Going ahead with this year’s theme for the World Environment Day Reimagine. Recreate. Restore we spoke to a number of brands from different industries are taking significant steps in this direction some are small, some hugely innovative.
For instance, the latest collection, Bioceramic, by Swiss watchmaker Swatch mixes two-thirds ceramic with onethird bio-sourced plastic. Footwear brand Woodland is using recycled rubber tyres as these have the same quality and durability, but zero impact on the environment and it also reduces the waste that goes to the landfills.
While old players in the beauty industry like The Body Shop (TBS) and Oriflame have been steadily using natural plant based ingredients and ecofriendly packaging, newer entrants like Kamree (founded in December 2020) too have their priorities in place. The brand only uses natural extracts to make hair care and skin care products, and each ingredient undergoes eco-ethical screening to ensure that it is safe. “Since our emphasis is on creating a healthy environment, we plant a tree at our every 50th sale,” says Ritika Krit, Founder, Kamree.
Clensta International that introduced Waterless Body Bath and Shampoo some three years ago is saving six litres of water with each bottle. “Our waterless products have a concentrated solution with chlorhexidine as an active ingredient, and doing this has saved about 400 million litres of water so far,” says Puneet Gupta, Founder and CEO, Clensta.
Yash Pakka uses compostable packaging solutions. All its paper and tableware products are manufactured using bagasse, a fibrous sugarcane waste, which makes these products lightweight and flexible to protect from damage.
Prakriti Cultivating makes single- use dinnerware from fallen leaves. After use, it can be discarded into a pit that decomposes itself in 7-10 days. “Our products are not just biodegradable and compostable, but even oven-safe, water-resistant, refrigerator safe, can hold hot and cold liquids, and is not susceptible to bacteria or fungi,” says Vaibhav Jaiswal, Cofounder, Prakritii Cultivating.
Conserve Water & Power
Both Numero Uno and Spykar have forayed into sustainability with their ‘One glass water denims’ collection. Traditionally, a pair of jeans requires 70 litres of water to complete the washing and finishing process.
“We have used hi-end technology wherein mist and foam is used for washing a fabric, reducing water usage by 93 per cent. We have also eliminated the use of hazardous chemicals, replacing it with laser technology,” says Siddhartha Wilson, VP, Sourcing, Spykar.
Further, instead of 100 per cent cotton, Numero Uno uses blended fabrics made from recycled and post-consumer waste yarns, Tencel and hemp blends.
Lifestyle brand Odd Giraffe’s delivery packaging boxes are made from 75 per cent locally sourced and recycled consumer waste, and are also 100 per cent biodegradable. “We are working to eliminate plastic right from manufacturing to delivering our products. Even our new planners and journals use recycled and biodegradable paper, which means no trees were cut down to make our products,” says Karan Joshi, Founder of Odd Giraffe.
Carpet manufacturing brand OBEETEE uses solar power panels at its factory in Mirzapur which generates 30 percent of its energy requirements. “We use merchandised washing for carpets,
and follow the effluent treatment process for the usage of the residual water and wastewater recycling
facility. The heated water is reused for dyeing yarns. And, we have rain water harvesting systems in place to recharge groundwater. All this has reduced our water consumption by 90 per cent,” says
Angelique Dhama, CEO OBEETEE.
Recycle & Reuse
Under its Bring Back Our Bottles Initiative, The Body Shop encourages consumers to drop off the empty bottles at the TBS stores for recycling.
The Better Home (TBH) has a subscription programme where the first kit comes as plastic bottles, and subsequent refills are sent in pouches. TBH has conceptualised a ‘take back’ program, where refill pouches come with an envelope for customers to send back the pouches so TBH can recycle the same.
Vegan men’s grooming brand Phy has started #ReturnToGood initiative, where customers can get Rs 50 credit points for each empty container returned to the brand. “After a substantial chunk is accumulated, it is recycled the right way. We hope this encourages more people to make the shift towards imbibing recycling,” says Rachit Mehra, Senior Marketing Manager, Pureplay Skin Sciences, Phy. “Urban planning, disposal of industrial waste and community waste management exercises are areas that need more attention,” he adds.
“World Environment Day is a reminder for us to pause and reflect on our actions and their consequences on the planet. We cannot avert our eyes from the climate crisis that is upon us. That’s why public and private stakeholders are setting targets to reduce their carbon emissions,” says Amit Banka, Founder & CEO, Wenaturalists, a tech-enabled, Eco-Social Network, summing it up.
With the launch of UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration on World Environment Day 2021, industries and non-commercial entities across different sectors and sections of society have switched to natural alternatives or innovative strategies to reduce their carbon footprint
(With inputs from Nikita Sharma)