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Zero waste 101: going green and helping local artisans

 Two sustainability enthusiasts joined hands to come up with eco-friendly replacements for plastic products used on a daily basis at home.

Published: 18th December 2018 10:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2018 06:28 AM   |  A+A-

Sudarshana Pai and Veena Balakrishnan started Everwards India six months back

Express News Service

CHENNAI : Two sustainability enthusiasts joined hands to come up with eco-friendly replacements for plastic products used on a daily basis at home. With a background in fashion technology, Veena Balakrishnan and Sudarshana Pai were always aware of and exposed to the amount of industrial waste produced in garments and manufacturing factories. The supply chain and cloth businesses made them realise how unsustainable fashion itself was. What began as research during college days for using sustainable and reusable materials for cloth garments led to the set up of their own company called Everwards India, six months back. 

“We’ve always been driven towards using local materials, integrating local economies and reducing carbon footprint. Things used decades ago are getting back in trend. I had a zero-waste wedding a few months back, at the end of which only two to three bags of plastic waste were generated. Otherwise, each marriage contributes to loads of trash. We’ve also done second-hand cloth sales. Through our company we generate job opportunities for the physically challenged, domestic help and artisans,” said Veena Balakrishnan. 

Their one-week activity called ‘Experience zero-waste living’ offers a pop-up store and workshop planned for customers. They have planned a set of activities and it’s open to all. The two 20-somethings have worked with artisans from different parts and put together a bunch of eco-friendly innovations on the check-list for us to purchase under different categories. 

Check out their soap boxes made using coconut shell, spoon and fork using coconut, toothbrushes made of bamboo, and straws made of bamboo and aluminium. Among the highlights were their stationery stock. 
Their pencils were made of newspapers with seeds in the lid that could be planted after shaving it off completely and books of reclaimed cotton papers with a message on the cover about the benefits of going sustainable. 

Toiletries like scrubs, bath brushes and bottle cleaners were made of coir. These are tried and tested beforehand to ensure they absorb water well. Napkins, pouches and cloth bags were made of dead cotton (lowest form of cotton). A line of body products like balms made of natural oils, body bath salts, home-made soaps and shikakai powders were on display. 

“It’s an on-going project. We sourced coir from Kanyakumari, soaps were made by small-scale entrepreneurs, stationery from Coimbatore and coconut soap boxes from Puducherry. Considering the ban of single-use plastic from next year, we wanted to help spread awareness so that people can make the right decision. We will be launching an e-commerce portal under the same name in a week. This pop-up is for them to get a hands-on experience,” said Veena. 

The duo’s dream is to open a physical store. They’re open to receiving waste materials and scrap from households. The one-week activity included a quilt-patching session, too. They’ve planned for quiz contests and board games to make this an interesting and engaging topic. Follow their page to know more about the initiative: everwardsindia_zerowaste on Instagram.The activity happens at Everwards India, Sait colony, Egmore, until December 23. For details,call: 8870514317

Reduce and recycle
They sell soap boxes made using coconut shell, spoon and fork using coconut, toothbrushes made of bamboo, and straws made of bamboo and aluminium. Among the highlights were their stationery stock. Their pencils were made of newspapers with seeds in the lid that could be planted after shaving it off completely and books of reclaimed cotton papers with a message on the cover about the benefits of going sustainable. Their e-commerce website will be open next week.



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