Honestly we never consciously thought of the environment or sustainability before the pandemic and there was no particular connection between Covid and our sustainability focus today. But what the pandemic did give us, was a lot of time to introspect and communicate internally with our own selves, our families, children and close friends. The business was at a forced standstill and we were forced to sit back and take stock.
So we had a flourishing wholesale business in Bohemian fabrics, garments, home furnishings and artefacts. Most of these products were low cost, manufactured at scale and sold in India and worldwide, through over 300 distributors and resellers, who had strong links with us for many years. But the global covid pandemic put all this at risk - our own business, the craftsmen, the fabricators, workers, the hundreds of women employed in this work, and the entire supply chain.
This is when, the only thing we could think of, was to pray to God to end the hardship being faced by almost everyone in the world. We prayed for the people who had lost the battle and those left behind to grieve. We did not know whether we would survive this epic tragedy ourselves but determined that if we did, we would spend the rest of our lives more consciously, kindly and with more sensitivity. We would try to smile more, enjoy more and live more, but consume less, sell less, buy less and be gentler to ourselves and the planet.
This seemed like a drastic pivot at the time and was indeed, but as we went forward we realised that most craftsmen and workers we had were anyway pursuing sustainable production practices and we have to also keep their survival, livelihood and well being as a key ingredient of sustainability. So we have adopted a broad outlook to environment friendly, sustainable manufacturing, trading and supply chain. We have stopped using many materials that we earlier did not worry about - like leather and silk. We have also started to demand and ensure that the goods we make, buy or sell, are sturdier, last longer and do not end up in the landfill. If they do, at the end of a long life they should be compostable and go back to earth.
We have a long journey ahead, and the good fortune to have more and more people join us on this journey every day. We look forward to meeting our co-travellers, crossing notes and having interesting discussions about your stories, your experiences and your views along the way too.