Where sustainability takes centre stage

Post the pandemic, conscious living has moved beyond being just another buzzword. Sustainability, in fact, is the need of the hour.

Published: 18th March 2023 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2023 07:39 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Post the pandemic, conscious living has moved beyond being just another buzzword. Sustainability, in fact, is the need of the hour. Saachi Bahl who founded Saahra—a sustainability platform that bridges e-commerce and advocacy—aims to bring this idea to the forefront along with a goal to educate the consumer and other stakeholders through her annual #ConsciousEffort Design Show & Conclave.

Their sixth edition will take place in the city’s The Claridges Hotel today, and will host discussions and workshops for sustainability advocates. This year’s panellists include fashion designer Nachiket Barve and Nand Kishore Chaudhary, founder, Jaipur Rugs as well as Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman and CEO, Aquafil Group. In a conversation with us, Bahl gives us an insight into the sixth edition. Excerpts…

Saachi Bahl

Tell us about this edition of the #ConsciousEffort Design Show & Conclave. 

We’ve been hosting the conclave and the design show for the last six years. The idea is to have an advocacy-and-retail platform—if you want to do anything around sustainability, learn about it, meet industry leaders (as all the stakeholders come under one roof), have upcoming designers showcase their products, shop from brands… Whether you’re a maker or a consumer, there is something for everyone.

Last year, GoDaddy, India sponsored us and we started the Clean Tech challenge as well, where we felicitate climate innovators. We are a 360-degree platform for all things related to sustainable fashion and lifestyle. The conclave brings together leading global leaders every year. This year, for the first time, we’ve got an international speaker with Giulio Bonazzi.

We also have two installations coming up with Econyl. It is very interesting for India to have more conversations around innovation when craftsmanship has usually been the central focus for India and the dialogue around sustainability. And in many ways, we’ve been far ahead of our times. Now, we are looking at innovation and diving into all the other aspects beyond the craft of how we can look at decarbonisation and minimising our footprint as an industry together.

You take a circular view on sustainability keeping in mind all stakeholders. Is there any impressionable impact you’ve made over the years? 
I look at it qualitatively or quantitatively. Qualitatively, we have certainly looked at more people interested in both shopping at the platform, coming to the platform, and looking forward to coming to #ConsciousEffort. When we see the number of registrations, it has been far beyond and more than what we had six years ago. On the grassroots level, I think that the consumer has matured a lot in the last five or six years. I realise that the sense of the conversation on ground and the genuine interest in making that conscious effort has changed and increased. Also, this has pushed brands to look at sustainability in a more holistic way rather than a micro change. So, those are the two ways that I see are big changes to talk about.

It has been six years of building the Saahra community. What has changed over the years?
I am glad to see the number of people that we’ve been able to impact from a design point of view, or even the number of designers we have given a platform to. The hundreds and hundreds of them that have participated with us, the speakers who reach out to so many people in the audiences... I think we’ve done great advocacy work. With the conversation becoming global, I think we are at the right place at the right time.

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