– By Lifestyle Food
Every year ‘Women’s Day’ gives us a chance to celebrate and admire the courage, positivity and persistent diligence of all the strong extant women movers and shakers who are constantly building a better world. We’re privileged to share 10 inspiring stories of such dynamic women leaders who are leading us to a ‘sustainable’ tomorrow. These amazing women who hail from different backgrounds, countries, and ethnicities have been working tirelessly in their own walks of life to give us a ‘green’ future. These neoteric entrepreneurs and chiefs are dedicated, vehement and resolved to create sustainable, fair-trade and environmentally sound business and social models. Buckle up to get motivated.
Jidienne Ibanez -Founder, The Mineraw
Jidienne Ibanez, the founder of Mineraw, has always loved animals and turning into a vegetarian is what changed her life. She understood at a very young age that meat manufacturing has a huge contribution to global warming and water consumption. This is where her journey started towards a sustainable lifestyle. Growing up with very sensitive skin, she made her own skincare and beauty products with natural and eco-friendly ingredients. Family & friends saw the positive effects her creations had on her skin and reached out for products for themselves. The products helped both her skin and theirs. Thus, Mineraw was born.
Mineraw offers natural skincare & beauty products. These products were inspired by a connection to the earth and a love for nature & the human body. The raw ingredients are consciously handcrafted in small batches into natural skincare & beauty products. Focusing on creating skincare that is easy to use + easy to understand and packaged in recyclable containers. Each product consists of 5 ingredients or less that gives superior results. All products are natural and safely tested on friends and family, never on animals. Our powerful products are vegan and vegetarian, cruelty-free, and suitable for all genders + skin types. Consciously handcrafted for your inner and outer radiance. They also offer Reuse, Recycle, Return Programme where people can return their empties and get a discount on their next purchase!
Mineraw will continue in trying to help people with all their skincare needs. Create interesting and interactive skincare experiences where people can come and not only get Mineraw products but also enjoy facials & spas and really pamper themselves!
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This is brilliant! 🤜🏽⚡️🤛🏽 Single-use plastic has now become something we look down upon—do you think soon enough it will become as unacceptable as smoking indoors? Image by art director @tomgormer for the cover of @stylistmagazine with 20 ways to help you quit. · RT @mrspress . A few simple ways to help you cut down on Plastic Usage: 1) Say no to plastic straws 2) Keep several reusable shopping bags in your car, backpack or handbag 3) Don’t buy plastic water bottles, instead buy one reusable glass, stainless steel or copper one 4. Pack your meals in glass/stainless steel containers 5. Avoid food & snacks with excess packaging 6. Swap out your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one 7. If it’s plastic, think twice . . . #singleuseplastic #saynotoplastic #plasticstraws #plasticfree #plasticfreeliving #whomademyclothes #zerowaste #consciousliving #sustainablefashion #consciousconsumer #ecofriendly #sustainability #sustainableliving #cleanocean #refusesingleuse #giveashit #climatechange #environmentalist #savetheoceans #climateaction #savetheplanet #savetheearth #circularnative
Shalize Nicholas- Designer & Director, Madia & Matilda
Passion is the biggest driving force behind all the achievements that have changed the world or at least initiated a change. Shalizee Nicholas too was driven by her passion for ‘no waste’ and ‘reusing the deadstock’, when she founded Madia and Matilda. As a student and a young professional, she was surprised at the volume of discarded fabrics that were still usable or deadstock or end of line fabrics.
With a creative vision, she initiated a mission to reuse the unruined second hand, deadstock, and end of line products and create something bigger and better with them. They also offer repairs and alterations to old clothes. They manufacture women’s casual and formal clothing which is trendy and ethical at the same time. The best thing is that they ship their products worldwide. They’ve been crusading on social media as well and the founder aspires to build a completely sustainable brand with total transparency.
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Now available to buy now and pay later with @clearpay_uk . . . . #buynowpaylater #clearpay #slowfashion #ethicalfashion #zerowaste #ecoconscious #effortlessstyle #sustainablefashion #timelessstyle #christmasshopping #greenshopping #ecoconscious #shopconsciously #ethicalfashion #madiamatilda
Ali Mapletof- Creative Director – Age of Reason Studios
Ali Mapletoft became more conscious about the world around her when she brought a child into it. This influenced her to create a brand that focuses on sustainably manufactured goods. The designer is also a mentor to many newcomers who aspires to mentor 1000 women designer apprentices till the end of 2021.
