli Soda, they have been committed to making their products accessible to all. Their key areas of focus include: working with rural producers to aid financial inclusion and equity; working with women entrepreneurs to aid gender equity; promoting health equity, especially for women, by providing viable alternatives to eco-unfriendly solutions; promoting social equity by hiring more women in their workforce; and enabling clean waterways, through their sustainable home and personal cleaning solutions.


Interview

Sruti Harihara Subramanian, Founder

Photo of interviewee

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Goli Soda Store

Goli Soda Store

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, IN

Business Website: https://golisodastore.com/

Year Founded: 2013

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Goli Soda Store is an online store that sells sustainable products which are used in day-to-day life. It is a conscious brand that examines each and every step, right from manufacturing to packaging. It manufactures products that are chemical-free, zero waste, natural, and contain locally sourced ingredients. They also believe in giving a second life to most non-perishables and focus on up-cycling and repurposing products to reduce the outflow of waste.