When Ariel Hay became a full-time mother, she realised that having a child meant using a lot of disposables from diapers to ziplock bags.
It dawned upon her that we generate a lot of single-use waste, and thus she became more conscious of her actions and its implications on the environment.
The 34-year-old found out that even though there were existing sustainable products and initiatives in the market, adoption was slow in the community.
The ex-marketer of global luxury beauty brand Shiseido recognised that she could make an impact in the adoption of sustainable practices by changing consumer perception and illustrating how relevant sustainable products and habits are to the modern consumer.
Sustainability Can Be Aesthetically Pleasing Too
Ariel founded BYKURAHOME in early 2020, with the mission to end disposable culture one habit at a time.
Through a focus group discussion, the team found out that consumers often have negative associations with sustainable product offerings, perceiving them as being of lower quality, less aesthetically pleasing, and more expensive.
She wanted to solve these problems with BYKURAHOME, which is a multi-label retailer that features sustainable and easy-to-use products.
According to Ariel, all of BYKURAHOME’s products marry functionality with a strong sense of aesthetic.
“We have effectively demonstrated that sustainable products can transcend beyond their utility functions and fit aesthetically and easily into our modern daily lives, simply by making small changes,” she told Vulcan Post in an interview.
At the start, the team imported products from overseas, but quickly realised that they could draw on their experience in design and manufacturing to produce their own product lines.
“This not only enabled us to provide products that meet our technical specifications, but more importantly, it allowed us to express our vision of how sustainable products can be aesthetically pleasing and be an integral part of our daily lives,” said Ariel.
For instance, their best-sellers — the Mojo Silicone Bag and the Mojo Snack Pouch — are manufactured without plastic fillers to meet the European standards for food contact. These regulations are stricter than that of the United States.
Furthermore, its Oliver Park line of reusable tote bags uses 100 per cent ripstop nylon fabric, which is guaranteed to hold more weight and last longer than the traditional polyester fabric used by most other reusable bag brands.
Profitable Right From The Start
BYKURAHOME was started right before Covid-19 took place, and it managed to grow into a profitable business right from the get-go.
However, like many other businesses, it faced pandemic-related challenges such as the shortage of inventory and shipping delays.
Despite this, Ariel said that sales grew by 400 per cent for two consecutive months since its debut, and have been rising steadily since then.
Our focus in building a portfolio of products that meet our own quality and aesthetic standards and at the same time, are relevant to the modern consumer, has enabled us to carve out our own unique segment in the sustainable retail space.
This has allowed us to pursue various partnerships that meet our primary goal of advancing sustainable practices over a wider audience.Ariel Hay, founder of BYKURAHOME
Sustainability As The Only Way Forward
BYKURAHOME was started because Ariel and her team strongly believe that sustainability is here to stay, and it is the only way forward.
According to Ariel, it has had international brands like Fresh and Shiseido, as well as leading local fashion retailers like Love, Bonito, who identified with their brand message and approached them for partnerships.
Their products are also recently stocked at TANGS department stores.
Apart from the usual business goals in terms of growing its operations locally and overseas, BYKURAHOME’s aim is to work with businesses and individuals from various industries and walks of life, to highlight sustainable efforts in their daily operations and activities to consumers.
“We are of the belief that the sustainability movement is here to stay and these advocates can be the change makers in their own ways,” said Ariel.
Featured Image Credit: BYKURAHOME