The brand manufactures silk scarves, cushions and capes from the raw materials fetched from the UK and Europe. Like they collect wool from sheep which are not ‘traditionally’ reared but have natural development. The brand is becoming more and more popular among the sustainability-conscious buyers and many prestigious stores are exhibiting their products.
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I’m excited to be giving 3 masterclasses this February inside my free Facebook Group “Help for Independent Designers” ✨ If you’d like to learn how to sell your wares without cringing, market your product without losing your marbles, and position your brand in the market so you don’t have to struggle, head over to my @alimapletoft bio link and join the free group today. The replay of the first sales masterclass is already available. 💃🙌🏽 #independentdesigner #artist #mentor
Akshata Bhadranna: Founder, Dopolgy
The city in which we grow-up becomes an irreplaceable part of ourselves, our mindsets and influences our outlook for good. This is exactly what Akshata Bhandranna-a nature enthusiast, an adventurous trekker and an avid traveler felt when she came back from abroad to her Indian ‘city of gardens’, Bengaluru she was shocked to see how the verdant Bangalore was being eaten up by rampant urbanization. She decided to save the trees being cut down in the name of pencils.
Thus, in 2018 she founded Dopolgy. Dopolgy manufactures pencils from newspaper or recycled paper. They also manufacture seed paper and recycled paper to create products like wedding cards, envelopes etc. They manufacture stainless steel straws, natural loofahs, beeswax wraps to replace most of the single-use plastic. They aspire to recycle most of the materials and stay away from virgin materials.The neoteric founder dreams to replace the regular pencils with recycled pencils and plant 1 million trees, whilst creating employment opportunities and influencing the people to go green.
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This one we have to take sometime to really talk about and appreciate. 💚💚 We made 2 cards. Our very first cartoon print(artist @bobypinz ) and the water color mix Kannada card💚💚 @seekingthatperfectlife has been a super kind customer to us. These designs have really taken time for us to do. Also some of things we went wrong on, 1. We totally missed out on writing this is a seedpaper and how to plant steps on the cards. Through the design discussion, we were focused on the look bit that we missed on this. We came with the solution of recycled paper card with the information making sure design stayed independently of it. 2. We made a spelling mistake in the recycled paper card(which we cannot stop feeling guilty about) Hema was not only understanding but also aligned to our thoughts of less waste. She told us ' We are all humans and we make mistakes' . Though it was the sweetest thing, it made us even more guiltier that she was this huge heart. It was a lesson learnt for to be more diligent, to triple check and tighten our processes of Quality check. Thanku Hema again for being soo kind to us and helping us grow better. We absolutely loved working on your cards which showed us new horizons on the designs. P.S: We want to share not just our wins, success and achievements but also our mistakes, failures because each day we learn to be better. #WeddingInvites #ecofriendly #seedpaper #indianweddings #zerowaste #recycled #caricature #watercolor
Bronwyn Lowenthal – Founder, Lowie
Everyone has that one moment or incident in life which wrings their soul to the core and they opt to stand against the tide and do something bigger and better. Bronwyn Lowenthal had her tryst with the selfish side of ‘development’ when she came across the news of a dam being sanctioned over the serene Franklin River in the untouched island of Tasmania, Australia. Her 10 year old heart broke with the anticipation of losing her pristine and tranquil habitat to ‘development’. The 10 year old girl resolved to save and defend our Mother planet and her depleting resources.
This inspired her to found ‘ilovelowie’ a sustainable brand that encourages ‘permanent’ fashion by manufacturing sustainable women’s knitwear and accessories from eco-friendly raw materials and personally monitored fair trade factories. The brand mixes the traditional and heritage elements with modern techniques and outlook to create a ‘timeless’ fashion. The brand offers free lifetime repairs on their products to save them from landfills. The brand also offers discounts on pre-loved pieces in which the buyer returns to the label. The brand itself upcycles its surplus to stay away from generating waste. The brand aspires to become 100% ethical in raw materials and recycling.
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A big thank you to Kate at @thekeepboutique for this cheery shot of our Herne Hill store, it’s looking bright, colourful and spring-like as ever! (outside is a different story though)🌧 . . . . #shopdecor #shopfloor #shopinterior #hernehill #springtime #shoplocal #shopsmall #boutique #womenswear #independentbrand #ilovelowie
Uma Prajapati- Founder, Upasana
The one thing that stays the same with fashion is -it’s always changing! Over the course of years, fashion has changed dramatically but brands like Upasana have kept sustainable trends very much alive. Uma Prajapati, founder of Upasana, born into a middle-class family in Bihar and later moving to Delhi to pursue fashion designing, Uma Prajapati’s two-week trip to Auroville in 1996 changed her and the fashion outlook, setting the stage for a conscious fashion hub. She is the real change-maker – and she is standing up to make a difference in the clothing industry.
