Posted on

How to Embrace Sustainable Fashion?

What is Sustainable Fashion? and How do we embrace it?

First, lets look at the word 'Fashion' itself.. Fashion is a function of 'style' and 'time', i.e at a certain period in time, a particular 'style' is most popular. This could be specific to age groups, genders, geographies and so on.

Now lets look at the word 'Sustainable' or 'Sustainable Development'. It means "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".... But wait, isnt that how DEVELOPMENT should anyways be? ?? That is what Aarohana believes in!

In a similar sense, now-a-days, when I hear about these words "Sustainable Fashion", I always feel, shouldnt "Fashion"  always be "Sustainable" ? i.e it should be such that we have all the fun with the trends and styles, but also leave resources for the future generations... Isnt it?

However, for the sake of the topic, I am unwillingly using these words 'Sustainable Fashion' together and trying to define them:

Sustainable Fashion is a trend which consists of clothing, accessories and other items made from either natural or organic material or from repurposed/recycled/upcycled waste material.  Many fashion designers and fashion houses, alike, have hopped on to this 'trend'. This is for obvious reasons (one or more of these) because they is eco-friendly, organically grown, biodegradable, easily recyclable, use natural dyes, chemical free, good for the skin,  leave less or no impact on our carbon footprint and does little or no harm to the Earth.  Many Designers and Fashion houses have now started their own Fashion Brands, which are solely dedicated to Sustainable Fashion.

Now that we have given you plenty of reasons to go the Sustainable Fashion Way, lets see, how we can embrace it:

1. Keep what you love and do away with what you don't

Keep only those clothes that you need. Minimize the amount of clothes you have in your closet. Donate the ones, you do not need. This way you will also save a few extra bucks!

2. Support your local and tribal craftsmen

Buy clothes which are more traditionally rooted. Buy clothes which have been made by local and tribal craftsmen.  India has a rich and diverse heritage of art and craft. These craftsmen still use ancient techniques to make clothes such as handloom weaving, natural dyeing. Buying from them, will help keep the heritage of local artisans alive and help them earn a livelihood.

3. Choose the right material

Use organic materials, which are free from chemicals and pesticides. Try and find alternatives to polyester such as Bamboo, Hemp. Hand, Khadi, Vegan Silk.

4. Support Ethical Marketing and Fair Trade

Buy clothes which are made ethically. Say no to unethical labor practices. Think about the welfare of those, that make your clothes. Do not buy clothes from brands which encourage less pay and stringent working conditions.

Do not support brands which indulge in child labor.

5. Choose your Brand

Choose the brand that supports your ideas and values.  Find a brand that suits your ideas and ethics of what a sustainable fashion brand should be.

6. Reduce your carbon footprint

Wash your clothes by hand. Use detergents which are nontoxic and chemical free! Reduce the number of washes! Reduce your pile of clothes! Choose fabrics which are easier to dry in sun!

7. Re-use, Recycle and Upcycle

Buy clothes made from recycled or upcycled materials. Also re-use your old clothes. Donate your old clothes to the needy instead of throwing them away!

To learn more about the art of UPCYCLING, log on to www.aarohana.org

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

Wrapped!

Was our planet gift wrapped for us by its Creator?

Imagine the entire Earth being wrapped in Plastic? Doesn’t this spec of our imagination, give you goosebumps or suffocate you, perhaps? That is how it is going to be, if we do not take the threat of plastic and the pollution it causes seriously!

Now coming back to the ‘wrapping’ part? When was the last time you wrapped a gift for someone in a glittery wrapper or received one yourself? What purpose does a glittery, shiny wrapping paper serve? (oops.. did I just say paper.. It is wrapping plastic, right?) So what purpose does this glittery plastic serve, apart from making your gift look pretty? What do you do with it when its purpose is served? (Too many questions, too little time) Throw it away, perhaps or if opened properly the first time, reuse it once more for some other gift! Eventually the gift wrapping plastic, runs its course and ends up in the landfills, as its multi-layered property makes it unfit for regular recycling. And the harm it causes becomes just another statistic.

However, there are ways that the shiny and glittery piece of plastic can be UPCYCLED, in ways you have never thought of!

Think about the upcycling part this way, who does not like a good and functional handbag? The answer is everybody! So how about using a functional bag which is made by upcycling the shiny gift wrapping plastic? Yes! Fully Functional Bags can be made by upcycling the left over plastic. While the thought of using a bag made of upcycled plastic may sound fancy, also think about the other benefits you are achieving for yourself and for the next generations:

  1. Removing these from the environment where they would stay for 100s and 1000s of years
  2. Saving millions of life forms from getting stuck in this plastic or swallowing it
  3. Removing some of the litter it causes, which is a sore to our eyes
  4. Setting a fashion trend by promoting eco-conscious fashion choice
  5. Supporting sustainable fashion
  6. Supporting the livelihoods of our tribal women and youth!

