Incubated by EarthJust Ecosystem Foundation & founded by Gaurav Mahendru, Berry Clean provides a range of natural cleaning products and was founded with the intent to promote sustainable lifestyle. Starting from sourcing the key raw products from farmers and unorganized micro entrepreneurs, to developing a technology that makes incredible products from waste through simple science, Berry Clean offers a solution which is circular and as close to zero waste as possible.
Mr. Gaurav Mahendru – Founder of Berry Clean outlines on the genesis of the idea behind starting Berry Clean, the product range pertinent to mothers and babies and presents the unique proposition of the brand with regard to sustainability and encouraging the idea of zero waste, in an exclusive interaction with Mommy & Baby Times (MBT).
June 26, 2020
MBT: How did this idea to start Berry Clean germinate?
Gaurav Mahendru: While on a journey to embrace natural products, we were introduced to natural cleaners by Dinesh Sharma, a close friend and now a mentor to Berry Clean, who had been using and propagating these products for quite some time. This was the planting stage of the idea, which was also an opportunity for us to work on a social initiative.
Shruti Taneja and Abhishek Taneja, the founding members of Earthjust Ecosystems, an organization (though they prefer to call it an idea) that promotes sustainable living practices for a swacch, sundar, swasth, saksham, samriddh, sanyukt, satat – samaj. For the last 2 years, EarthJust has been guiding people by conducting workshops on the benefits /making of natural cleaners. While conducting these workshops, it was realized that people have a strong desire to shift to natural cleaners but are unable to find the time to make them on their own and wanted us to fulfill this need-gap of theirs. This was the possibility stage of the idea.
I was part of this awareness building programmes, saw the opportunity and possibility, to serve the needs of this aware consumer segment, given my background in the consumer goods and category (ex- P&G/Gillette). Thus we decided to grow this seed together, to provide an ecosystem that eases the consumers shift from awareness to action. This is how the idea and foundation of Berry Clean was laid.
“Our products are not just cleaning products – they have a purpose and they only contain all natural and plant based ingredients… The key ingredient is Soapberry or soapnut, and that has been used for generations because of its hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial properties. So, they are non-toxic and safe for babies, pregnant women, elderly, pets, or anyone with sensitive skin.”
MBT: How are your products beneficial for babies and mommies?
GM: The skin and body system of babies are prone to allergies and reactions to harsh chemicals. Most of the personal care and household care products available in the market today contains or emits harmful toxins that can cause respiratory problems and allergies. The laundry cleaners often get stuck to clothes, and are being continuously absorbed by the body. Cleaning shouldn’t come at the cost of your health, or that of the planet, or that of the workers who are making these cleaning products or at the cost of water that our farms get. So, we are challenging the existing cleaners and offering you products that are good for you, your babies, your home, our world and Earth.
Our products are not just cleaning products – they have a purpose and they only contain all natural and plant based ingredients which means, they do not cause any harm to anyone in the entire value chain. They don’t pollute or release any toxins during production, or usage. The key ingredient is Soapberry or soapnut, and that has been used for generations because of its hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial properties. So, they are non-toxic and safe for babies, pregnant women, elderly, pets, or anyone with sensitive skin.
Berry Clean aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle which is in harmony with nature, by providing a range of natural cleaning products that are #Right for Health, #Right for Society & #Right for Earth.
MBT: Could you please take us through the product range of the brand?
GM: All our products are baby safe. Berry Clean presently has a portfolio of 9 products across 5 categories. Through our categories we take care of the cleaning of your Home, Baby, Laundry, Kitchen and Institutions. In the ‘Home Care’ category, we have products such as – Natural Floor Cleaner, Natural Glass Cleaner, Natural All-Purpose Cleaner, Natural Veg n Fru Wash, Natural Surface Stain Remover and there is a ‘Home Care’ combo also which includes a combination of these products. Within the ‘Baby Care’ category, there is a Natural Baby Clothes Cleaner and all of our cleaning products are efficient and are children and pet-safe.
We aren’t only looking to optimize the product but the entire value chain to make it people, planet and profit friendly. Thus, we also offer 6 month subscription. Customer can subscribe to products of their choice for 6 months, and we will deliver the products every 3 months, in bulk bottles and refill packs.
We are responsible producers and are happy to take back the bottles, cartons and all packaging material, if it isn’t of use to the customer (currently Buy- back option is available for NCR customers only). In addition, we also conduct workshops and seminars on the facts and science behind natural cleaners and DIY workshops on how to make some of these at home.
“we intend to move towards sustainable packaging options from bottles to dunnage, to redesigning shipping model,… We have created a solution, that’s lean, modular and scalable and that works for all people involved in the value chain from farmers to micro-entrepreneurs to consumers to recyclers.”
MBT: What is the unique selling point of your startup? How are you different from other competitors?
GM: Our unique selling point is the way we are designing our business model – an eco-model (sustainable economically & ecologically). We aren’t offering a product or a brand. What we offer is a bundle of #RightClean – a solution that is #Right for Health, #Right for Society & #Right for Earth.
This business model pushes and allows us to work on almost all the Sustainable Development Goals. Right from sourcing the key raw product from farmers and unorganized, micro entrepreneurs, to developing a technology that learns from the evolutionary science, and using one that makes magic from waste through simple science, and marrying that with lean processes.
We also make sure to involve and empower Self Help Groups (SHGs) and financially disadvantaged groups. Furthermore, we intend to move towards sustainable packaging options from bottles to dunnage, to redesigning shipping model that focuses on refills and subscription. In the long run, we have created a solution, that’s lean, modular and scalable and that works for all people involved in the value chain from farmers to micro-entrepreneurs to consumers to recyclers.
We intend to bring products that promise minimum consumption of energy from production to consumption and a solution that’s really circular and as close to zero waste as possible. Our idea is to come up with #RightClean products that take care of People, Planet and divides Profit equitably amongst all.
We don’t believe in competition. We believe that a lot of such products are needed, and all of us need to start collaborating to demand and supply products and services that don’t only bring profit for the producer but well-being of people & planet.