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Shop to promote conservation

India’s first eco-friendly clothing webstore contributes 10 per cent of its sales to environment preservation.

fashion and trends Updated: Jun 10, 2010 13:14 IST
Sneha Mahale

World Environment Day may have just gone by, but that is no reason to stop thinking about the green cause. You can still reduce your carbon footprint and contribute towards conservation by logging on to www.douspeakgreen.in.

The website, founded by Shishir Goenka in March this year, encourages eco-friendly clothing and uses bamboo fabric and organic cotton as raw materials.

That’s not all, a 10 per cent of their earnings are also donated to the Bombay Natural History Society. “I have a passion for wildlife and want to help the environment. Our inspiration for Do U Speak Green came about due to the absence of smart-looking eco-friendly clothing in India,” says Goenka, admitting that the initial days were quite stressful, as not many people understood the concept.

How it works:
The logistics involved in eco-friendly clothes, available on the website, are simple. The clothes are made of bamboo fabric and organic cotton. Bamboo fabric is a sustainable and renewable resource as the bamboo plant is self-replenishing. Another benefit of bamboo is that it releases a significant amount of oxygen into the atmosphere, more than trees.

Organic cotton, on the other hand, is better than ordinary cotton, because no pesticides are used to grow it, which means emission of fewer chemicals in the environment and less exposure for the people growing it. These raw materials are also easy to procure. The clothes are stitched in the same way as normal clothes are with the assistance of both local and German designers for styles. Only eco-friendly dyes and prints are used. Goenka says, “The costs are about 20 to 30 per cent higher than regular clothes, but we have kept the pricing similar to encourage buyers. They range from Rs 325 to Rs 1,475.”

On offer:
The webstore offers customers a choice of styles and sizes and gives away gifts like cloth bags and recycled water bottles with every purchase. Customers can also solve a nature-related crossword every month on the website and win a free subscription to the environment magazine, Sanctuary Asia.

Goenka says, “Online shopping is fast, convenient and environment-friendly, as no fuel is wasted in travelling to stores. Many people who live in far flung areas and do not have access to malls or large stores, have access to the Internet.” The webstore has already sold around 200 T-shirts. Douspeakgreen.in has also tied up with the BNHS and 10 per cent of their sales go to help further their conservation efforts.

They are also offsetting their parent company, Fusion Clothing’s carbon footprint (partially) by sponsoring BNHS — Forestation Program & Solar power project of The Energy and Resources Institute.

Expansion plans are already taking shape. This month, the webstore introduced its vegetable dyed T-shirts and, in the next one month, plans include introducing Yoga wear and Nightwear in eco-friendly fabrics. So, go green.