When I think of a conscious lifestyle, I think of homegrown brands that give back to the environment and the society through their organic and natural products. Honestly, in a world where everything is mass-produced, these brands are a rarity, and a necessity. One such natural lifestyle brand that I recently came across on Qtrove.com was Urvija - a Kolkata-based label conceived out of the lush forests of Bengal, that stands for sustainable lifestyle while rebelling against excessive deforestation, adulterated food and chemical-infused beauty products.
Brainchild of Sreela Pillai Roy, Urvija's journey from a handful of stores in 2016 to 40 stores across Kolkata in 2018 has been phenomenal. But what's even more phenomenal is the story behind the brand that started very casually over a cup of coffee and a YouTube channel which showed indiscriminate use of palm oil and how it was responsible for killing animals and deforestation of rainforests. The owners (Baibhab and Sreela) were determined to start a brand which does not use palm oil, forest timber or any other non-sustainable materials.
So what goes into Urvija's handcrafted products? "Local resources coupled with premium range of herbal and floral extracts, imported from different regions. For instance, we get lavender essential oil from Kashmir valley and source berries from Leh. We also integrate non-forest timber products like madhuca, karaunj, forest flame flowers and sal seeds," says Sreela.
But that's not all what Urvija stands for.
Over and above environmental preservation, the brand works extensively towards women empowerment in rural Bengal. "The manufacturing unit consists of all female workers from humble background. At Urvija unit, we trained them from scratch, turned them into skilled labourers, and now they are earning to support their families," adds Sreela.
For me, Urvija is one of the brands that has guided me towards sustainable living. Some of the natural products that stand out for me are the black grapes and honey face wash (that cleanses my skin without stripping it off its natural moisture. BUY HERE.), the rose-and-saffron beauty serum (that reduces my wrinkles, fine lines and improves my complexion. BUY HERE.) and of course, the mango lip balm with no artificial colour or flavour. Enriched with Vitamin E, this balm provides hydration to my otherwise chapped lips, around the year. BUY HERE.
Every Urvija product is painstakingly handmade to perfection. No automated or heavy machinery is used to manufacture the products. "We make the base of the soaps and creams and then gradually add the essential oils and various herbs. We do not add any artificial fragrance or harmful chemical like SLES, parabens and silicone oil to our products," explains Sreela.
Now that everything is said, you must be wondering how to get your hands on the amazing Urvija products. The answer is Qtrove.com, a website that understands the vision of organic and natural brands like Urvija and promotes sustainable lifestyle. Apart from beauty products, you can check out Qtrove.com for other categories like home decor, healthy beverages, eco-friendly fashion and a lot more.