Yes, thats what Aarohana EcoSocial Developments and our very creative tribal and underprivileged youth and women do!

First the gift wrappers are collected, sorted and cleaned. Then they are cut manually, just using a pair of scissors. Now is the fun part, where a traditional CHARKHA and HANDLOOM are used to convert these gift wrappers into a beautiful shiny fabric, ready to be used for making your favourite UPCYCLED-HANDWOVEN “Glitter” product from Aarohana EcoSocial Developments. Voila!

These awesome bags, diaries, home decor and office utility products are up for grabs! Click on the photos to grab some of our choicest and awesomest Combinations NOW!

The Show it off Combo (A perfect combo for those who like to slay, the sustainable fashion way)

The Work it Combo (This one is for the Go-Getters)

Love thy Greens Combo (A perfect one for those, who love, live and breathe the colour Green)

These wonderful Combos are now available on the website.Click on the link below and Grab your Upcycled and Handwoven combo

Aarohana Combo

PS: You can also give us the material for the bags (Address given in the link below)

Aarohana Eco-social Developments

Posted on

Plastic Ban- A much debated yet much needed Ban – by Zitin Munshi

I live in Mumbai, the Financial Capital of India. The city that never sleeps. My city is a city of stark contrasts (we will get back to that in a minute). The everyday hustle and bustle is an integral part of any Mumbaikar’s life. Add to that the ever-rising pollution in the City, too. Now back to the contrast, my city has everything from High Rises to Asia’s Largest Slums and State of the Art Highways to Garbage Dumps.

Recently, during one of my Shopping Excursions, I noticed an unfamiliar sight, the shop keepers who always handed out a 2-rupee plastic bag, where now, promptly handing out a 2-rupee Paper Bag. “A City that has contributed too much, to the plastic waste has suddenly turned eco-friendly, how? And why?” I asked myself.

It was then that I realized that the unrelenting shopkeepers where now adhering to the much-wanted Plastic Ban that the Maharashtra Government had enforced a day earlier.

On 23rd March, 2018, a much awaited and wanted notification for the Plastic Ban was initiated. The Government banned manufacture, sale and use of plastic bags, disposable plastic spoons, forks, cups, glasses, containers, PET bottles less than 500 ml, and thermocol for decoration.Now with a few modifications and implementations, the ban has been put in place from 23rd June, 2018.

The ban was brought under the Maharashtra Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act enacted in 2006. However, the Act, was modified to allow PET bottles of all capacity “made of high quality food grade virgin Bisphenol-A free material” with a pre-defined buyback policy printed on it.

Maharashtra generates around 1200 metric tonnes of plastic waste every day. Imagine the waste generated every day by India, by Asia and by the 7 billion+ people on our planet.

With Maharashtra coming through with the Ban I hope other states follow the suite too.

A much-needed change and small step towards saving our planet.

Why Ban Plastic?

Here is an Infographic from the Times of India to understand why the Ban on plastic is necessary

Here are a few links to help you understand what the ban on Plastic means.

https://www.firstpost.com/india/maharashtra-plastic-ban-govt-seems-determined-to-implement-18-march-order-heres-all-you-need-to-know-4428509.html

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra-after-state-wide-plastic-ban-whats-allowed-whats-not-the-way-forward-5119185/

https://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/170318/maharashtra-bans-plastic-5-reasons-why-plastics-are-bad-for-everyone.html

 

 

Posted on

What’s in the name – “Aarohana EcoSocial Developments”

aarohana collageWhat’s in the Name – Aarohana EcoSocial Developments

Many of our customers and well wishers seldom ask us the meaning of “Aarohana” and why was the word “EcoSocial” selected by us! This blog is an attempt to answer these questions:

