This year’s hot yet ‘cooling’ trend is sustainability. The recognition of the implications of unchecked utilisation of resources has led to a more careful and utilitarian approach to living, one that prioritises implementing elements of sustainability in daily life to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Adhering to sustainability as a way of life may appear a daunting task due to the constant shifts that occur while negotiating the daily practicalities of life and consumer behaviour; however, several individuals and enterprises in Goa have taken the initiative to take small steps in this direction — paving the way for the rest of Goa to follow. 

The Shop, a sustainable legacy design house that has a pop-up at the Museum of Goa, Pilerne, a store in Panaji and an upcoming store in Sangolda, employs a zero-waste approach while crafting its apparel and home decor items and is making strides to eradicate the utilisation of plastic in the manufacturing process. 

“Looking for ‘green’ solutions breeds innovation, and sustainability and social responsibility have been our core values since our inception in 1969. The Shop utilises leftover fabric scraps to make shopping bags that are available in our stores in place of plastic bags. The fabric off-cuts from our production process also go into handcrafting home decor items in our YOU CARE range,” says Aishwariya Singh, director at The Shop. 

The Shop also utilises ecologically sustainable production techniques like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharging and treating all effluents generated during the production process. 

“At our workshop, which is designed with organic materials and employs natural light, we utilise a natural gas boiler for heating our printing tables and use natural sunlight to dry all the fabrics,” states Singh.

Having significant experience in going green, Singh offers easy and meaningful ways in which people can incorporate sustainability into their daily lives.

“Use natural sunlight for drying washed fabrics, replace paper towels with washable fabric kitchen wraps, carry fabric bags while grocery shopping, utilise ceramic crockery in place of plastic cutlery and find cosmetic and other products that are refillable to do away with discardable bottles,” says Singh.

Through her brand ‘Ninoshka’, Saligao-based designer Ninoshka Alvares-Delaney focuses on sustainable fashion, utilising natural and organic materials to craft her creations. ‘The Zero Waste Project’, Alvares-Delaney’s brainchild that aims to give second-hand clothing a new lease on life, also teaches people the importance of repurposing clothing to mitigate the excessive pollution caused by the fashion industry.

“While the average lifespan of garments depends on their usage and quality, they can be upcycled by adding embroidery, patches, or pulling them apart and piecing them together to create new clothing. Old clothing can also be repurposed into bags, linings for other clothes, book covers, cupboard liners, quilts, and even gift wrappings, to name a few,” says Alvares-Delaney.

She further declares that the benefits of shifting from fast to slow fashion are multitudinous, as “fast fashion brands are designed to fall apart after a few wears to encourage you to purchase more. Slow fashion supports cultural heritage, indigenous crafts and artisanal communities and it is extremely durable,” says Alvares-Delaney.

Heta Pandit, co-founder and vice-chairperson of the Goa Heritage Action Group, is passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle and encourages everyone to do the same, as she believes that even one person making this shift will contribute significantly to the planet’s long-term health. 

“You can start by carrying reusable water bottles while travelling. Purchase upcycled fabric or wear durable cotton or linen handlooms. Replace chemical detergent with soap nuts and water your plants with the used water. Switch off the fans and lights whenever you leave a room and use public transport, a bicycle or walk to travel,” states Pandit.

Pritha Keni Sardessai, a Goan architect passionate about Goa’s culture and heritage, celebrates sustainability as an exercise in conservation — namely, transitioning to wearing locally-made garments like the Kunbi saree.

“By making the Kunbi saree locally, we are reviving an old vocation in Goa that was almost extinct. More so, by training a segment of people who do not belong to the traditional weaving community, we are creating a new skill among the people,” she says.

Jolynn Carneiro, the founder of NonsenseCurry, an eco-conscious lifestyle brand that advocates for sustainability, slow living and frugality, states that incorporating sustainability into our daily lives ultimately entails “making a conscious choice after learning about the adverse effects of certain actions or products used.”

Carneiro further elucidates that adopting sustainable practices like “creating edible gardens, composting, living a minimalist lifestyle, consciously selecting needs over wants, being frugal, mending, fixing or buying second-hand over purchasing new items,” are small ways in which people can move towards adopting sustainable lifestyles.


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