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Women Entrepreneur Pioneering Eco-Conscious Ventures with Green Innovation

- March 29, 2024

In a tale brimming with green innovation and entrepreneurial zeal, Shibani Shetty emerges as a trailblazer in the realm of eco-conscious ventures.

Inspired by her travels through the lush landscapes of Southeast Asia during her studies in Singapore, Shibani’s epiphany about the myriad benefits of hemp and its rich history of cultivation in nations like Nepal and China ignites a fervent passion within her.

Returning to her homeland of India after a stint in the advertising world, Shibani embarks on a profound exploration of hemp’s eco-friendly potential. Each revelation about the plant’s versatility and sustainability fuels her conviction that hemp isn’t just a commodity but a catalyst for a greener future.

In 2018, Shibani breathed life into her vision with the inception of LESS, a sanctuary for eco-conscious souls seeking products and services rooted in the natural bounty of hemp. With a soulful commitment to environmental stewardship, LESS emerges as more than just a business—it becomes a vibrant community dedicated to nurturing the planet.

Embracing hemp’s inherent resilience and purity, LESS champions a pesticide-free approach to farming, fostering a symbiotic relationship between the earth and its caretakers. Shibani’s ethos resonates with a reverence for nature’s wisdom, guiding the brand’s ethos towards sustainable practices that tread lightly on the land.

Collaborations with like-minded entities such as Araku Coffee and a serene Vedic resort in Goa bear testament to LESS’s commitment to weaving hemp’s magic into every facet of life. From skincare to culinary delights, each product and service emanates the essence of hemp’s earthy embrace, inviting consumers into a world of conscious consumption.

As Shibani’s journey unfolds, she envisions LESS as more than just a business venture—it’s a movement, a beacon of hope for a greener tomorrow. With unwavering dedication, she strives to cultivate a community of change-makers, united in their quest to leave behind a planet that thrives in harmony with nature.

Reflecting on LESS’s humble beginnings, Shibani Shetty reminisces about the inception of their journey into the realm of hemp. Drawing inspiration from her sojourns through the verdant landscapes of Nepal, China, and beyond, Shibani’s eyes were opened to the longstanding tradition of hemp cultivation for industrial purposes in these regions. It was during these travels that the seeds of innovation were sown, leading to the procurement of yarn from Yunan, a province steeped in hemp culture.

Industrial hemp, a specialized variant of the cannabis sativa plant, stands as a testament to mankind’s ingenuity in harnessing nature’s bounty for commercial endeavors. Its fibers, prized for their strength and versatility, have fueled industries ranging from textiles to construction for centuries.

In a world increasingly attuned to the imperative of sustainable practices, the global industrial hemp market stands as a beacon of promise. According to projections by Allied Market Research, its value surged to $4.9 billion in 2019, with forecasts indicating a meteoric rise to $18.6 billion by 2027. This exponential growth, with a staggering compound annual growth rate of 22.4%, underscores the burgeoning demand for eco-friendly alternatives in the marketplace.

As Shibani and her team continue to innovate and collaborate, their journey into the world of industrial hemp represents more than just a business venture—it’s a testament to the power of conscious consumption and environmental stewardship. With each thread woven and each product crafted, they strive not only to meet market demand but also to forge a sustainable path toward a greener future.

In 2018, LESS embarked on its journey by crafting men’s shirts, but recognizing the limited scope of this niche market, the enterprising Shibani swiftly pivoted towards skincare. Coincidentally, this was also the year Uttarakhand paved the way for commercial hemp cultivation in India, inspiring Shibani to harness the skin-nourishing properties of hemp oil in her skincare line. LESS’s skincare offerings, including serum, lip salve, soaps, and hair oil, are all infused with hemp oil, promoting natural ingredients and chemical-free formulations.

Expanding their horizons, LESS ventured into collaborations, such as a project with Araku Coffee, leveraging the combined benefits of hemp and coffee. Additionally, they ventured into multi-purpose skincare candles, designed to melt into indulgent oils for skin massage. Shibani notes the skincare range’s resounding success, leading to potential partnerships with spas and luxury hotels, including the pioneering all-hemp spa at designer boutique resort 3102bce in Vagator, Goa.

Beyond skincare, LESS has ventured into hemp nutrition, offering convenient ready-to-make mixes like the hemp brownie mix, crafted with whole wheat flour, cocoa, and hemp powder, among other natural ingredients. Shibani emphasizes the ease of preparation, promoting vegan-friendly options that cater to diverse dietary preferences.

With prices ranging from Rs 199 to Rs 1500 for skincare and nutrition products, and Rs 2500 to Rs 4999 for clothing, LESS aims to make eco-conscious living accessible to all. Shibani dismisses competition, seeing the nascent stage of the industry in India as an opportunity for collective growth, envisioning a future where the stigma surrounding hemp dissipates, and a thriving market emerges.

From the serene hills of Uttarakhand to bustling communities, Shibani’s journey with LESS is a testament to her commitment to sustainability and empowerment. Drawing from the verdant landscapes of Uttarakhand, Shibani meticulously sources hemp seeds, which journey to Bengaluru to undergo the meticulous process of cold pressing into nourishing hemp oil. It’s here in the heart of Bengaluru where the alchemy of skincare takes place, as Shibani oversees the creation of small-batch skincare products, each infused with the goodness of hemp.

But Shibani’s vision extends beyond mere production—it’s about fostering a community of empowered women. By providing opportunities for skill development and livelihood, Shibani dreams of creating a network of women artisans capable of crafting not just for LESS, but for any brand seeking sustainable solutions. In Noida, multipurpose candles are crafted with precision, their warm glow symbolizing the spirit of collaboration and community.

LESS’s commitment to sustainability echoes in every thread, with fabrics sourced from various corners of Southeast Asia finding their way to Tirupur, India’s textile capital. Here, skilled hands transform hemp yarn into sustainable clothing, while Shibani’s exploration extends to other natural fibers like orange, lotus, and bamboo. Her journey of discovery, from Milan to Tirupur, underscores the boundless potential of eco-friendly alternatives in the fashion industry.

As Shibani looks towards the future, her gaze settles on the realm of medical cannabis, a frontier awaiting exploration. With an eye on evolving regulations, she envisions a future where medical cannabis can be harnessed to enhance wellness and alleviate ailments. Yet, Shibani’s vision isn’t confined to human health alone—she sees potential in collaborations within the pet space, envisioning hemp-based products that cater to the needs of beloved furry companions.

In a world ripe with possibilities, Shibani’s journey with LESS is a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and community. As she navigates the ever-changing landscape of sustainability, her vision remains unwavering—a future where hemp and its derivatives play a central role in nurturing both people and the planet.

Disclaimer: 

The content presented above is sourced from the article available at the provided link: https://yourstory.com/herstory/2022/08/woman-entrepreneur-hemp-business-less-shibani-shetty

Content sourced from YourStory’s article on Shibani Shetty’s eco-venture is included on our site for listing and inspirational purposes. We advise referring to the original source for verification.

 

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