#StartupSeptember 2022: Fashion, Construction, and Packaging

After the success of its first session on Sustainability Conversations, #StartSeptember 2022 is carrying forward the discussions on sustainability by taking a closer look at the Fashion, Construction, and Packaging industries.

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sessions of #StartupSeptember will respectively focus on the different ways in which the fashion, construction, and packaging industries can be made more sustainable.

Session 2: Dressing in Leaves

About 6000kgs of fashion waste is generated every 10 minutes. The currently prevalent linear model of the fashion industry leads to an economic value loss of more than $500 billion per year while having a great many negative impacts on the environment and society.

The way the clothing industry works at present contributes to around 8% of global climate impact. The use of fossil fuel energy, freshwater, overconsumption of finite resources, undesirable working conditions, production and preparation of textiles, dyeing and finishing stages, distribution and disposal models—all contribute to the negative impacts of fast fashion.

The panel Dressing in Leaves will see industry experts discussing the many different ways in which fashion can be made sustainable. Register for this session here.

Panel Line-up

Chandan Pal Singh  joined his father’s firm in 2018, to begin a career in the textile sector, but he quickly learned that there was a tonne of trash produced during the manufacturing process. He did some research and found that the majority of the waste is dumped and ends up in landfills, so he made the decision that they needed to be more productive with this.

When he first started looking into this, he discovered that the textile business produced millions of tonnes of waste. He couldn’t come up with a better option than recycling it, yet even then, a lot of clothes still ended up in landfills and water bodies. He then began looking for sustainable fabrics and that is how he ended up knowing about hemp .

He started his own company, Palison in 2021. They produce eco-friendly clothing, work towards promoting sustainable fashion, fair wages and a safe environment.

Shripat Jagirdar, as the Founder of Weaving Vibes, believes we are edging to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of life. As a homegrown hemp textile manufacturing startup, based in Mumbay, Weaving Vibes are trying to make a small change in the large world of textile. 

Since 2019, they operate as a Made-To-Order Hemp Woven Fabric Manufacturing Company, where they design and innovate weaves to create eco-friendly, sustainable, and biodegradable natural fabrics  In 58 inches width, ranging from 90 gsm till 340 gsm. They have a range of over 65 Hemp blended fabrics for the Apparel, Luggage and Home Furnishing Uses.

Annah Chakola is a designer who describes her brand, Annahmol, as inextricably linked to the cultural patrimony of her homeland—and the dualism inherent in her unique upbringing. World traveller and native daughter of Kerala, India, Annah is nourished by the sensuality of her homeland and the magical landscapes encountered in her adventures.

Born to a family with over 150 years in the textile industry, it was her father’s death—and her mother’s tenacity—that heralded Annah’s exposure to the rich legacy of Indian craftsmanship with which Annahmol is inextricably linked. When her mother re-opened her father’s store to ensure the family’s economic survival, Annah and her brother joined their mother in her travels, meeting makers and artisans from all over the subcontinent. A seed was planted that would come to fruition years later in the form of Boho Gypsy, the predecessor to Annahmol.

Prateek Gupte is an engineer and designer of many past ventures, who is now the Co-Founder of Relove. Relove is a technology platform that enables brands to deploy a peer-to-peer resale marketplace; as well as liquidate damaged inventory. 

Founded in 2021 by Kirti Poonia and Prateek Gupte, Relove is live on 30+ brands across categories such Indian Wear, Kids Wear, Western Wear and Sarees. There are more than 9 billion pieces of clothing lying idle in people’s wardrobe due to various reasons such as – size, trends or boredom. Relove looks to reduce wardrobe sizes and wastage by matching these underutilised resources with the right person.

Session 3: Smarter than The 3 Little Pigs

Resting among the largest users of energy, the construction industry currently contributes 38% of CO2 emissions and 30% of natural resource extraction at the global level.

Excavation sites are a common source of pollution and resource waste, with a majority of the excavated earth and mining waste ending up as dumps in mines, quarries, and artificial mountains. This practice contributes to unnecessary transport, carbon emissions, and air pollution.

In the panel Smarter than The 3 Little Pigs, forward-thinking entrepreneurs in the building industry will shed light on how construction can be redefined by the introduction of sustainable materials. Register for this session here.

Panel Line-up

Gaurav Dixit and Namrata Kandwal are both qualified architects with core expertise in green buildings and they are also recognised for making the first hempcrete building of India. The Himalayan Hemp Ecostay project stands in Yamkeshwar, Uttarakhand and is a live demonstration of the use of hemp as walling material, insulation material, wall plaster, wooden polishes and upholstery also serving hemp seed based edibles and cosmetics. The HHES  is currently operating as a top rated airbnb and provides an immersive experience of hemp in sustainable living.

Gohemp Agroventures is an Indian startup from Himalayas, awarded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its exemplary work on hemp based building technologies. The co-founders Namrata Kandwal & Gaurav Dixit are committed to bring hemp into mainstream building construction eventually making hemp based building materials an affordable and sustainable choice for healthy homes.

Gohemp’s current focus areas include cultivation research of building specific varieties of hemp, post harvest processing technology, supply chain management, market based product development and also awareness and training.

