Chandni Khandelwal from Odisha launched her start-up Ecoloop in 2021 to provide handmade and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic using bamboo, palm leaves, Sabai grass and more.
Chandni Khandelwal was always so concerned about the use of plastic. When she was in college they used to get food in plastic containers and she was worried about the disposal of these and where it would end up in this world. That is why in September 2021, Cahandini launched Ecoloop, which provides handmade and eco-friendly containers made using bamboo, palm leaves, Sabai grass and more.
Chandini is a graduate of The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bhubaneswar. And she had always had an interest in arts and crafts. Her studies in NIFT made sure that she was exposed to several craft clusters in Odisha.
In an interview with The Better India Chandni explains that “While working with local artisans, I came across several natural materials used for crafting such as Sabai grass, bamboo, palm leaves, paper mache, etc. That’s when a thought came to my mind — why not use these materials for packaging? A little bit of mechanization and artisanal techniques would be required, but we could bring out a very sustainable form of packaging that could replace plastics.”
“Ecoloop currently makes gift packaging using natural materials like Sabai grass, palm leaves, paper mache, bamboo, and more. The startup makes around 20 types of products including baskets, trays, and boxes. We are designing an entire gifting experience in a sustainable way. We are also exploring materials like rice straws to replace the styrofoam boards used in packaging. We are using bamboo and leaves to make boxes for baked goods like cakes and cookies,” says Chandni.
Chandini uses artisans from Odisha Rural Development And Marketing Society (ORMAS). She first came into contact with them when she was studying at NIFT and then she worked with ORMAS for a year. So naturally, she reached out to them when she launched her brand.
Chandni recently shifted to Delhi. She also works with a few artisans from Kashmir to make paper mache products and some from the Northeast who deal with bamboo products. Now she has around 500 artisans working for Ecoloop. Ecoloops products are marketed over different social media platforms and have sold over 500 sustainable packages all over the country. And this venture now earns 2 lakhs per month.