Kritika Jain learned to ignore people who stared at her at juice shops.
“I was not there to buy juice, but to collect bags of leftover juice waste!” she laughed.
She carted the trash bags home to her backyard, on a regular basis, and turned them into treasure.
With increasing interest in sustainable and healthy living, the 29-year-old has found a solution to healthy living in her backyard.
She uses easily available materials like decaying fruit, vegetable peels and dying flowers to make a cleaning solution for household use.
Kritika Jain believes in the medical professionals’ maxim of ‘healthy body healthy mind,’ but as an environment lover, has expanded that to include ‘healthy environment healthy planet’ as well.
“I’m aiming to replace chemical cleaners off the rack with my homemade DIY cleaning solution, which I call WeSOLE, short for We Save Our Loving Earth.”
The all-in-one cleaning solution is made using biodegradable material mixed with jaggery and left to rest for around three months to form bio-enzymes.
In addition to the fresh juice stalls to source her raw material in bulk, Kritika joked that she ‘turned to God for help’.
“My local ISKCON temple allowed me to collect the leftover flowers presented by devotees as offerings.”
When she first started making the solution for use at home in 2019, she was startled to see that it gave her the same results as regular store-bought cleansers.
‘I was also pleased to find it worked as an all-in-one solution,” she described. ‘So instead of having different chemical-based liquids for washing clothes, cleaning surfaces, windows, utensils, and whatnot, I was using one eco-friendly cleaner serving all the purposes. With artificial cleansers, it’s not just the bad bacteria which get killed but the good bacteria as well. WeSOLE, on the other hand, is 95 per cent antibacterial, killing just the bad bacteria.”
In 2020 with COVID at its peak, Kritika got an opportunity to present her innovation at the Lufthansa Airlines Germany’s ‘Design and Thinking Challenge’, where she pitched the idea of cleaning hospital premises using WeSole and won the title for best innovator.
The next year, Kritika received her first round of funding from the Global Change Maker Switzerland.
“It was not a cakewalk though,” she admitted. “Initially, my friends and family were sceptical about my ambitions. After several rounds of lab studies, sample tests, and evidence-based research, we could certainly claim that WeSOLE is as effective as other cleaners in the market. Winning the title at Germany and getting the funding from Switzerland motivated me to a great extent. The potential of the product was being recognised by reputed institutions. That itself was good enough of a reason to take this project to its next stage.”
It was time to take WeSOLE out to the public.
The first large-scale order of 250 litres came from one of its investors. Right from collecting the raw material to processing, Kritika handled everything single-handedly.
With no labour and negligible production cost, Kritika completed the order all by herself in her small backyard.
As demand increased however, WeSOLE had to set up operations bases in India and Australia. Currently, WeSOLE has its presence on Instagram where Kritika uploads several posts on how to make WeSOLE at home, and receives online orders as well.
“My ultimate aim is to make WeSOLE a ‘habit’ among people. The idea is to educate people about this eco-friendly cleanser. Apart from selling ready-made bottles, we are also focusing on equipping people to make WeSOLE themselves.”
With the support of her team in India, Kritika has successfully conducted various activity-based workshops in primary schools where kids were taught to make the cleaning solution. These workshops were part of larger program where the kids were educated about sustainability and healthy living through various games and interactive sessions.
“Our target audience is adolescents because it is during these years that good health habits are initiated,” Krittika noted.
With additional tests currently in progress and strategies in development to take WeSOLE to a larger audience, Kritika hopes it will one day be a part of every grocery list.
“We need support from the right people who can resonate with our intentions and guide us forward in our journey,“ Kritika reflected. “Making WeSOLE isn’t rocket science but, transitioning and adopting its use in day-to-day life is an area which needs to be worked upon collectively.”