Neev Herbal Handmade Soaps as a Social Enterprise
Neev Herbal Handmade Soaps is a Village Industry registered under Khadi, located in Village Hurlung of Jharkhand State of India. Neev operates with vision of “producing highest quality handcrafted herbal products while providing a dignified means of employment for rural women and regenerating rural economy”
NEEV Herbal Handmade Soaps produces a variety of premium-quality, all-natural cosmetic products including everything from hair oils to bath soaps to room freshners. The products are made using cold process without adding any artificial or chemical ingredients or colours. In 2007, engineer couple Anurag and Shikha Jain pioneered the enterprise, hoping to build an organization dedicated to helping improve the lives of rural women and children in an environmentally-sustainable way. Located in the Village Hurlung of Jharkhand, India, NEEV provides an honorable source of labor for women living within the village community. These women hand craft each product using a variety of organic materials, from the aloe vera, rose, tulsi, mehndi, hibiscus, bhringraj, brahmi, ashwagandha and shatavari grown in NEEV’s very own backyard to the natural plant oils purchased directly from producers and farmers. One such oil includes mahua oil—extracted from an indigenous tree of Jharkhand—traditionally used by the tribals for skincare.
The “Sabun Factory” of Hurlung addresses some of the most pressing environmental and social issues in India such as female empowerment, sustainable production, and education for underprivileged children. When you buy their product, you are not only gaining an eco-friendly, all-natural cosmetic good, you are also supporting these causes and helping toward a better tomorrow for all of us.
Neev has acquired all required certifications for producing and selling tested high standard cosmetic products in India and abroad. What makes the products special are the facts that:
- All products are made from vegetable oils (coconut, olive and mahua oils) and purest essential oils
- No chemicals or artificial colours are added in products. All ingredients are either grown in house or sourced from farmers and institutions working with farmers.
- All product formulations are based on ayurveda and aromatherapy, and naturopathy. The products are mild and nourishing to the skin, and do not rob the skin off its natural oil.
- All products are made in small batches using cold process method which best preserves the beneficial qualities of herbal ingredients.
- All products are handmade by rural women. No machines are used in production except for hand blender.
- Neev employs only rural women for the production of soaps. Presently there are 50 rural girls and women, most of whom also go to college and pay their fees through their income at soap unit. The married women are able to provide good education to their children and ensure additional income for their family.
- No air, water, noise or soil pollution is caused during production. The soap unit is as silent as any other village house using as much electricity and creating no wastage of any kind. The run off water from cleaning is used for watering Neev fields.
- Only Solar electricity is used for all power needs in the soap unit
- Many indigenous oils and ingredients used in products. Mahua Oil which has been traditionally used by the tribal communities of Jharkhand helps to keep the skin healthy.
- Neev has its own organic herbal farms where rose, aloe vera, mehndi, ashwagandha, shatavari, bhringraj, brahmi, clove, basil, cucumber, amaranth, harar, bahera, lemon etc are cultivated.
- Neev sources papaya, neem, khadira, tomato, carrot, drumstick, custard apple, mahua which are organically grown within the village. This helps to provide additional income to many families in the village.
The “Sabun Factory” of village Hurlung as the local people call it, is a household name and the all young village girls dream of working here when they grow up. For the women working in the sabun factory, they have found a strong voice in their homes as they now contribute equally to their family incomes. They participate equally in decision making of family matters and equally take up the roles and responsibilities in the house hold tasks. Many women who had not set their foot on trains, now travel to different cities and feel confident in conducting themselves in front of huge crowds. Their self esteem is high and they have a lot to say through their action and words. The products crafted by their skilled hands find a place in the homes world wide and realizing this fact makes their faces shine bright!
Social Impact on Lives of Rural Women and Children of Village Hurlung
- Upto 50 rural women find dignified employment in Neev Production Unit
- Young girls able to finance their higher education on their own from their earnings at the unit
- Married women can ensure good education for their children from their earnings
- Additional incomes in rural homes ensures timely health care and availability of good food throughout the year, and maintenance of mud houses.
- High self esteem amongst rural women, increased sense of responsibility and confidence in facing different situations of life.
- More respect for rural women in the village community
Environmental Impact of Neev Production Unit in Village Hurlung
- No air, water, noise or soil pollution is caused during production.
- Only Solar electricity is used for all power needs in the soap unit. There is little requirement of power as no machinery except for hand blenders is used.
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