In 1968 somewhere between Pondicherry and Chennai, a group of about 200 people gathered together on a barren plateau to build a “city the earth needs”. They began reforesting the barren land to create a new socio-economic, ecological and spiritual habitat named Auroville.
Today this tiny township is home to a vibrant global community of people from 40 nations. Auroville, is an ideal example of a place where development meets nature, where sustainable practices have led to the production of eco-friendly goods of various kinds which are exported across the globe.
Upasana Design Studio
Since its inception in 1997, the studio has created a huge wave for eco-friendly contemporary garments and accessories in the Indian fashion industry. Apart from apparel design and production, Upasana has extended its undertakings to different social projects that involve the local population, teaching them to have a sustainable livelihood.
Miniature is a textile design and natural dye producing unit managed by an Italian lady.The unit’s most popular garment lines such as fine block print designs on saris, silks and cotton materials are fabricated by craftsmen from Rajasthan. These are often hand-woven, hand-spun in the Khadi tradition. Some of the prominent products of Miniature are – Block Prints and Tie & Dye.
The ‘WELL’ in WELLpaper stands for ‘Women’s Empowerment through Local Livelihood’. It is a social enterprise which focuses on the welfare and empowerment of local women of Tamilnadu. The organization promotes recycling of paper products and converts them into functional and beautiful products like baskets, bowls, coasters, jewelry, Christmas décor ornaments, papier mache figures and many more, which are entirely made from waste paper.
Shardhanjali is a handicraft unit established in 1980. To create its products, Shardhanjali undertakes the most eco-friendly process of utilizing natural flowers, plant foliage and seeds to convert them into products. Shardhanjalli offers four different types of products: Pushpanjali (cards), Dharti (interiors), Prakriti (stationeries), Beejika (ornaments).
Naturellement is a social enterprise for producing natural and organic food. It was started in 1991. By applying a sustainable method of farming and using all traditional and organic ingredients in the preparation, the company produces some popular food products such as jams, marmalades, fruit syrups, nut butters, breakfast cereals, pickles and pesto, which are marketed in different major cities of India.
*Note: There are many more sustainable businesses residing in Auroville that have not been mentioned. For more information, one may log into- www.auroville.org