eTHikel's green, award-winning etiquette
The UK Business Awards always have some rather spectacular entries. And not all of them play it safe. What makes us happy is that our judges are ready to recognise the efforts of making risky business decisions.
And starting a business amid the pandemic is risky business by definition. Especially if you're treading on uncharted territory. However, where there's a good idea accompanied by sheer will and patient planning, there are also results that deserve praise!
eTHikel's the perfect example of that. Their Founder & CEO, Amerjit Briah, left a successful law career in pursuit of developing a truly green platform for retail buyers and sellers.
How eTHikel managed to rise and shine in 2021
Nowadays, we're noticing a silent storm all around us - somewhat of a sustainable uprising. Unfortunately, not all companies genuinely offer change. Due to lack of education, many customers get tricked into purchasing a product that's supposedly eco-friendly. They want to help, but can't always tell the difference between a real and a fake green product.
Having noticed this, Amerjit made a brave move to combat the greenwashing trend - relying heavily on her competitor's downside - honesty and transparency. So, after substantial research, she started eTHikel - a new website that could benefit both sellers and consumers.
Once the research was finished, eTHikel focused on 4 key areas:
* Working with a website development and design team to make the most of their platform. The front end had to be simple to use. The back end had to give them a proper level of functionality and allow easy navigation.
* Contacting sellers to spread word about eTHikel and generating interest in the community to join the project. This was absolutely vital, as sellers were (and are) the lifeblood of the business.
* Creating a marketing initiative that would lead to brand awareness and social media impact prior to launch.
* Engaging with the environmentally friendly blogger community, bringing them into their network and using their platforms to engage with new followers.
With overwhelmingly positive feedback from interested parties (whether buyers or people just wanting further information), the platform has helped many shoppers who are new to ethical shopping make their first steps into this area. More experienced green shoppers have also found that the platform gives them many of the products they need in one place.
With the site continually evolving and offering new features, it's a simple-to-use market. Sellers have appreciated the exposure they received not only on the site, but also through their marketing efforts. All the brands involved with eTHikel have managed to reach a new audience and have increased their profile as a result of signing up.
Our panel of independent judges rewarded eTHikel's efforts - making them the Bronze Award winners in the Best New Business - Retail category.
Through the lens of the creator
With such great results, we've contacted eTHikel's Founder & CEO, Amerjit Briah, to ask her about the company's past, present and future. Here's what Amerjit had to say:
How did you gain the trust of your customers?
On eTHikel, we only source quality products from trusted sellers who share our pro-Earth values, so I personally vet each one of them and educate our customers about them through our Journal, a guilt-free blog aimed at gently helping readers make lifestyle choices that won’t cost the planet.
People know the big keywords like vegan or plastic-free, but we offer resources so they can learn about new materials and processes, or to warn them about greenwashing. We communicate a lot about this on our social media channels and our press coverage, on top of the Journal.
Why did you decide to apply for the UK Business Awards?
As a new business, we really want to showcase who we are, what we do, and our values. We want to connect with businesses who share our vision, and the UK Business Awards was a great opportunity for us to do that.
It’s also extremely rewarding after all the dedication and hard work that has gone into the projection when a reputable and trusted organization like the UK Business Awards thinks us worthy of an award. We want customers to trust and believe in the work that we are doing and the UK Business Awards has helped us do just that by adding a further layer of trust within our eTHikel community!
How would you describe your experience at our awards? Did you learn or gain something from it?
We’ve had a great experience, and we’re so proud to have won bronze for Best New Business - Retail in 2021. We launched in January 2021, so this marked a huge year for us, and the team was thrilled.
I personally learned that we need to put ourselves out there as a business, because what we do is useful to our customers and the planet, and it deserves to be recognised. I hope our model of transparency, ethics and data security will be inspirational for other businesses, especially in e-commerce.
How's eTHikel doing now? What are your plans for the future?
eTHikel is doing great. The team is expanding, and we’re laser focused on growing our network of ethical and sustainable sellers, as well as our team of like-minded professionals.
We’ve just taken on amazing brands, such as sustainable accessories and jewellery label 3RD/DIADEM, breakthrough supplements brand Karmacist, ethical organisers by Joana Fulana, edgy streetwear label Snide London, organic spices brand Ausha and luxury fashion label HannahMaria Shanahan.
We have over 90 sellers now, so eTHikel is growing rapidly. My plan is to keep growing and win more awards for our work, and keep spreading the word (and useful resources) about ethical shopping. Our end goal is to make ethical shopping the norm, so we’ll keep on making it easier for consumers who want to make that switch.
This story was taken from the UKBATM eBook, a document with 4 award-winning entries turned into case studies. You can download it here for free and enjoy reading more about this and 3 other outstanding initiatives.
If you want to have your company's name in blogs like this one, apply for the UKBA here. Enter before March 25 to get a great discount on the standard entry price.