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Roar for Good: Upcycling flower waste into eco-friendly fashion

A visit to a temple, dargah or a gurdwara is never complete without the classic offering of flowers. But have you ever wondered about the sheer volume of flowers left at your local temple, let alone at larger ones? The staggering reality is that approximately 800 million tonnes of flowers are offered annually at worshipping grounds all across India. The issue arises when these sacred offerings, once cleaned up, become a significant environmental concern. Instead of being disposed of in landfills, these flowers are typically discarded in ponds, lakes, and rivers, endangering water quality and marine life.

While industrial waste is a major contributor to water pollution, floral waste is not far behind. Research by Sustainable Management of Floral Waste by Heera Lal Atal reveals that roughly eight million tonnes of floral waste are dumped into water bodies and rivers in India each year, clogging and contaminating these vital water sources.

However, some brands and individuals are now taking it upon themselves to transform temple waste into something valuable. Among them is an Indian brand ‘Roar for Good’.

In an exclusive interview with Images Business of Fashion’s Yamini Chaube, Roar for Good Founder & CEO, Rajan Pillai delves into the brand’s inspiring mission, its USP, and the challenges it has overcome.

Crafting a Sustainable Fashion Revolution

This emerging sustainable fashion brand offers a diverse range of products including shirts, footwear and bags made from sustainable materials like floral waste, bamboo, recycled plastics, organic cotton, jute, hemp, and linen.

The Company’s mission is to become 100% sustainable while eyeing Rs 1,000 crore revenue by 2030. Some of the ways it is going sustainable include:

  • Transparent Recycling

In the world of recycling, where many companies simply buy plastic bottles (hence defeating the purpose of recycling), Roar for Good takes pride in ensuring transparency and authenticity in sourcing these bottles. Their eco-conscious consumers can look for certifications or traceability programs that guarantee the use of recycled material and responsible manufacturing.

The brand’s website states that it has recycled over 100,000 plastic bottles, reducing waste and carbon footprint.

  • A Green Conscience

Roar for Good also offers customers an opportunity to join in the green revolution it aims to bring about. For every purchase of Rs 2,000 or more, the brand plants a tree in the customer’s name. This unique initiative combats deforestation and encourages customers to be active participants in environmental conservation.

  • Innovation at its Core

Rajan Pillai points out the high rate of footwear returns in online shopping. Roar for Good has introduced the ‘try on shoes’ digital concept, allowing customers to test footwear before purchase. This innovation significantly decreases return rates, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with logistics.

Overcoming Challenges

However, the journey to establish Roar for Good as a sustainable brand has not been without its share of hurdles. Sourcing sustainable materials, building brand awareness, balancing sustainability with costs, and educating consumers are just a few of the challenges the brand has confronted.

Access to capital, competition with established brands, and ensuring regulatory compliance were other hurdles that Pillai and his team overcame with determination and commitment to their cause.

Government Policies

When asked about the Indian Government’s policies for sustainable businesses, Pillai recognized the Government’s emphasis on sustainability in various sectors in the form of initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’.

He pointed out that financial incentives, green certifications, and support for startups were part of the Government’s efforts to promote sustainability. However, he emphasized the need to stay updated with the latest policies and certifications to make the most of the opportunities.

Scope for Sustainable Fashion

Being only 3-months young, Roar for Good’s founder believes the scope for sustainable fashion is immense. “The consumer base for sustainable fashion is rapidly expanding, encompassing various demographics and generations, he notes. “The sustainable fashion market is growing and is expected to reach $9.81 billion by 2025, providing ample entrepreneurial opportunities. The trajectory for new entrepreneurs entering this industry depends on their ability to build a compelling brand, offer high-quality eco-friendly products, and market effectively,” he concludes.

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