Sustainable choices made easy at this store-cum-café in Siolim

Through Ethico, Indranil SenGupta and Rabia Tewari are pioneering a shift towards environmental responsibility and promoting eco-conscious habits
ON A MISSION: Ethico attempts to help make a shift from a convenient to a more conscious lifestyle.
ON A MISSION: Ethico attempts to help make a shift from a convenient to a more conscious lifestyle.Photo: Abigail Crasto

Big change starts small. Just like the flapping of a butterfly's wings that’s believed to influence the weather, a tiny change can create a chain reaction.

Understanding this, Indranil SenGupta and Rabia Tewari started Ethico, a little effort towards mindful living.

Nestled in the beautiful village of Siolim, in North Goa, Ethico is a conscious home store offering sustainable and ethically produced food and homecare goods. It also houses a café, a co-working space and a recycling station.

EMBRACE IMAPACT: Ethico is a conscious home store, located in Siolim, North Goa.
EMBRACE IMAPACT: Ethico is a conscious home store, located in Siolim, North Goa.Photo: Abigail Crasto

Quickly attending to her new visitors, Rabia with her infectious smile, began explaining how her space intends to show that a lifestyle devoid of plastic is possible.

“If you see the damage first-hand, you realise that what you do in your day-to-day life can make a difference. So, the idea was to change behavioural patterns,” shares the founder.

In 2017, moving into a sea-facing apartment in Mumbai, Rabia and her husband, Indranil, hoped their morning would begin with the rhythmic whoosh of waves breaking on the shore.

Instead, they were rather heartbroken by the sight of trash scattered on Mahim Beach. 

For the next five years, their routine weekend plan was to glove up and clear this garbage, a sickening reminder of the consequences of our callous actions.

Their citizen movement #MahimBeachCleanUp, felicitated by the UN Environment Programme, even managed to collect over 10 lakh kilograms of marine litter.

Initially, they launched the Ethico India website, but by December 2022, they’d set up an offline store in Goa.

“We've actually also let it (the store) grow organically – you know in Goa, word-of-mouth is the best kind of advertising. And now, we have a good community of repeat customers,” informed Rabia.

FOUNDER'S SPEAK: Rabia Tewari (L) and Indranil SenGupta (R) believe that one reason to chose a conscious lifestyle is to 'feel free'.
FOUNDER'S SPEAK: Rabia Tewari (L) and Indranil SenGupta (R) believe that one reason to chose a conscious lifestyle is to 'feel free'.Photo: Abigail Crasto

With neatly stacked grocery and almost perfectly laid out essential products – including coiled brushes, tote bags, wallets made of upcycled tyres, jewellery, honey, scented candles and other such knick-knacks – the store-cum-café is an inviting place. But, there’s more.

Rabia leads the way into the home décor section, which is a storehouse for anyone setting up or revamping their space.

SHOP CONSCIOUSLY: Why not deck up your home with furniture made from reclaimed wood.
SHOP CONSCIOUSLY: Why not deck up your home with furniture made from reclaimed wood. Photo: Abigail Crasto

“This is furniture created from reclaimed wood,” she points out and shifts to another product.

“When fabric decomposes, it produces a lot of methane, which is really bad. These are made from old saris, you can use them as tablecloths or throwovers,” she says as she allows us to feel the softness of the woven product. 

Apart from encouraging people to bring their own bags to carry their groceries, or packing them in eco-friendly home-compostable packaging, Ethico is also sending out a larger message with their recycling station, inviting anyone (including tourists) in Goa to use it free of cost.

BEYOND CONVENIENCE: The public is allowed to bring their dry waste to the recycling station at the store.
BEYOND CONVENIENCE: The public is allowed to bring their dry waste to the recycling station at the store.Photo: Abigail Crasto

“You know people actually enjoy the process of segregating their waste,” smiles Rabia, adding, “When they’re collecting it, they realise they are consuming so much, and that makes them more mindful.”

In just around one-and-a-half years, they’ve recycled over 3,500 kg of post-consumer waste.

The top-storey of the store offers a co-working space, rented on an hourly or per day basis. “We know a lot of people are trying to work from home, not necessarily from Goa, and so, we created a place where people could come and work from here,” says Indranil, as he joins our store tour.

CO-WORKING SPACE: Be part of the 'Ethiclan'.
CO-WORKING SPACE: Be part of the 'Ethiclan'.Photo: Abigail Crasto

“But first priority is given to people working in the sustainability space.  We call it ‘Ethiclan’,” he adds.

When it comes to Goa, Indranil feels there’s a lack of awareness with hardly any communication about living a better life. However, he says lately, there’s been a slow change.

“We started an initiative called people's project, where the whole idea is to open your mind through workshops, talks and get you to think differently. You know, like we're having difficult conversations.”

CONNECTING CHANGEMAKERS: Ethico has launched the People’s
Project that takes up pressing issues surrounding global environmental concerns.
CONNECTING CHANGEMAKERS: Ethico has launched the People’s Project that takes up pressing issues surrounding global environmental concerns. Photo: Abigail Crasto

Whether it’s about shopping plastic-free or adapting a more conscious lifestyle, the store and its founders are equipped with knowledge that empowers anyone to realise change is possible with oneself, even if it starts small. So, ditch convenience, head to Ethico and start consuming consciously.

DETAILS

LOCATION: Ethico Conscious Home Store, Igrez Waddo, Marna, Siolim, North Goa

TIMINGS: 10 am to 6.30 pm (Monday to Saturday)

CONTACT: +91 8010331445

INSTAGRAM: @ethicoindia

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