Planet Lover- Nushrath Feroze, Muhammad Gafoor & Warshan Muthusamypillai
Founded by three like minded friends that bonded through their passion for protecting the environment, Planet Lover is a subsidiary of ICreationz that launched not too long ago in September 2018 and offers a range of compostable, eco-friendly products in Sri Lanka as an alternative to plastic and styrofoam that have flooded the market.
“Planet Lover didn’t first start as a business concept, but instead was a response to the Meethotamulla garbage disaster in Sri Lanka. It was only when that happened, that it really hit us hard and we truly realized where our trash was ending up and started to look at ways that we could help ensure something like this wouldn’t happen again” said Fathima Nushrath Feroze, one of the founding partners of Planet Lover.
Already interested in holistic living, Nusrath and the two other founding partners of Planet Lover, Warshan Muthusamypillai and Muhammad Gafoor were already aware of the different eco-friendly products available overseas. However, their mission was to support local businesses that offer home-compostable products as much as possible and only bring down products sourced internationally if there was no alternative manufactured in Sri Lanka and make them available in the local market such as the bamboo toothbrush - one of the first products to be sold by Planet Lover.
All marketers by profession, Nushrath, Warshan and Gafoor were shocked to find that there were plenty of eco-friendly products manufactured in rural parts of Sri Lanka that were still unheard of due to the lack of proper marketing. They made it their goal to help bridge this gap by raising awareness and making these stellar products accessible by everyone and one of these fabulous finds was the unique Areca plate (eco leaf plates) made completely from palm leaves with no chemicals at all and completely compostable!
Already very popular in India where disposable plates are used regularly for distributing ‘prasadam’ (sweetmeats) at religious celebrations, Areca plates were gaining popularity in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka and was being produced in Killinochi by a small group of ladies that were affected by the civil war. When Planet Lover discovered the local manufacturing team, they knew they just had to make these compostable beauties available across the island and they did just that by promoting it on their online platform. A great alternative to plastic plates and much hardier than paper plates, Planet Lover have found that these beautiful Areca plates have become sought-after for all events from kids birthday
parties and school events to more formal cocktail affairs and even for sending treats to family and friends during religious festivities!
Nushrath explained that she and her partners found sustaining rural businesses the most rewarding aspect of Planet Lover and as such were always on the lookout to find new ways to support these local communities. Still passionate that Planet Lover would be less focused on profits and more on actually making difference, the founders often even provide local businesses with a business model and the inspiration to create new eco-friendly products that are currently not available in Sri Lanka. By making these products easily accessible in
Sri Lanka, Planet Lover will be able to encourage more businesses and communities to opt-into more sustainable practices and reduce plastic pollution.
“While there’s a few that are very passionate and committed to living a greener, plastic-free lifestyle in Sri Lanka, there are still plenty of people who are oblivious to it and we have found that our customer base is predominantly comprised of foreigners - something that we’d like to see change through awareness and we’re sure it will! We really look to drive home to our customers that all our handmade, eco-friendly products at Planet Lover are all sourced from sustainable vendors and no two items are the same, for instance each Areca plate is unique and may have a slightly different look to another unlike a plastic plate that’s commercially produced, but this really adds an unusual vibe to each product and it’s something that those that understand the process of creating these handmade products really appreciate” explained Nushrath.
Apart from locally manufactured eco-friendly products, Planet Lover also researches and brings down products such as the bamboo toothbrush. “The bamboo toothbrush was something that I came across by accident when I first started looking at replacing plastic in my daily lifestyle. Once I brought it down for myself, I thought I would bring down more and within one and a half days of advertising it on social media, the entire stock I brought down was sold and there were more customers willing to wait till I brought it down again - that’s when I realized there were more people like us around and that we should do our best to
make these products available” said Nushrath.
Nushrath promises that eco-friendly warriors can look forward to a host of exciting, new natural products in 2019 which will include affordable, locally sourced compostable takeaway containers as well as 100% home compostable cups - an alternative to to plastic and paper cups which contain a lining inside that restricts the entire cup from composting. These products will be available on the Just Goodness healthy lifestyle online platform as soon as they become available!
"Planet Lover is all about bringing eco-friendly products alternating to plastic, made easily and readily available at affordable prices.”