Sustainable startup The Bamboo Bae makes toothbrushes, combs, razors and more from bamboo. The company was established by Delhi-based Sanchit Goyal and Anuj Sagar.
Sanchit Goyal, 25, and Anuj Sagar, 26, met while studying hotel management at Delhi University. During this period, Sanchit became aware of the quantity of plastic that hotels used on a regular basis.
He claims, “In India, the hospitality business is large. Every hotel that uses a plastic toothbrush and other facilities contributes significantly to the quantity of plastic consumed.”
However, they found plastic polluting the places wherever they went. They realized that because plastic items are so widely available, people instinctively gravitate toward them, opting for what is most convenient.
Since then, the two have decided to engage in the field of sustainability and have been exploring for alternatives to items such as plastic cutlery, straws, and packaging. As a result, the team established Bamboo Bae in 2020.
They claim to be on a quest to replace single-use plastic with environmentally friendly bamboo alternatives. The firm provides bamboo toothbrushes, razors, headphones, stationery, and other everyday goods, and all of their products are handcrafted by the company’s 20 craftsmen. Starting with a Rs 3 lakh investment, the bootstrapped firm made Rs 70 lakh in sales last year. Their products are distributed to large hotel chains in addition to hotels.
When the two were traveling across Assam, Shillong, and other regions of the northeast, they had the concept for The Bamboo Bae.
Utensils were even constructed of bamboo. So we were motivated to build daily goods out of bamboo to decrease plastic pollution,” Anuj explains. They discovered that bamboo is an easily available and moldable raw material throughout their investigation.
Sanchit explains, “We discovered that bamboo is a really adaptable material. Bamboo is abundantly accessible in the northeast. It may reach a height of 30 feet in three years. There was already trained labor there; we only needed to direct them toward the items we want.”
They began with three such artists and have since grown to employ 20 who shape and cure bamboo into goods for The Bamboo Bae. The craftsmen they hire receive 30% of their sales, and the duo claims to be on course to make Rs 1.35 crore in the following year.
Aside from these trained laborers, The Bamboo Bae collaborates with women from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, and other cities to create the cotton bags that their items are packed in. The raw materials are provided by the corporation to these craftsmen, who subsequently manufacture the bags.
Sanchit explains, “Every month, they make roughly 20,000 cotton pouches.”
Anita from Jamnagar, one of the artists who make these cotton pouches, has been working with The Bamboo Bae for 18 months. “I produce 300 to 400 pouches each day and earn Rs 15,000 per month,” Anita explains. They’re pleasant to work with. They support me whenever I need it,” she continues.
However, the venture is not without its difficulties. Because bamboo is essentially a hollow pole, the number of goods that may be made from it is limited.
As a result, The Bamboo Bae has expanded its raw material to include coconut shells purchased from south India, which are then processed in-house and converted into innovative goods. They produce coconut shell candles out of soy wax and sell them for Rs 399 each.
“The majority of wax is derived from petroleum. It’s known as paraffin. But we wanted to create something long-term,” Sanchit explains.
Natural perfumes and essential oils are also used in the candles. Faced with competition from other companies, their priority is to keep pricing affordable, with the goal of decreasing them as the firm expands. Their toothbrushes cost Rs 89, combs cost Rs 129, razors cost Rs 299, cell holders cost Rs 399, and cutlery sets cost Rs 299.
They are also investing in expanding their product line and are now working on bamboo lunch boxes. The pair recognizes that progress in the fight against plastic will be sluggish.
Sanchit adds, “Change is gradual and steady. Adapting to be more sustainable does not happen immediately. But we can do it if we work together.”