Husband and wife duo Anaita and Vik Sarkar are on a mission to save the planet. As co-founders of Hero Packaging, the pair’s 100 per cent compostable products are carving out a spot in the hearts and minds of ethical consumers.
Like many a great invention, Anaita and Vik were spurred to create their sustainable packaging out of necessity. It was 2016 and at the time Anaita’s personalised accessory business Olivia&Co was going gangbusters. As she watched YouTube videos of people unboxing her monogrammed products, the mother of two was dismayed at the amount of plastic packaging her brand was contributing to landfill.
“We knew there had to be another way to package items without plastic, so we looked for an Australian eco-friendly shipping solution. And we looked. And we looked. And we looked. And we came up empty-handed,” she explains.
Determined to be part of the solution rather than the problem, Anaita decided to take matters into her own hands and the zero-waste HEROPACK was born.
“We knew that it had to be 100 per cent compostable to ensure that it was truly a zero-waste solution as a replacement for plastic.”
Vik and Anaita began their quest to find the perfect eco friendly product.
“We began our mission to create shipping mailers that fulfilled our requirements. We worked hard to find supply chain partners who not only use completely renewable materials but also have environmentally ethical practices and processes.
“When we did more R&D, we realised that there was a difference between home and industrially compostable, and it was our goal to attain both certifications,” she explains.
The couple’s pursuit saw them turn to overseas shores to find a product that was truly 100 per cent compostable.
“When we first launched the business, we were focused on getting the mailers produced in Australia. However, we slowly realised after months of research that there was no factory here set up to produce the mailers we wanted. We spoke to BioPlastics Australia in-depth about our vision, and they explained that getting the Australian certification for home-compostability was the most important factor. It didn’t matter where the mailers were produced, they would need to be sent for stringent testing to an independent laboratory to deem them safe for homes and worms.”
Armed with this information, the couple expanded their search to China and found a partner who could deliver the 100 per cent home-compostable product of their dreams.
“We have learnt that “made in China” does not equate to bad quality. When we went to China to meet with our factories, we ensured they were compliant with ISO requirements and had great working conditions. We researched every major manufacturer of eco-friendly mailers and settled on a small handful that met our supply chain standards.”
Since perfecting Hero Packaging and launching in the market, the duo’s product has been in high demand. Anaita credits word of mouth from businesses and consumers alike, as contributing to their success.
“We see the excitement of business owners who make the switch to HEROPACKs on social platforms. Businesses are now even building it into their marketing campaigns. Consumer sentiment has also been extremely positive with people posting about their unboxing experience with the compostable mailer and publicly congratulating businesses that use our packaging,” she says.
Anaita believes that sustainability should be a concern for all business owners and encourages them to take an active role in being part of the solution.
“It is now one of the most important aspects of running a business. Consumers, businesses, and Governments are now paying more attention to the consequences of our actions on the Earth’s condition,” she says.
“Elements of sustainability such as reducing waste, reducing greenhouse emissions, improving working conditions, and strengthening supply chains are no longer just a PR play used by large businesses – they are fundamental to improving customer sentiment and the long-term survival of any business.
“We also believe that in the not-so-distant future, there will be stricter Government regulations around online retail packaging, just as we have seen with physical retail packaging in many countries around the world.