Affordable fashion has a long drawn association with fast fashion, which brings huge amounts of profit to the manufacturers as well as to the consumers. But a business model like fast fashion leaves behind a heavy amount of material waste which becomes a major cause of environmental degradation. As a solution to the problem, ventures like Jugni are challenging the consumerism culture with their ecologically conscious and sustainable products.
After working with several NGOs and other social organizations, Harsha Jain decided to turn her aspirations into reality. Hence, with a pinch of faith and belief, Harsha intertwined her creativity with her desire to come up with an idea of launching a social enterprise named Jugni.
Harsha Jain says, “The term Jugni is close to my heart, because it signifies a balance between the delicate and the fierce, while also conveying that one can be their own light.”
More than a company, Jugni is an effort to bring change in the buying habits of consumers by slowly beginning the movement of transition from mass consumerism to an ecologically conscious lifestyle. The organization is not only making a difference by providing natural products to the consumers, but it is also empowering women. Generally, women who come from disadvantaged backgrounds end up being solely dependent on the male members of their family. Changing the scenario, the venture helps these women to become agents of change in their micro-communities.
For Harsha, Jugni is an expression of her thoughts. With her, every action as Jugni’s founder, Harsha has imbibed her own personality in the company’s image. From the company’s name to its business model, everything has been a representation of Harsha’s thinking.
One major aspect which sets Jugni apart from other sustainable brands is that it works for the upliftment of socially backward communities. So, by enabling people to choose a simpler and more conscious lifestyle, the lifestyle brand opens a wide range of opportunities for the local communities. Along with generating livelihood for underprivileged women, the lifestyle venture actively conducts quarterly workshops and sensitization drives on relevant issues in poor, urban communities.
Harsha shares that Jugni aims to create a niche for itself by being a social enterprise that bridges the gap between real-time social impact and business.
It is not easy to start a business on your own. Harsha’s struggles began when she started working upon her dream from her living room as a one-woman team. Despite facing such difficulties, Harsha feels that the timing of starting this company was perfect, as it was the competitive environment that encouraged her to prepare herself well for the challenges and give her idea the tome it needed.
As the journey continued the single-member company transformed into a team of talented professionals. Harsha sees her struggles as a never-ending journey of learning and gaining experience.
“From formulating products and having my friends sample them, to now expanding my range of products, team and associations with NGOs, it has all been a very positive experience. The trick, I believe is to keep going!” says Harsha
One of the main characteristics of large scale production is the cheap price of output goods. On the contrary, the output of small-scale companies oriented towards sustainable fashion is characterized as a luxury product. Breaking the common notion, Jugni strives to encourage people in believing that ‘less is more’, by providing them long-lasting, sustainable products at an extremely competitive price. By doing this, Jugniprovides an opportunity to people from all backgrounds to opt for conscious living.
“We believe that conscious living, although a luxury in modern times, should be the way forward!” expresses Harsha while talking about the sustainable products of her company.
Till now, the company has limited itself to personal care products and candles. To stay aligned with its idea of sustainable living, the company tries to create products in a way that requires lesser ingredients but is extremely effective. Moving forward, Harsha is planning to expand the company’s dimensions to other products like clothes and tableware.
The young entrepreneur sees her brand as a synonym of conscious living and is confident that ten years down the line, it’s not just her but everyone will see Jugni as a symbol of a sustainable and conscious lifestyle. She wants her brand to create an impact among people across the borders.
With an aim to bring change into society, Harsha feels that in the coming time more and more people will understand the importance of creating sustainability through their lifestyle choices and will be able to relate their sentiments with Jugni. She is also planning to hold social campaigns and volunteering drives in the near future.
“I want Jugni to be bigger than myself and carryforwards irrespective of my presence.” states the young entrepreneur Harsha Jain.
While continuously learning from her experiences, Harsha has realized that it is important to take a leap of faith, to cross the ocean of nervousness existent in one’s own head to get what one wants. She wants other aspiring entrepreneurs to do the same and have faith in themselves. Starting an enterprise might be an exciting job, but it is important to face and accept the nervousness and instability which comes with it. Harsha holds the opinion that by putting in hard work on one’s dream of starting an enterprise, they are giving themselves space to be creative and succeed.