A green leap

Eco warriors

A green leap

Climate change has assumed an importance of mammoth proportions in recent times. While global leaders are dilly-dallying on, and in some cases pulling out of, climate change pacts, others are coming forward to do their bit for the environment — in highly creative ways at that.

Athleisure brands are leading the way in this. While sustainable organic fabrics have made their way into the industry, sneakers made from plastic bottles, manufacturing scrap and ocean trash have upped the game recently.

“High-end clothing brands are making sustainability cool,” says Urvashi Verma, a fashionista. “Organic clothing has lesser impact on soil and water and reduces the amount of chemicals you bring into your life. It is also more durable.” Recycled marine plastic debris is the basis for Adidas’s latest range of blue sneakers, that reuses an average of 11 bottles per pair. Allen Claudius, one of the few sneaker collectors in India, is enthused about this new offering. “I am an environmentally-conscious person and have been trying to get my hands on one of these. However, the company makes only a few pairs, due to the time and effort involved, and only a fraction of this makes its way into India. The demand for these is also higher because of the ‘responsible’ tag added onto the style quotient,” he says.

Apart from corporates, even common people have decided to bear the mantle of responsibility of stepping into a environmentally-sustainable future. Avinash Sosale and Krithi Karanth tied up with coffee estates and entreated them to support the wildlife on their sprawling plantations. They are now the founders of ‘Wild Kaapi’, the world’s first ‘certified wildlife-friendly’ coffee brand.

“As a conservationist, I was always looking for new ways in which people can be wildlife-friendly,” says Krithi. “Coffee farms play a critical role in Western Ghats and the support of private landholders is needed to ensure that the fauna in the region survives.”

The couple ensures that coffee growers, who support gaurs, elephants and monkeys on their certified estates along with aromatic and  flavourful beans, get a premium price for their products.

“Even though these are early days, the response has been phenomenal. We even have people from countries like Latvia looking to collaborate with us,” says Avinash.

Looking at the waste generated by an anodyne object such as the plastic ball pen, millions of which are sold and thrown away on a regular basis, Lakshmi Menon came up with a green alternative — paper pens that turn into trees!

A designer by profession, Lakshmi’s offerings are made of waste paper. At the bottom of each pen, she has buried a seed of the versatile ‘Agasthya’ tree, known for its medicinal properties.

“I was already into making paper pens earlier at an institution I was a part of,” says Lakshmi. “Despite being a small item, plastic pens are used in huge numbers and the sheer size of this makes them a big contributor to our overflowing landfills. And since trees are the only solution to many of the environmental problems the world is facing right now, I decided to come up with something that will address both problems in one shot,” she says.

It is said that in our world of big names, our true heroes tend to be unsung. We couldn’t agree more.

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