Do you trust that every company is telling you the truth? “Fairtrade,” “eco-friendly,” “sustainable” – it seems that just about every other company uses these labels to describe its products and services. When companies invest more time and money on marketing their products or brand as “green” rather than actually doing the hard work to ensure that it is sustainable - this is called greenwashing. And when we decide to make the purchase, how do we exactly know what kind of an impact we are making?
Green Story, in 2015 founders Akhil and Navodit decided to tackle this issue. Akhil developed an interactive, integrated, and intuitive online platform that analyses the impact of a product or service and generates eye-catching visuals that can be then embedded in product packaging and print and digital media.
The Good Tee is a proud partner of the Green Story, helping its customers understand the impact of each responsibly made garment on the environment. Green story has not only simplified the complex task of measuring the impact of our products through attractive visuals and credible numbers but also helps in making our customers aware of the sustainable options they have to make greener choices.
We sat down with Akhil Sivanandan the Co-founder to learn more about his journey and the inspiration behind Green Story. Here’s what he has to say:
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your partner and your sustainable journey so far.
Growing up in India, I saw at an early age the impact that people can have on the environment and the importance of making greener choices for oneself. After my undergrad, I worked on sustainability consulting and market research for many companies and governments both in India and Canada. It was frustrating to see the slow action that’s being taken. I was fortunate to meet my co-founder, Navodit, during my MBA and he had the same frustration. In 2016, I quit my job and we founded Green Story to really help people make greener choices. That’s our north star. I believe that if people have the right information at the right time, they can make better, greener choices. This can truly transform the world. What if everyone on the planet could ask, “What’s my impact?” and get a credible answer for it?
2. How did the Green Story idea come about? Did it evolve?
The idea came about over long meetings in the library, Starbucks and at UofT (typically after work). We started with the simple goal of getting consumers to make greener choices. Believe it or not, our first prototype was a 90 MB Excel sheet we spent 4 months building! We made it easy for a company to calculate its footprint and display it. It debuted at the Green Living Show and was a hit. What we found was that the unique presentation of data and interaction with the consumer was what’s important to businesses.
3. What is the one thing that keeps you motivated?
Apart from my wife’s encouragement? Keeping our company goal in mind which is to get 1 billion people to make greener choices. There have been many challenges along my 5 year journey (COVID-19 is the latest), but I’ve continued as I have a constant reminder of my goals next to me on my desk.4. What was something you learned about sustainable fashion that you did not know before you started Green Story?
I knew next to nothing about fashion before Green Story. I was an expert on sustainability, carbon offsets and systems. But I had no idea fashion had such a huge impact on the world! One of the biggest “wow” moments for me was the huge water usage in conventional cotton, and the difference something like organic cotton makes. Working with experts like Adila sure has helped.
5. What kind of impact have you have made so far? (In terms of metrics)
As a company, we’ve helped over 10 million consumers make greener choices. In terms of broad impact, we have that through our clients. We count over 9 Billion litres of water have been saved via greener choices enabled by our platform.
It can be the wonder-crop that might get people to consume greener fashion! It is a direct replacement for conventional cotton, has better properties, has a low chemical footprint. The latter means it’s not just good for the end user but for anyone touching it along the supply chain, including the farmers and factory workers. While there are claims of better carbon retention in soil, these are yet to be proven. Personally, the few times I purchase clothing, I vastly prefer organic cotton for the feel as well.6. What are you most grateful for?
I’m very grateful for all the support I have received from my family, friends, team and clients. As a first time entrepreneur, I have had to learn a lot along the way, but the eco-entrepreneurship community has been amazing and helpful in helping me find my way.
7. What does the future hold for Green Story?
We’re blazing the path forward! We have a host of new features coming up over the next few months, which will not only allow companies to communicate their impact but allow them and their customers to reduce it even further! I’m very excited about this new chapter in our journey.
8. Anything else you would like to share?
It’s been a tough few months for everyone, not just those in eco fashion. What has been the silver lining has been a change in consumer mindset to look deeper and be more sustainable. I’m really proud of how the ecofusion space has come together to support the industry. As a part of that, at Green Story, we’ve been releasing a series of webinars, you can find it all at our new Youtube channel. Do check it out and subscribe.
The Green story’s influence on 10 million customers making greener choices is commendable and The Good Tee extends its support by educating our customers about Responsible Fashion, with the hope that Akhil can reach his goal of getting 1 billion people to make greener choices sooner! With the help of Green Story, The Good Tee is able to calculate the impact of each product listed on our website. Check out the calculator below!
Are you taking steps towards a sustainable future as well? Check out our responsibly made Garments and feel good knowing exactly what kind of impact you are making.