Onwards & Upwards with Everwards
Although we are unfortunately unable to physically explore, learn and share about initiatives, we are thankful that technology can help us stay connected and continue to expand our network.
We would love to introduce to you Everwards, a unique and powerful profit for purpose organisation located in Chennai, India. Their mission statement is clear and concise: "To build a profit with a purpose initiative to provide solutions to bridge the gap between ideas of sustainable living and consumers." How do they strive to do this, you may ask?
Please meet Veena Balakrishnan and hear what she as a co-founder of Everwards describes her initiative to be about:
"At Everwards, we give everyone a reason to embrace sustainability.
Like most people who want to make a change, our main struggle was finding simple and inexpensive steps to make a positive impact so they took time out to understand and tackle this problem. We realised, this is the main reason why even people with an interest choose not to follow sustainable practices. Today we create and curate fun, simple and inexpensive products as solutions to serious and hazardous issues and thus hope to bust all myths and barriers surrounding sustainability. Everwards will be a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to shop mindfully and consciously. Every product has a story, making no one look further than Everwards while moving towards being a responsible consumer.
The company designs solutions to serious environmental hazards through product development, waste management, and sustainable consumption advocacy. It also focuses on package-free ideas, giving back to society, and circular economy. We then took this practice to large-scale events, beginning with making my wedding a zero-waste ceremony. With over 18 million views on that wedding video (Link: https://bit.ly/2RWz7PP), I have encouraged countless others to make their weddings a sustainable one, and continue to do so till date."
One very important aspect of Everwards, is that they are aware of their local and global audiences and have taken into consideration contextual challenges, habits, and traditions. Instead of attempting to implement sustainable practices and alternatives that are either too expensive so people cannot afford them, too novel so people are reluctant to take risks, or too challenging to manufacture making them inaccessible, Everwards is ‘going with the grain’. They have a sound understanding of the people and cultures they are dealing with, and with that knowledge have come up with more sustainable options- both for day to day affairs as well as, like Veena mentioned, striving towards making more ceremonies, celebrations and events at-scale waste-free.
Although planning ceremonies, weddings and parties may be clouded over by the current pandemic, we often forget just how much waste is associated with such joy-bringing festivities. It starts with the planning, the decorations, the attire, the food, the duration, and lastly- when the final dish was shared, the last musical number has finished and people are making their ways home, their take-home gift bags. Once you take a moment and truly think about how much waste can and does get produced at these events, you may quickly be overwhelmed by awe, rapidly followed by sadness and helplessness.
But that is exactly where Everwards comes in- their strategy lies in debunking the stereotype that a sustainable lifestyle and events must be complex, challenging and overwhelming. It is so important to support organisations like these, as it is in supporting them that they will support you on your journey towards more sustainable living, they will support their local community by offering educative workshops and talks to mobilise people in Chennai with everything from ‘Trash Talks’ to ‘Zero-waste induction for workspaces’, and lastly, and most importantly, they are supporting a greener, healthier planet.
In times like these, when it feels like Earth is bursting at her seams, please consider supporting organisations, businesses, companies, and initiatives that are valuing a more sustainable future. For it is in giving to these organisations, that you will receive back from nature.
To get inspired, check out Everwards’ awesome product range, follow their latest updates on their website and be part of their story on Instagram.
Click here to learn more about Everwards: