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What does Beej mean?
Beej is a Sanskrit word for ‘seed’. It’s a metaphor for the origin of all forms of life. For us, it means respect for every form of life.
Is Beej a vegan brand?
Although we work primarily with plant-based materials that are cruelty free, Beej is not exclusively a 'vegan' brand. We are, however, an eco-responsible brand which means we maintain a cruelty-free, waste free and mindful approach from sourcing to design. Some of our designs incorporate upcycled fabrics and leather. The fact that upcycled leather is used in some of our products, means we can not describe ourselves as a Vegan brand. The leather we use is 'scrap leather' that is sourced from REACH compliant factories, this scrap leather would typically be discarded but instead is used creatively in some of our products as trimmings or finishing.
What is the difference between a vegan brand and a sustainable brand?
The terms vegan and sustainable are not to be mistaken for being the same; what is vegan may not always be sustainable and what is sustainable may not always be vegan. A vegan brand will be strictly cruelty-free and will not use the following list of animal-based/derived materials in their products : Leather, Fur, Sheep wool, Cashmere wool (wool from goats), Angora (made from the fur of Angora rabbits), Mohair (made from the hair of Angora goats), Feathers and Silk. In addition to the materials themselves, animal components can be present in other compositions as well - this includes certain textile dyes and adhesives for shoes and handbags. Some 'vegan' brands use non-biodegradable synthetic fibers like Acrylic (used to replace wool), faux fur (made from a blend of polyester and cotton), Faux leather (combination of different materials coated with polyurethane) and Polyester (PET - Polyethylene terephthalate). The use of synthetic alternatives is detrimental to the environment due to the properties and nature of plastic and is one of the reasons such brands although vegan are not essentially sustainable. Sustainable brands focus on reducing/managing the impact they have on both, environment and people. There are different ways a brand can be sustainable - from the materials they work with to the manner in which they go about their business. Some sustainable brands may still use materials like wool and leather that are either ethically sourced or recycled/upcycled. To know more about it, read our article here.
What makes Beej ethical?
An Ethical brand can be described as a company or organisation whose products and services are in line with being responsible and morally correct, take into consideration the impact on people, animals and the environment and contribute to society and community in a sustainable way. At Beej we integrate ethical practices at every stage of our business from start to finish. We are mindful of the materials we work with, emphasising on research and innovation to bring our consumers products that are eco-conscious. Additionally our partnerships reflect our values and enable us to source from responsible suppliers who carefully manage their impact. We also capitalise on workmanship and craft and our Artisans are the backbone of the brand and are rightly compensated for their conscientious work. Beej is also working on building a community that brings about an awareness in the space of climate change, innovative solutions and alternatives and sustainable products and lifestyle. Conscious Reset is a platform we have designed to introduce our community to people, ideas and brands that are bringing sustainable living and consumption to the forefront. One idea at a time.
What does trend agnostic mean?
Trend agnostic means that our designs are not dependent on seasonal trends.
How do you maintain a transparent supply chain?
We maintain a transparent supply chain by maintaining an open relationship with our customers and suppliers. All the information about our materials, our supplies and our partners is available on our website. If you have any questions, we encourage you to ask them as it keeps us honest.
Where does your leather come from?
We collect the scrap leather from selected partner factories in India that are REACH compliant to ensure there is no compromise on quality or safety.
How long is my bag going to last?
Our materials are tried and tested for durability and we ensure high quality workmanship, however in our experience, careful use of your bag can greatly enhance its life. We strongly recommend you to go through the care section of your product on our website and follow the guidelines.
If you have any specific care questions, we would be happy to try and answer them. Do drop us a enquiry using our online form or email us at email@example.com
Why are your products more expensive compared to other vegan alternatives
Materials like Piñatex and Desserto are made using patented technology by single companies with limited supply and a strong focus on quality and certifications which adds to the cost. While we have looked for vegan materials, we only opt to work with those that also meet our sustainability criteria. You will find that vegan materials that have some form of plastic in them are usually cheaper.
However, we truly believe that the price is worth the environmental benefit they offer and we hope you will think that way too.
How do I clean my bags?
The innovative materials we use to make our products can be easily cleaned. If you’d like to find out more about it, the care section of each of our bags gives you detailed information about the cleaning procedure.
How do I store my bag?
We recommend you store your bags in a dust bag and out of direct sunlight. We recommend storing it in a position that doesn’t flatten or crumple the bag so that it retains its original shape.
Where is your studio?
Our studio is located in Powai, Mumbai.
Can we visit the studio if we’d like to?
Yes you definitely can! The studio is well sanitized and we have taken all precautions for your safety as well as our teams. We recommend you make an appointment so one of our team members is available to show you around and answer any queries you may have.
How do I make an appointment to visit the studio?
We encourage customers to come and see our studio to get a behind-the-scenes look at our process. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, you can do it through here.
Why do you work on a made to order basis?
We work on a made-to-order basis and hold minimal inventory in order to minimize unnecessary waste of critical resources. We know it takes us a little longer to get your products across, but we assure you it’s worth the wait.
Why are most of your materials imported? Doesn’t that result in a high carbon footprint?
We choose the materials we work with for their unique sustainability factor. Unfortunately, materials like Cork, Piñatex and Desserto are not made in India and therefore must be imported. However, we do work with materials that are sourced from India as well.
Khesh is a handloom material we work with that’s sourced from Shantiniketan, West Bengal. We also source our lining fabrics from a weavers community near Bangalore. We are always on the lookout for materials from India that meet our criterion and over the next few months we hope to add a few more. If you know of something you think we should explore do write in and let us know.
