A museum dedicated to indigo, India’s seed savers and surfboards from discarded fishing nets. Revisit these stories and more in our annual recap
India’s Indigo Museum
Earlier this year, we had a chance to explore Alchemy, a preview of the Arvind Indigo Museum in Naroda. The project spearheaded by textile major Arvind Ltd saw the vocabulary of indigo being extended by showcasing the fabric dye on materials the world hasn’t seen before: cement, brick, steel, paper, canvas, aluminium. From papercut art and a framed piece with VHS tapes, to a sandstone installation and wood art, universal applications of the natural dye were explored at Alchemy that brought together the work of 20 artists from India and abroad.
Surfboards from fishing nets
How Netherlands-based life and material sciences specialist, DSM, and Thailand-based water sports gear company, Starboard, use abandoned fishing nets to craft surfboard components like fins, fin boxes and stand-up paddleboards. DSM upcycles close to 250 tonnes of fishing nets every month, which it sources through a network of mobilised fishermen along India’s coastline, including Kuthenkuly in Tamil Nadu.
What eco-friendly babies are wearing
Bibs, bed linen and comfy nightwear crafted using organically-permitted and AZO-free dyes, hand spun organic cotton and colourful motifs. In this story, we featured independent, home-grown kidswear brands — like Berrytree, Soma, Tula and Baby Atelier — that are stepping up their eco game by picking long-lasting fabrics to promote the hand-me-down trend.
India’s seed savers
How Sangita Sharma of Annadana and Dr Prabhakar Rao of Hariyalee Seeds are saving India’s heirloom produce and educating people to eat what is in season. Annadana has distributed over a million packets of vegetable seeds throughout India at no cost. Starter seeds are provided to support farmers facing natural disasters such as tsunamis, floods and drought. On the other hand, Dr Rao has managed to successfully multiply over 142 varieties of indigenous vegetables with his seed saving techniques.
What’s new with bamboo
The fastest growing grass in the world is also finding newer uses with every passing year. Bengaluru-based designer Sandeep Sangaru, known for his exquisite bamboo furniture, says, “from architectural components at airports to simple toothbrushes and straws, bamboo is everywhere. India has the second largest resource next to China and if we can manage to innovate and deliver in a constructive way, the growth opportunities are endless.” From reusable kitchen towels and T-shirts to edibles and dinner sets, on the 10th edition of World Bamboo Day we explored how the versatile grass finds a place in everyday products.
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