Rinzing Bhutia’s Skincare Revolution Empowers Tribal Women with Organic Beauty

INDIA: In a remarkable journey blending entrepreneurship with social empowerment, Rinzing Choden Bhutia, the founder of Agapi Sikkim, is transforming the skincare industry while empowering tribal women in the process.

After a successful career with America Online and Asti Electronics, Bhutia returned to her roots in Sikkim, driven by a desire for a sustainable lifestyle. Her venture began with Agapi Farm, a sustainable farm stay in Kabi, North Sikkim. What started as a conversation on plastic avoidance led to the creation of a unique, sustainable brand.

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During the initial phase, Bhutia faced a setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she utilized the time to research organic ingredients, focusing on medicinal and heritage plants abundant in Sikkim. This laid the foundation for Agapi Sikkim, offering a range of organic skincare products.

The brand stands out by using local Himalayan ingredients like Tite Pati (mugwort), turmeric, and aloe vera, avoiding mainstream “hero materials.” Bhutia’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond her products to a social initiative. She collaborated with the Skill Development and Capacity Building Department in Sikkim, training over 400 tribal women in handcrafted soap and skincare product making.

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Agapi Sikkim is not just a brand; it’s a social movement, providing employment opportunities for tribal women who were otherwise dependent on their households. Bhutia’s training programs have led to the formation of self-help groups, empowering women with skills and independence.

The brand’s success isn’t just in its social impact but in its market presence. With a recent infusion of Rs 60 lakh in funding from local figures, venture capital firms, and global impact investors, Agapi Sikkim is set to scale new heights. The brand, valued at $1 million, proudly stands as the first women-led startup in Sikkim to attract foreign direct investment.

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Agapi Sikkim is not just about skincare; it’s a movement that combines entrepreneurship with a social conscience, proving that beauty can be sustainable, empowering, and transformative.

Also Read: Brazilian Entrepreneur Jussara Gomes Overcomes Adversity and Transforms Her Life

  • Sahra Ardah

    International artist, art director and producer.
    She has a PhD in History of Art (2009), and Journalism Master Honors (2009-2011).

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