From hemp to jute, how returning to the roots is good

These eco-friendly items reveal that our ancestors were on the right path before plastic ruined everything

By Author  |  Published: 12th Jun 2019  9:38 pm
carbon footprint

Sometimes going back in time is a good thing. While the phrase is up for conjecture, there is logic to it. Once mothers filled milk in glass bottles and kept their masalas and other dry ingredients tightly sealed in glass containers to make them last longer. Brushing teeth meant a quick whizz with a dant manjan and chewing down on a neem twig guaranteed to do way with plaque and morning breath. Utilities made from natural materials were the norm.

carbon footprintHowever, in 1907, a man called Leo Baekeland invented a new material called Bakelite, a synthetic plastic. No one could have imagined then that the material would go on to become the most debilitating problem of modern civilization. Plastic once a cornerstone of innovation became a big problem that will haunt humans for centuries to come. So, eventually mankind realized that our forefathers may have been far superior and went back to the drawing board to came up with sustainable products that help the environment rather than destroy it. Read on.

Hemp rules

One might first picture getting high on the mention of hemp, but city entrepreneurs converted the industrial friendly plant into bags, textiles, paper, creams, a type of concrete and even shoes. Hemp is carbon neutral and doesn’t need pesticides making the entire plant really useful. Its many advantages attracted Gautam Sharma of Atrangi who chose to retail bags, pouches and backpacks made from hemp. “The material is sturdier than cotton and depending on your use, lasts for a long time,” says Gautam whose hemp pouches are very popular with the ladies who use it to carry their makeup. His hemp products are sourced and made in Nepal.

Cashing in on this strain of Cannabis is Hemp Republic started by Prashansa Sahani and Varun Gupta who create fabrics out of hemp which is soft and durable. And, designers are lapping up the material with orders coming in from Pune and Delhi.

Bamboo is cool

Switching from a conventional plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush is one of the easiest things you can do. The same goes for straws, tongue cleaners, ear buds, razors, holders, etc. Bamboo is fully biodegradable and can survive harsh conditions. What’s more, it has antibacterial properties which aren’t destroyed during the manufacturing process. The best part about is that it lasts really long. Bamboo India has loads of products which will help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Multifunctional Jute

carbon footprint

Mughda designs founded by Madhavi Venkat takes jute and utilises it in luggage trolleys, school bags, handbags, wall hangings, etc. Though Madhavi started out retailing block printed saris and fabrics, she soon realized the demand for eco-friendly products and diversified into jute. Her USP remains her pretty jute trolleys which will grab attention wherever you tote it.