TreeWear is a start-up by stared by Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala in 2015. At the time, we were doing different things, but we both felt like we wanted to work towards a better planet, especially after seeing the situation around us worsen day by day. The passion for making a difference through our professional lives led us to start Treewear, a business created to make essential products that are good for people and better for the planet.
Initially, we tested the idea by creating Eco-friendly clothing and planting a tree for each garment purchased from us. Once we started seeing how much people cared about the choices they made but the lack of options available, we started sharing some essential products we were making for ourselves with others and saw a great response. Since then, we have been making 100% natural personal care essentials for men, women, and kids, which are safer, better options, and thoughtful towards the planet as well. As a business, we tend to stay away from one-time use plastics and try to innovate where possible to find suitable eco-friendly alternatives. Our current range of products includes essentials such as Natural Deodorants, Insect Repellents, Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizers, and Lip Balms. Apart from the eco-friendly initiatives mentioned above, we also contribute to tree planting projects around India, which is our way of giving back to the planet on behalf of our customers.
We hope to inspire people to make a change in the way they consume, and we hope to inspire those within the industry to create less waste and work towards better, more planet-friendly measures. Since we have started, we have seen a huge growth in the number of smaller eco-friendly businesses that have emerged, and we are really glad to see this happen. The future of this industry is a bright one, and we are hopeful that the changes taking place go beyond face-value and green-washing. Currently, we have many competitors, but a few notable brands are Juicy Chemistry, Bare Necessities, and The Switch Fix Co, to name a few that have taken some big steps in setting a standard for many brands who have come after them. Our aim is to keep innovating and pushing the boundary when it comes to making products more thoughtful and sustainable and inspiring others to do the same and ask important questions about their product life cycles.
Social Media is a great way to reach people who really care about what we do. Apart from being a good marketing tool, it has helped us connect with the right people to get feedback, and also as a means to raise awareness about environmental issues. It has also been a useful tool to help us build the visual identity of our brand to some extent. However, sometimes due to the large expanse of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it can be hard to separate the genuine supporters from those that are not. Our approach has been to not solely rely on one platform for your product visibility. Pre COVID-19, we regularly participated in markets and on-ground events to give people a chance to interact with our products. This helped as many others became customers through word of mouth.
Our start-up has been supported by our friends and family who believe in us and the cause we work towards, we started on a shoestring budget and have grown slowly and steadily since then. Like most well-founded businesses, we have poured our thoughts, time, and energy into bringing our business to life. So far, we have been marketing our products online and offline through our own website and platforms that have a cause that is similarly aligned to ours. We find that both online and offline platforms are equally important, especially with products like ours, which customers prefer to try or test before buying. Apart from trying the product, people need to understand and believe in the cause the brand stands for. And good branding is very useful to carry this out.
Being patient and having confidence in the idea were a couple of tough challenges faced by us initially. Not every start-up is built overnight. Most take constant time and effort to build over the years, and sometimes there can be moments of doubt. However, it’s important to believe in what you are doing and how you are doing it. Apart from this, in the beginning, setting short term and long term goals for yourself as the driver of the business is very important as you can feel quite directionless at the time of setting up your start-up.
With the current Covid-19 crisis, like all businesses, we too have been affected to some extent, our production and manufacturing have taken a hit, and we have had to reduce our outreach through retail outlets. But this has also given us a chance to evolve and work more on the online part of our business, which gives us more flexibility.