Upasana believes that clothing is not just about the body but “Draping the soul”, shifting fashion to touch the soul instead of just the body. Upasana silently celebrates the fading of natural dyes as we gracefully watch ourselves change through time, designed for mortality while honoring life, nature and inner growth.
Clothing has power, the power to change lives. The lives of farmers, spinners, weavers, printers, tailors, designers and many more who have invisibly woven their souls into what we wear. Upasana honors them all, consciously, at every stage of crafting of the products.
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A stunning ensemble by Upasana, part of the Conscious Luxury line, which includes the basic round neck long kurta made in orange quilted Varanasi weavers silk with orange hand made fabric buttons + pink mid length crinkled skirt paired up with a gorgeous statement pink and gold silk dupatta that makes a luxurious outfit for special occasions. #upasana #consciousluxury #consciousfashion #sustainablefashion #indiantextiles #indiancrafts #luxurywear #festivecollection
Henrietta – Founder, The Henri Team
The Henri Team was founded by Henrietta out of sheer love for English countryside, a concern for depleting resources, and an enthusiasm for exploration. As a fashion student, her stint as a freelance pattern cutter gave her an idea about the importance of cuts and patterns. She wanted to create a niche line of shirts which were detailed, fit as T but had a natural carefree thing to them.
As her line of women’s clothing expanded she became more aware about each and every aspect of the fashion industry and manufacturing units. She travelled to India to meet the cotton farmers and her visit to India gave her more ideas about sustainable goods. Her draw-strings packaging bags are manufactured in India in a cooperative in Jaipur. The brand manufactures garments with organic and hand woven cotton, British wool or recycled materials. The garments are manufactured in a local factory in London.
The brand aspires to become carbon-negative in future. And for the coming years, it wants to add more products, reach more buyers and arenas. The team is also working towards being carbon neutral as well, trying to find the best, most sustainable alternative, both for our business and the planet.
Indu Menon and Chitra Gopalakrishnan- Kara Weaves
‘Kara’ is a creative venture with a social cause. The business idea was to create an exclusive brand of value-added products from the traditional handloom cotton fabric of Kerala, India, in order to revive and sustain the fading market of a regional traditional weave. Their products include bath items and Resort wear. Started by a mother-daughter duo- mother Indu Menon, a Social Anthropologist and co-author of the book “Women Weavers” and daughter Chitra Gopalakrishnan, a graphic designer (MFA from ESAG Penninghen, Paris and Masters from Cranbrook Academy of Arts, USA), it all began with a revisit to the weaving unit whose women were interviewed for the book and was found to have dwindled to a very bad condition. It was then that we got together with some like minded friends in 2007 to start a handloom revival project.
Today they have been able to make a simple timeless fabric “Thorthu” go global as small ‘cocktail napkins ’ to large ‘beach towels’ and various other value additions such as resort wear, beach cover-ups, scarves and baby blankets. This is a first-of-its-kind attempt in Kerala to convert conventional bath towel (Thorthu) fabric into contemporary products. Today they have been able to impact around 700 women including weavers, women tailoring cooperative and trims manufacturers.
Kara products have found a place in leading retail and boutique stores overseas, largely in the US. In Kerala along with others, their biggest supporter is CGH Earth, a leading Ecotel, who has been using their products since 2008.
Irene Peukes: Founder, Pla
Wars and rampant development have displaced many cultures. Many communities are forced to give up their native lands and settle in far off lands as refuge seekers. Women and children have been the worst victims of such terrible events. Women in traditional culture, have always been the curators of native cuisines, indigenous weaves, and other sui generis cultural, social and linguistic skills. With the ruin of civilizations, their native crafts are lost with time.
Pla endeavors to empower the women of such communities and a step towards reviving the “handicrafts” with the goal of introducing “permanent fashion”. Pla focuses on “more hands” and “fewer machines”. The brand manufactures shoes, women’s dresses and blouses with jute which is imported from Bangladesh, empowering those women who lost their livelihoods and lands during the formation of the nation. Whereas Guatemala women are the ones who manufacture the products. The brand launches just one collection for the entire year.
The brand has helped many women to stand on their own feet whilst curating many indigenous crafts. Pla has done more than introducing sustainable fashion on a budget.