Adding a green tint to the fashion quotient of the state, ‘Sanchi Bags’, a start-up is offering 100-per cent biodegradable bags that express the love for nature in a unique and stylish manner.
Zafer Ameer, who is currently working as a QA engineer in TKM Infotech at Technopark, had started this venture at the capital city six months ago with the aim of promoting eco-friendly products among youth. “This was not my effort alone, but a joint venture of all my friends belonging to different arenas. I am just a coordinator. I have been a big fan of cloth-bags since I was a child. I have visited many shops in search of them, but could not find any. I had plans for conducting a study on these kind of bags,” he says.
“Finally, I found a tailor who made such beautiful cloth-bags at Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu. His name was Navarmani, an ordinary tailor who was into making cotton bags along with the usual stitching works. As a trial, we gave him a design and asked him to make a bag according to it. He totally surprised us. He is the backbone of our venture now,” says Zafer. The bags are custom-made according to the demand and design. The textile material for the production is directly bought from cloth mills in order to reduce the cost to a minimum. Zafer says that they are not eyeing profits with this venture, but the spread of this culture. They are also offering a way for students to earn a bit by marketing the bags.
“As part of spreading this culture and promoting self-employment, we have been organising training programmes for many with Navarmani’s help. He is now a full-time ‘sanchi-maker.’ We bought two automatic stitching machines after starting commercial production. A small unit was started at Kovilpatti, where 80 per cent of the production takes place,” Zafer adds.
The ‘Sanchi Bags’ are made of pure cotton. Retail buyers can obtain it at `150. The price will be `130-140 for wholesale buyers. Currently, they are selling a single type of bag, which is a refurbished form of the old ‘sanchi.’ More products will be introduced in the market within three weeks, including daily utility bags, laptop bags, tablet bags, and tiffin bags.
The customisation of bags is done by the artists among the friends’ circle. Now they are providing employment to six women tailors at Venjaramoodu at Thiruvananthapuram. The employee strength will be increased according to the demand.
The first promotional sale was made at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) and then at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) held last year. They were taken by surprise at the great response and decided to take it to the next level. The target customers include event management teams, governmental and non-governmental organisations, schools, colleges, IT companies and bag wholesalers.
Currently, the promotion and marketing of the product are done via social networks and friends’ circles. The online shop will be opened this week where the customer can place orders (www.sanchibags.com). For more details, contact Zafer Ameer at 91-9995463481.