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A Roadmap to Sustainable Living with Astu Eco, Earth friendly Alternatives for Plastic

By Durga Gokul

21 April, 2021

  Astu Eco is a brand that is passionate about the environment, with both the power of cause and effort to back their high spirits. In their second interview with us, the brand's co-founder, Anitha Shankar, talks to us about her new star product; stay tuned for a sustainable fashion revolution! Here's more from our conversation with her: BV: Our old users are familiar but tell us something about ASTU, and you and the brand are up to? Anitha: It's been a while. Thanks for keeping an eye out for Astu Eco. We are always looking at how to help people 'joyfully' move into sustainable lifestyles and innovative products to entice them within this journey. Our goal is to impact 1 billion people by 2030. We have made some headway there in terms of new products, awards, and accolades. Before the global pandemic hit, we were awarded the National Geographic Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge award, with fantastic exposure at the National Geographic HQ in Washington DC. I have always been a big fan of National Geographic. And my first job application after grads was to National Geographic. So, it was a full circle to be there and felicitated for the work I am so passionate about. We are also in the top 10 in Sustainable Disruptive Packaging Showcase, 2019, London, UK, to name a few.   BV: How was the tote-scarf born? Anitha: From the Veggie to Fridge bags which helped consumers shop vegetables zero plastic, to the Forget-Me-Not bags; the Tote Scarf was born. It is an answer to the genuine predicament of people forgetting to carry a reusable bag. It is an iterative product design based on consumer interaction over 2 years. sustainable, bananivista Tote Scarf by Astu Eco It's a Scarf that turns to a Tote when you need it most—genius in its simplicity, with circular design at its core. Each Tote Scarf is fashioned out of 2.2 PET bottles and by 2030 and aims to recycle 97 million PET bottles and stop 2.2 billion plastic bags from entering our oceans. BV: Your product is famous and doing the rounds; tell us about the journey this tote scarf has taken? Anitha: We are surprised too. Imagine the humble Tote Scarf, launched in March 2021, a square piece of cloth, being toted by supermodels on the ramps of Lakme Fashion Week, alongside colourful ranges of entire head-to-toe attire. It was a memorable exposure. It is a testament to the fact that India is onboard the Sustainability wagon. sustainable, bananivista Tote Scarf Bag Lakme Fashion Week The Circular Design Challenge identifies and provides a platform for innovative products in the Circular Fashion Design arena, inviting applications all across India. The Tote Scarf made it to the finals with its ramp walk from 6 professional supermodels. The judging panellists felt that Tote Scarf was a story to tell and share in the circular design economy. To us, it's an iconic start to making a dent on the three immense global challenges of: - Single-use bags - PET bottle - People forgetting to carry a reusable bag.  BV: What's one way you energize yourself after a long day? Anitha: I love yoga and meditation, but nothing to beat a steaming cup of south Indian filter coffee. And playing with my son at the end of the day. Isn't your child's laughter the best sound in the universe? :)   BV: Saving the earth one pet bottle at a time, tell us how you manage to strive through this tumultuous journey? Anitha: Well, when you put it that way, it sounds so large and looming. But I believe each of us has a conscious part to play and many compatriots and consumers are keen to make India clean and green. They seek products that can help them in that journey. And our job is to provide the quality products that excite them to use and adopt a sustainable lifestyle joyously. It's not about making someone feel guilty. It's about enabling them to adopt healthy everyday habits with joy. sustainable Tote Scarf BV: What's one thing you look forward to every morning? Anitha: A good cuppa coffee and sales figures!   BV: How does one become a part of making the world greener today? Give us tips for the busy working professional! Anitha: It's about deciding to be CONSCIOUS in your everyday choices. Everyday. And try and stay with your commitment to being more earth-friendly. sustainable, bananivista Tote Scarf as utility bag Some tips to kickstart your greener journey: - Opt for 'no plastic packing' while shopping online. - Carry your reusable cutlery. - Try taking loose groceries; say no to plastic bags. - Request sustainable boxes when ordering a takeaway. - Say no to plastic festive decors, utensils, giveaways, and bags. - Segregate your garbage into three bins. - Refuse that plastic knife when you order a birthday cake. - Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere.   For more such tips, follow the Astu Eco Insta page or visit Astu Eco BEAT. BV: A quote you live by: Anitha: 'You think me the child of circumstance; I make my circumstance' – Ralph Waldo Emerson BV: What would you NEVER compromise upon? Anitha: Quality products with creative ingenuity. If you are not happy with Astu Eco products, we take them back and refund you, no questions asked.