Karan Sarsar is a driven hemp Engineering Technologist and Entrepreneur, who is the founder and CEO of Awega Green Technologies LLP, Inc.

Awega is the first to create the expedition on a professional platform for the Engineering R&D of Industrial Hemp in INDIA. They are creating an archive of Research and Development of hemp-related products and Engineering information where we Synergize the Environment with the Technology combined to create hemp- powered technology.

They have worked on certain Hemp applications such as Hemp Biodiesel, HemP™ Exhaust Muffler, Filter of vehicles ,Hemp SMC Plastic Body Panels for vehicles and also simultaneously working towards developing further applications of Hemp.

They are open to working with entities engaged in Engineering Research & Development in theMaterial Science, Civil, Health and Nutritional food, Medical, Energy-efficient industries and various Hemp applications.

Aditya Shukla  started Saltech Design Labs Private Limited straight out of the university with a bachelor degree in mechanical engineer from Gujarat Technological University. He has interests in breakthrough technologies, sustainable designs and engineering developments. He has been involved in several innovative projects such as Renewable Power Grid, Gravity Power Module and Maglev Train during his academic years. Prior to Saltech, he worked as a product developer intern at Sickle Innovations Private Limited.

Saltech Design Labs Pvt. Ltd., established in 2018 is a Startup India (DPIIT) and Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB) recognized entity developing innovative technologies in the waste to value segment. It holds 10+ IPs (2 National & 5 International Patents, 3 Trademarks) and 7+ Awards (National / International) currently incubated at PDPU Innovation & Incubation Centre and supported from Government of Gujarat & Government of India. The start-up has been conferred National award from Hon. Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi for being winner in Affordable Sustainable Housing Accelerator (ASHA), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India (2021). 

Session 4: Emulating Banana Peel

The use of delivery services shot up during the pandemic and continues to be used excessively to date. Apart from the fuel that goes into delivering orders from one part of the country (world) to another, the issue of plastic pollution is also a major concern.

For instance, in 2019, Amazon alone generated 465 million pounds of waste with the 7 billion packages that it delivered, 22.4 million pounds of which are estimated to end up in waterways and marine ecosystems.

On average, about 86 million tons of plastic packaging is produced globally each year, of which less than 14% is recycled. 

While some view paper packaging as an alternative to plastic pollution, it isn’t entirely benign. About 3 billion trees are pulped every year to produce 241 million shipping cartons, void-fill wrappers, cardboard mailers, and other paper-based packagings.

The session titled Emulating Banana Peel will give us insights on the start-ups that are employing innovative solutions to tackle the environmental issues that come with ordering online. Register for this session here.

Panel Line-up

Prianka Jhaveri focuses on Strategy, Management and Business Development at The Mend. She first fell in love with packaging solutions while she was working with an International strategy consulting firm called Cedar Management, where she worked closely with a leading FMCG brand in India to find alternatives to PET bottles for beverage packaging. She then went on to work with Artha Venture Fund, where she evaluated and invested in startups and worked closed with founders on growth and business strategy for their brands. 

Her interest in alternative packaging solutions and drive to help small companies scale their businesses lead her to co found The Mend Packaging. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Physics and Economics. 

The Mend Packaging is India’s first sustainable packaging company and transform discarded materials to create innovative packaging solutions for brands across the globe. Their products are made from recycled, biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable materials and they offer customized solutions that cater to the market’s exploding need for sustainable alternatives, especially now with legislative bans on plastic.

Vivek Nattamai Sankaran is an Automobile Engineer by education, Co Founder of United Tesla Hemp Company, Independent Researcher – Hemp Papers and Pulp. He volunteered at Auroville papers, Auroville and learnt the paper making process from scratch as well as various techniques and methods in paper making. He started experimenting with Hemp fibres for pulp and paper making. 

At United Tesla Hemp Company they are into Nutraceuticals, Hemp Papers, Textiles and Medicines. They are trying to provide a sustainable packaging solution with Hemp based paper and pulp.

Tanush Prem is a mechanical engineer by profession and worked in corporations like Renault Nissan India pvt limited & volkswagen india, after which he started his first entrepreneurial journey which was delivering groceries, meat, vegetables in my hometown . Mushloop is his second startup and he is also currently doing research in the Indian Institute of science in bangalore for this startup.

Mushloop is a sustainable packaging startup that replaces styrofoam and single-use plastics with mycelium and agricultural waste.We are a green tech startup. We develop a different type of mycelium spawn and mix it with the agricultural waste which is straws of rice, wheat, millets, and then mold them into various shapes to get the perfect packaging material for different products. Mushloop is solving the pollution made by petrochemical-based plastics and styrofoam which is widely used in the packaging industry and takes a lot of years to just degrade. And we are solving the pollution made by farmers who burn the crops after cultivation because they don’t have funds or labor to clear it. And we create employment for the farmers on their farms.

Apurva Sheel
Apurva Sheel
Apurva Sheel is a communications consultant with 3 years of experience in the Indian cannabis industry. Her thoughts and opinions find expression in writing.

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