What is the criteria you have applied while selecting your materials?
Our main criterion while choosing materials is their manufacturing process and environmental impact. The materials we work with have a low environmental impact and have been manufactured using stringent quality metrics. We also stress a lot on certifications done through expert bodies on various sustainability parameters.
Are these tried and tested materials in terms of quality, durability etc.?
All our materials are certified by international organizations. We test them in-house as well to make sure they meet our standards. There are also extensive tests done by the manufacturers of these materials on durability, color fastness, tensile strength and other core parameters. The results are publicly available and if you would like, we’d be happy to share them as well.
How can we learn more about the materials?
To learn more about the materials we work with, visit our materials page. We have also shared links to our partner websites and would recommend you look them up to know more.
If we want to procure the material only and not a bag, can you help us with that?
While we cannot procure the materials for you, we can give you a nudge in the right direction on how to go about it.
Do you have any physical retail stores?
No, we do not have a retail store however you can visit our studio. To book an appointment, click here. We are also available on popular ecommerce portals in India like Nykaa Fashion, Tata Indiluxe and Brown Living.
Where can we see the entire Beej collection?
To see the entire Beej collection, look through our Shop page as well as our Instagram handle. Our newer products are always available for purchase through Instagram.
I am based outside India. What are my avenues to shop for Beej designs?
We ship internationally! If you’d like to purchase our product, we encourage you to look through our international shipping policy.
What is the process to custom design a product?
We believe in making your dream bag a reality by customizing it to you. To find out more about the process, please click here.
Do you also do private label manufacturing?
Yes we do private label manufacturing. If your organization is looking to partner with a sustainable production unit to craft a new line of eco-conscious products, we can help you with sourcing, design and production through our end-to-end partnership program. To learn more, head over to our Atelier section.
What is the packaging you use?
We take a zero-plastic and zero-waste approach to our packaging. Products bought from our website are packed in organic jute dust bags that we design and make in-house and then shipped in reusable cardboard boxes. Everything in our packaging can be reused including the labels so we would encourage you to find creative ways to use them all and throw nothing.
For products bought through our online channel partners we adhere to their shipping guidelines, however we do ensure it’s a zero-plastic and zero-waste packaging.
Is the same packaging used for products shipped internationally as well?
International shipping does not allow for wood based packaging. All international orders are shipped in their jute dust bags which are then put into sturdy recycled corrugated boxes. We ensure the package is well packed and your product is safe, while maintaining our packaging guidelines.
Do you ship Pan India?
Yes we do ship across India.
What is the cost to ship within India?
Our prices include shipping fees within India.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes we do, the cost of shipping depends on the place.
Is there a custom or an extra duty charge on international shipping?
Yes, according to the standard custom charges of the country, this needs to be paid directly to our logistics partners.
Under what conditions can I return the product?
Our products are designed and handcrafted keeping you in mind and it's important to us that you have a great product experience. Every product goes through a detailed quality check before being shipped and we encourage our clients to go through all product specs online and clarify any doubts they may have before placing an order. If there is a problem, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the order number and attach a photograph of the faulty product. For more information, visit our return and refund page.
How do I initiate a return process?
What is your refund or replace policy in case of a return?
In case of a return, due to a product flaw, we will replace the product free of charge. However we do not provide any cash refunds.
If you have purchased the product from any other ecommerce platform or physical store the returns policy for those products are subject to the terms and conditions of the store from which it was purchased.
How long would the entire return process take?
Once you file a return claim, it would take us 4 business days to remake a new product for you as we do not hold inventory. We will dispatch it right after.
After placing my order, how soon can I expect the bag to arrive?
After we receive your order, we will be ready to ship it out within 2-3 business days. Your bag will arrive according to the location of your address.
How do I collaborate with you?
As a young brand, we love collaborating with designers, supply partners, fashion bloggers and pretty much anyone who shares our vision. If you’ve got an idea, we are all ears. Fill up our online contact form with a few details so we can get in touch with you at the earliest.
Why do you call your journal Katha?
Katha means story in Sanskrit and our journal section is all about stories. It’s the place we document the story of our journey and all the wonderful people, brands and ideas we encounter along the way. To stay tuned to our stories do subscribe to our newsletter.
If you have a story you would like to share do write into us at email@example.com
I am a writer and would like to contribute to your journal. How do I reach out?
We love bringing in writers on board to share their journey with us. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pitch!
Why are certifications important for you?
Certifications help us back our claims and quality promises with authenticity. As a small brand who cannot get certified independently just yet, ensuring that we have a supply chain that comes with the right certifications is another way to maintain our quality and sustainability standards.
Does Beej offer a guarantee or a warranty?
While Beej does not offer a warranty, we can guarantee that your products are made for longevity. With its trend agnostic design and expert craftsmanship by nuanced artisans, we hope you’ll love your bag for a long time.
Does Beej have a corporate gifting division?
Yes, we do work with companies to create bespoke designs for their corporate gifting. If you’d like to know more about the procedure, head over to our corporate gifting section.
How does Beej gift cards work? Can it be redeemed at any time?
We offer gift cards so you can present your loved ones with mindful and conscious presents of their choosing. Our gift cards are valid for 9 months from the time of purchase. They can be redeemed against purchases made on our online store or against full or partial payments for a customized design. To know more about this please visit our Gift Card page.
Can we feature your products in our store?
We love collaborating with other brands. Please email us with details and we will get back to you soon.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept card payments from any card- Visa, Mastercard. We also accept NEFT payments and International payments through PayPal.