While there is a lot of buzz around global warming, conservation and adopting planet-friendly options, there are few who actually act on it. Swechha is one such organisation that doesn’t just talk about environmental issues but also finds solutions.
After opening their first store at Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village, the NGO has come up with their first store in the city. The outlet retails products that are churned out of upcycle waste such as rubber tyres, juice cartons, milk packaging and fabrics discarded in factories.
“Green The Gap is a spin off from Swechha, which was started by Vimlendu Jha in 2001. There were several aims of starting something like this — to make waste look beautiful and recycle it in a way so that it is usable again. We also wanted to create awareness about environmental issues and the importance of going green. We also wanted to help people who come from various cities and are from disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Shikha Dutt, head of operations at Green The Gap.
At the Delhi workshop of Green The Gap (where the production takes place), the NGO has employed about 10 tailors who work on a fair share model. This ensures that the work, environment and the wages are much better than the factories these people worked in before.
Dutt reveals that India still lacks sufficient environmental awareness but she hopes for greener pastures in the near future. “In today’s world, recycling plays a key role, but in India it is still at a nascent stage. At times, when people look at our products, they want to smell it. Sometimes they appreciate it but there are times when they also term it as ‘garbage’. But I’m sure people will eventually become aware of these products and their mindset will change,” she observed.
Four best buys
The Mumbai outlet stocks a variety of products that are made purely out of waste. The Guide brings you the four best buys in the store that raise the ‘Go Green’ flag and are stylish to boot. What’s more? They are easy on your pocket as well.
Interiors of the new outlet of Green The Gap’s in Bandra. Pics /Atul Kamble
Bag (Rs 1,100) — This big chic polka dotted bag has been created out of discarded fabrics, which were cut in factories but remained unused. The store buys these and uses them to make these bags. The bag also has good quality zinc loops that prevent rust and colour leakage.
Pen holders (Rs 150) — Who knew that cassettes will one day hold pens? These penholders that are made from old and used cassettes make for a quirky buy. They are useful and interesting in terms of the design element as well.
Earrings (Rs 200) —These delicate earrings are made of papier-mâché and are perfect to gift someone. They are pretty and available in various shapes, colours and sizes.
(Rs 150) — for a pack of six. These coasters are made of old CDs and discarded fabrics. They are trendy and will look great in any household.