Goa Institute of Management
In the current fast-paced environment, any product or service's main aim is to create convenience for the customers. Although it is important to create convenience for the customers, manufacturing must also include methods and raw materials that can be sustainable. This is because it would provide long term benefits to businesses.
Having said that, the main crux of Jaggery bags comes from collecting industrial waste materials and using them as raw materials to produce bags, wallets, and masks. Moreover, they have even taken steps to provide certain jobs only to women to provide equal opportunity and uplift women in Delhi's low-income areas. The manufacturing process is done in Delhi, and their main presence is on the internet through their official websites, social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and references. They provide delivery to Pan India customers with delivery in the same time period as any other e-commerce company.
Moreover, they have even diversified into using vegan products, tapping into the vegan market that is ever-growing in India. Their entry into multiple niche markets shows that diversity for a company portfolio is possible using recycled and sustainable products.
Journey from seat belts and plastic to a fashionable bag.
During his graduation, Mr. Malik was heavily influenced by the principles and teachings of Auroville. Auroville is a universal city in the making in south-India dedicated to the ideal of human unity based on the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Progressive learnings in the form of living with nature in harmony and togetherness were imparted in their founders' teachings. The way of living in their ashram revolved around sustainability. The effect of the relationship between the environment and human beings is highlighted in the teachings as it showcases the level of dependency.
“I went to the US saw how people carry themselves, they all had an interesting product that we usually don’t see in India as we are bound by our own culture and style.”
While on his brief stint in his career in the "Land of the Free," he noticed that the living culture of the west had allowed people to alter their way of living. Moreover, their openness to change is also a prevalent attitude. Though it is difficult, it is not impossible to amend our ways of livelihood to inculcate sustainability in our manufacturing methods and way of living.
“Once when I sat in a car, I noticed the seat belt and then visited the Delhi NCR junkyard area Mayapuri where I saw that old car and its spare parts, I brought that seat belt into our warehouse and built a product through it, in the area where I lived in there is a lot of influence of arts and crafts, we used Kantha India’s rich tradition of art into our product and finally founded Jaggery Bags on 15 Nov 2015", shared Mr. Malik.
The company recycles materials like inflatable castles, salvaged leather, decommissioned automobile seat belts, decommissioned army truck tarps, etc., as their raw materials for manufacturing and producing their products. Though sustainability is their mantra, it is not used as an excuse for their shortcomings. At the end of the day, a business is run by its bottom-line figure in its income statements and balance sheets. To quote from the interview, the company is a “No Hate for-profit organization.”
In the short term, the main purpose of the business is to get their product in front of the customers' eyes. This means increasing its marketing and advertising online. But that being said, their unique selling point of offering green products also needs to be conveyed in a quirky fashion to facilitate their journey to the next step.
In the long term, they want to dive into different niche markets using traditional Indian crafts like “kafis,” which was introduced during the Mughal times, currently prevalent in the alleys of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Thus, their goal is to maintain a healthy revenue structure while also digging into sustainable raw materials and practices while offering traditional Indian craftsmanship, born on our soil and passed on from generation to generation.
The business model that the organization works on involves heavy usage of designs and crafts; such innovative design and crafts are already embedded in our rich Indian culture, and who better can help in sustaining them? – the answer is our handicraft workers. The innovative designs from Kantha or Jari work have helped the organization have a key advantage over its competitors and a product differentiation that helps them attract a larger market share and satisfy their customers with such unique designs.
These practices help in the long fight against the exploitation of the environment and help in the resurrection of the traditional Indian crafts market and the forgotten practices for making crafts that are passed on to generations. Moreover, these methods' infusion with the current style and design showcase that a business can earn profits and survive in the long term with sustainable methods and practices.
The advanced use of technology and the changing human nature have also changed customers' behavior and consumption patterns, which is evident in the fashion industry. This has caused a loss of employment and has also impacted our age-old traditional and cultural art industry. The innovation that the organization is using is helping society to be empowered. Rural areas are now being self-sufficient and leading a "good health and well-being" life. Job opportunities in the remote section of society also help them showcase their talent to the world.
As part of this innovation, the company plants one tree for every purchase made. This is helping to reforest the world and provide sustenance for local populations. The company’s products are crafted with respect for the environment and the people who make them. The company produces unique handcrafted bags and accessories to promote an environmentally friendly mode of thinking. Socially, the company runs projects with various women-led self-help groups around the country. Through these collaborations, the company can empower artisans and craftspeople in Punjab, Rajasthan, and West Bengal by generating a sustained source of livelihood for them.
Gautam Malik, Co-founder
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New Delhi, New Delhi, IN
Business Website: https://www.jaggerybags.com/
Year Founded: 2015
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
Jaggery Bags is a sustainable design brand from Australia that converts post-industrial waste material collected locally into bags and green fashion products. A customer is offered ecological and meaningful alternatives to mass-produced assembly line driven goods in the bags/baggage.