The first word “Aarohana” is what we are commonly known as, which is inspired by the Sanskrit word aarohan. …’Aarohan’, in the language of music is the scale upward..also, Giri-aarohan is climbing a mountain, Dhvajarohan is hoisting a flag, and so on…we chose our name ‘Aarohana’, which means a ‘tool’ to rise upward. Thus, aarohan is the verb and Aarohana is the noun. Thats what we are, Aarohana – a tool to support an upward, yet sustainable development.
Our name also consists of a very important word, EcoSocial… All of us have heard Eco and Social seperately.
Eco is usually termed as something to do with the environment, such as ecology, eco-friendly and so on. Environment is generally the nature around us; plants, animals, the five elements of nature i.e air, land, water, sky and fire. Development of the environment truly means conserving it in its most natural form. This could be planting trees, (more importantly native trees) conserving the sources of water, keeping them clean, keeping our surroundings clean, recycling/upcycling, supporting a healthy life of our co-occupants on this planet i.e animals, birds, insects, microbes, plants…Finally, sustaining all this on the earth will ensure our sustained existence on this planet. Its like you are sharing a house with one or more housemates… If all of you live symbiotically, your own existence in the house is sustained, else you or your housemate has to look for another house.. Houses could be many, but we have just one planet!!! Where will you go?..Several initiatives are being implemented by governmental and non-governmental organizations in this area, many successfully implemented as well..
Eco is also used as a acronym for economics. We all know what economic development means in today’s developing and developed worlds (these two words are also a result of the definition of economic development and their discrepencies). Economic development is clearly based on monetary growth of a household, country, world….
The word Social is usually linked to something to do with the human society we live in. There are several facets to this social development ; it is cultural development, community development, spiritual development, peace and equality in the society…so on and so forth.. but today, unfortunately, social development is used only for the economic development of a society, such as infrastructural development, adapting higher living standards, adapting a more urban-lifestyle, higher income in terms of money…which in our point of view is an incomplete definition of social development.
Thus, we decided to adopt a more complete prefix for development, which is ‘EcoSocial’ development. It sums up our goal of Ecological+Economic+Social Development. Only then is the definition of development complete and sustainable.
Aarohana is a tool for this EcoSocial development, which all of us, i.e mankind and other elements of the nature are concsiously or unconsciously yearning for… A world where we can sustain the environment, society and economy together. Only then can mankind sustain on this planet!

Posted on

Tackling the problem of “Waste Generation”

I am from Pune, ex-pensioners hub to now booming IT city.

Some months ago there was a big issue of waste management in the city, where the villagers near Uruli Devachi protested against the huge garbage depot in their backyard, where most of Pune’s garbage is dumped (a glimpse shown in the cover picture of this blog). A little child even died in the village owning to untreated garbage in the depot. The villagers revolted and damaged some government dump trucks, post which cities garbage had remained uncleared for weeks together. Now, the city dwellers were having to smell the stench and bear the pollution caused by their own garbage. Post which, everyone started to find a solution to this problem!
This situation is current to every city and town in India!

How many of us can relate ourselves to the situation of the villagers at Uruli Devachi?

I certainly can! I wouldn’t like someone to come and throw their garbage in my backyard, would you?
These people and their ancestors had been living in their village for decades and centuries in a clean environment. With us throwing garbage from our homes in their backyard, they are now annoyed by the health concerns, air pollution, water pollution and constant stench from the rotting garbage.

How can we start contributing to resolve the issue of waste generation? By us, ourselves reducing the garbage

A few quick reasons, I could come up with for this unchecked creation of waste:
Buying and using more than what we need: For instance, we cook more food than what is needed, which has to be thrown away, we buy items which we use for a short period of time and then throw away, so on and so forth!
Using disposable items: For the sake of convenience, we have started using disposable plastic and thermocol/styrofoam plates and glasses. We have started using plastic bags, even after being banned from use several times. What if we start going back to how we dealt with this before these items came into existence?
Using more packaging than needed: Not blaming entirely on manufacturers on how much packaging material they use to pack products, we ourselves use more packaging than required

The list of how waste is generated can go on and on!!!!
Can we reduce our own waste?

The answer is ‘Yes!
By starting with our homes, offices, restaurants, streets, picnic areas etc, we can make a huge difference and contribute to solve the problem of waste generation.

Here are some ways I can think of to reduce the garbage generated from my house:
1) Carrying my own reusable bag to go shopping. Thus reducing the plastic bags we bring home.
2) Cooking food, only how much is needed. Take a roll call of who is present and who is not for lunches and dinners and ensuring appropriate amount is cooked.
3) For take home items from restaurants, carry your own boxes and bags, where the restaurant can pack food for you. How many of us remember doing this just about 7-8 years back?
4) Buying durable items, which last longer and you don’t have to throw them away. Even if they might be a bit expensive, they will last longer and save your money in the long run.
5) Avoiding use of disposables. Be it a party or get together at home, stop using plastic or thermocol/styrofoam plates and glasses. These non-biodegradable and non-recyclable items form one of the the largest categories of waste. We can instead rent steel plates or reusable plates. Agreed that cleanup is cumbersome, but its worth paying a few extra rupees to our maid to wash these.
6) Composting at home. There are easy to follow composting solutions, which you can follow at home and create your own organic manure for your apartment garden.
There could be many more solutions to reducing waste, so first I suggest, lets start tracking our waste… What do we throw the most, and then take steps in reducing it.

Lets make our city clean, reduce the stress on our municipal resources so that our tax payers money is utilized for something more productive than cleaning our left-overs, and over and above everything, lets make our neighboring communities life less miserable by reducing our waste flowing out to their backyards.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts about the post!