When we caught up with Namrata Purohit, the “fitness instructor, author and entrepreneur” and the “#OriginalPilatesGirl”, she was feeling “grateful”. “I am more grateful to be able do this at this stage,” she told us. The ‘this’ being theearthcircle.com, a website that’s about making mindful choices for a healthy mankind and environment. While this had been on her mind for a while, 2020 gave her enough time to put it together. We chatted with her on what to expect.
Congratulations for the new initiative. Tell us how it was born...
So basically I have always been an earth-conscious person. When I was young, I would say that at some point I would like to do something for the environment or work with animals. I wanted to study animal behaviour. I have always been conscious about my choices or have improved over the years. It’s been a journey and I am still on that journey. Lately I have been diving a lot and travelling a lot. And when you are diving in the most beautiful places in the world, you will find plastic underwater and see fish life entangled in it. We need to make better choices and it’s not that hard. There are a lot of people who have the intention, but sometimes we lack the direction because they don’t know where to start or begin. It’s sometimes overwhelming. So, I started really slow, making small everyday switches. My friends started seeing that and they started doing that. I started getting a lot of calls and realised that I am recommending products or everyday tips that they can do to be better to the environment.
I thought of putting whatever information I had together in one place so that we can reach more people and build a community of like-minded people who want to do better for the environment. That’s how the website came about.
What were some of the switches you made?
I started with simple things like using bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic toothbrush. It is one of the easiest switches to make. Also, just changing the kind of products I use. Now I use all natural products, cruelty-free, things that come in biodegradable packaging, (switching) from pads to a menstrual cup or if ever I am using pads or a tampon, using something biodegradable. The one thing that I keep reminding myself and the others is that being sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything overnight. Also, use everything you have to the fullest, whether it’s clothes or shoes or bags. We don’t need to replace them all the time. Then there are ways to recycle that as well.
Even for the studios, we have tried to switch a lot of the things from the toilet rolls to bamboo tissue paper in compostable packaging.
For someone who has been into fitness all her life, what qualitative difference did they make to your life? Did it make an extra impact?
It did actually. You feel a lot better about yourself because you know you are doing the right thing. Your subconscious feels a lot more happier and healthier I would say because you feel a lot cleaner. Even for my skincare, I use ground coffee for my scrubs or ground oats. I add papaya or sometimes, I add banana. It’s made at home and I know what goes into it and it feels so much healthier.
Are all the products hand-picked by you?
I use 90 per cent of the products on the website. From the pads to the menstrual cup to the tissue to the skincare products, haircare.... The products are gender neutral. You will also find wallets, stationery like seed pens which you can write with and at the end, plant a tree. All of them are Indian brands.
What kind of a high is this giving you?
(Laughs) The whole thing was exciting. We have almost spent a year on what all goes on the website. It’s been fruitful. What I love about this is that through this journey, I had my family and friends support me and it was exciting to see them make switches. My friend was so guilty about buying a bag at the supermarket once that when he forgot to carry one from home again, he went back home to fetch one. One person can influence the other person and that’s how a chain reaction forms.
I was buying a phone cover and some of the plastic phone covers look so fancy, but I told myself that I could do better. I spend hours on the Internet trying to find brands which can do all of these.
(This venture) has its own challenges. I won’t deny that. I didn’t realise how difficult it can be to build a website and curate products and put articles and information together. We have a vision for it.
2020 taught us fitness is not just about physical well-being, but also mental wellness. What according to you will be the dialogue going forward...
I have always been very mindful. That’s why I do Pilates because it is about mind and body.... When I eat, I put the phone away and when I am with someone, I’ll be a 100 per cent there. This time has given people time to think and reconsider their lifestyle choices and decisions. This year is all about survival. If we get through this time, we will get through everything.