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Do U Speak Green?

Authentic Eco-Fashion from India

Month

July 2010

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Coco looked very busy with some pieces of paper, scissors, a knife and some glue. He seemed to be fiddling with those things and generally looking very confused. Mr. Cotton noticed his son and asked him what the matter was. Coco said, “My activity teacher at school has asked us to recycle and reuse the old stuff at home and make something interesting. But I don’t understand what we can make from old things.” Mr. Cotton replied with a smile, “Son we can reuse things to make a lot of interesting stuff. But do you know why we must recycle and reuse things?” Coco shook his head.

Mr. Cotton then said, “It’s important to recycle things because it turns waste products into valuable items and at the same time, saves our environment.” Coco asked immediately, “How can recycling products save our environment?” His father replied, “Recycling a product prevents pollution and saves energy. It also decreases the green house emissions and thus helps reduce global warming.” He added, “Just to give you an insight of how necessary it is to use recycled products, here are some facts from a published report. Of the total waste that US produces, 40 per cent of it is paper, but only 25 to 30 per cent of it is recycled. So, Americans throw away almost an equivalent of 30 million trees a year, just from newsprint alone.” Coco was surprised to here this and said, “Well dad, that is a lot!” “Yes my son,” replied Mr. Cotton.

Coco wanted to know more so he asked, “Dad, what all can we recycle?” “Most of the things that we use in our daily life, like newspapers, other paper products, plastics, glass, aluminum and steel, all these can be recycled and reused,” answered Mr. Cotton. Coco was not sure how to identify which products are recyclable, so Mr. Cotton explained, “When we go shopping, we should look for the recycle symbol or some kind of indication that testifies that it is made from recycled material. We can contribute in preserving the environment by purchasing such recycled products. So, we should be good citizens and use recycled products. Also, we should try to reduce the amount of daily waste we produce. We should only try and buy things that we really need. This way we can reduce the production of waste.”

Coco had learnt his lesson for the day and ended up making some pretty lamp sheds using coloured paper bits and some cardboard for his school assignment.

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Meet the modern day Earth warrior

We all hear about it in news bulletins, read about it in newspapers, we even discuss it in social and political gatherings. But very few of us act in order to curb the ever-rising global warming and climate change. Mr Shishir Goenka is different, however. He just does not sit and talk about the issue, but stands up for and acts upon it. This need to act has made him the proud owner of India’s first webstore for organic clothing – Do U Speak Green. Let’s hear Mr Goenka tell us about his journey from inspiration to investment.

First of all, tell us how you thought of organic clothing?

Well, I have been actively involved in wildlife conservation for a long time. For the last 10-15 years, I have been hearing a lot about global warming, climate change, green house effect and carbon emissions. I kept a track of national and global meetings on the issues, attended meetings and discussions at various levels. But all these meetings and discussions seemed futile, as with every passing year, the situation only got worse. This invoked me to think about the future. It made me think about what I will pass on to my children and then to my grandchildren!

I realized that unless each one of us puts in some effort, even if a small one, things will not come under control. As an owner of a textile company and a human being, I wanted to contribute to the environment. I knew that only making money was not enough; we need to be able to pay back to Mother Earth as well. This is the reason I came up with the concept of organic clothing in India.

Are you also involved with other conservation activities?

Yes. Apart from production and sales of organic clothes, we, as a company, do our bit conserve the environment. We contribute 10 per cent of the total sales from our webstore – Do U Speak Green – towards the cause of environment conservation. In addition to that, we are also actively involved with various conservation activities in India. We regularly sponsor tree plantations under the Plant Life Campaign of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). We also encourage the usage of alternative sources of energy by sponsoring solar power lanterns for villages in India through the Lighting a Billion Lives campaign by TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute).

As an  entrepreneur and a citizen activist, what is your mission?

It is our mission to contribute to the cause of a better natural environment with the help of fellow citizens. Do you know that when someone buys our products, not only are they sporting clothes which contain no harmful chemicals, but are also contributing to the environment in 3 ways? Firstly, they are encouraging the growth of Organic Cotton, which helps keep the land free of harmful chemicals and fertilizers. Secondly, part of the amount is directly contributed by our company  to BNHS which will help them undertake more conservation activities. And last but not the least, they are indirectly helping the farmers get higher realizations of money.

Would you like to give a message to youngsters?

I just want to say that the planet Earth is the only one to have life. Live life and save life on Earth!

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