At the heart of Punar Homewares lies a purpose-driven initiative, inspired by the resilience and empowerment of women artisans in India. Priya, is the brainchild and Australian entrepreneur with deep cultural roots to her childhood home in India. Today we explore the inspiration behind Punar, the challenges faced during its launch, the remarkable success it achieved, the impact it has created for women artisans, and its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
For the founder of Punar Homewares, embarking on an entrepreneurial journey meant becoming a part of the uplifting community of women artisans in India. The true stories of women coming together, supporting each other, and making a difference in their communities fueled Priya’s desire to create impacts and make a positive change. The concept of Punar, meaning “Again” in Sanskrit, perfectly embodies the notion of rejuvenation and rebirth. By utilising recycled yarn to craft beautiful homeware products, Punar not only promotes sustainable practices but also honours the ancient tradition of handloom weaving.
Transitioning from a corporate background to launching a startup posed challenges for founder Priya. With no prior entrepreneurial or e-commerce experience, the journey was a transformational one. “I come from a corporate background. I am an accredited company director and I run my own project management consultancy, but I have no entrepreneurial or e-commerce experience. Launching a startup was almost like becoming a newer version of myself! I connected with my ethical suppliers in India in 2019, but for the next two years, the pace was extremely slow. It took over three months to get samples shipped from India during COVID! But I am big on learning and growing, so during this slow phase, while both Australia and India went through countless lockdowns, I completed a course from Foundr, a well-known online learning magazine that delivers courses run by real entrepreneurs. That was beneficial and provided the solid foundation required for launching Punar. Handloom fabrics are very common. However, handloom fabric made with recycled yarn is a challenging ask. It took us months of trial and error to create the premium quality fabric used in our gifts and homewares. We are proud of taking the time to get things right because we are making products that last longer. We are creating a better tomorrow for people and the planet. To be honest, when you start a new business every day is challenging, as there are so many unknowns. My philosophy is to focus on our purpose, have measurable goals, and take action. We met slow progress in sourcing ethical suppliers during the pandemic with determination and a commitment to learning.”
The soft launch of Punar Homewares saw overwhelming success as the first batch of products sold out within weeks. Several factors contributed to this triumph. The timing of the launch, just before the holiday season, made Punar Gifts the perfect choice for thoughtful presents. Moreover, the exceptional product quality received glowing 5-star reviews, enhancing its reputation. Priya’s openness and willingness to seek support from her network also played a crucial role in driving early sales. Punar received unwavering support from individuals who genuinely cared about creating a positive impact. The founder’s business coach and mentor, Sarah Thomson, not only provided guidance but also became Punar’s first business gift customer. Her belief in Punar’s purpose inspired the brand’s pivot into the business gift and luxe homewares domain. Additionally, businesses like Endota Spa Camberwell recognised the value of supporting women artisans through their orders.
Ensuring ethical production practices is of utmost importance to Punar Homewares. The brand carefully reviews supplier social responsibility statements and includes clauses in contracts to guarantee fair wages and ethical treatment for the artisans. This commitment creates a supportive work environment and empowers women artisans to lead fulfilling lives. Punar’s upskilling programs have transformed the lives of women artisans like Shobha, a single mother. With the support of these programs, she now enjoys a thriving career in the handloom textile industry, providing a better life for her children.
Punar’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its choice of recycled yarn made from landfill textile waste. By utilising natural fabric dyes, the brand ensures its products are toxin-free. The environmental impact of its efforts is remarkable, saving significant amounts of water and reducing CO2 emissions.
Since launching, Punar has:
Created 900 handcrafted products
Turned 121 kg landfill waste into luxe tea towels
Handwoven 405 meters fabric
Saved 510,000 litres of water
Did you know handwoven fabrics do not use electricity?
Punar creates zero-emission fabrics. Every 100 meters of fabric on average stops 92kg CO2 emissions.
Looking ahead, Punar Homewares envisions becoming a trusted supplier of sustainable business gifts and luxury homewares. By disrupting the gifting industry and expanding its handloom weaving industry to Australia and India, Punar aims to create a positive global impact on people and the planet.
Punar Homewares is not just a brand; it’s a celebration of culture, empowerment, and sustainability. With each handcrafted product, Punar weaves stories of hope, resilience, and positive change. By choosing Punar, you not only bring home exquisite, eco-friendly homewares but also support a community of women artisans in India, fostering a brighter future for them and their families.
If you are inspired to be a part of this impactful journey, explore Punar’s collection of sustainable business gifts and luxe homewares at their website. You can also stay connected and witness the transformational stories behind each product on their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Together, let’s reimagine the world of gifting and homewares, one recycled yarn at a time, as we embrace the essence of Punar – rejuvenation and rebirth – for a more conscious and compassionate tomorrow. Shop with purpose, make a difference, and join Punar Homewares on their quest to create a meaningful impact for both people and the planet.