Do U Speak Green? is the first Eco-friendly clothing brand & web store setup in India.
With stylish and earth-friendly designs, Do You Speak Green? hopes to speak to your heart. To educate you, motivate you, and make you realize that who you are and how you shop really can make a difference. We asked the founder, Shishir Goenka who is also an avid traveler himself, to answer some questions and give you tips on how to best visit India!
We love go green projects! What inspired the creation of Do U Speak Green?
When we started way back in 1992, Fusion Clothing the parent company was solely into exporting t-shirts to New Zealand & Australia. Subsequently we expanded to Europe. Our inspiration for Do U Speak Green came about due to the absence of smart looking & organic clothing in India. Most importantly, I have a passion for Wildlife & helping preserve our Natural Environment, it was this that inspired me to set up DUSG? in 2010.
There are so many fashion choices out there, what are the requirements for clothing to be considered eco-friendly?
Yes there are, but organic clothing is way different to the conventional clothing we see around. Organic cotton has anti static & anti bacterial properties and it is incredibly soft. Also our tees with blends of bamboo are amazing – bamboo fabrics have natural wicking properties, like Dri FIT of Nike.
To elaborate further, organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture and promote balance of ecosystems.
You’re the first Indian company to be a part of the Association for Conservation, what does that mean to your company?
It is an overwhelming experience, close to my heart and I believe we should share it with others through our merchandise and talking about it through various channels…..
How does your company affect the lives of farmers in India and elsewhere?
No compromise with farmer’s health. Organic farmers need not suffer exposure from pesticides which affect their health. Farm workers working in conventionally grown cotton fields around the world suffer from an abundance of toxic exposures and related health problems. Pesticides used on cotton cause acute poisonings and chronic illness to farm workers worldwide. Acute respiratory symptoms and other health effects in communities surrounding cotton farms are correlated with high use of chemicals.
Buying organic cotton ensures a better livelihood to the farmers. Organic farmers get higher realization and better livelihoods. Organic farming promotes the development of earthworms and above ground arthropods, thus improving the growth conditions of the crop. Furthermore, organic crops profit from root symbioses and are better able to exploit the soil, and organic fields accommodate a greater variety of plants, animals and micro organisms.
Tell us about the “sustainability zone” as far as finding a balance between pure philanthropy and pure profit. How has this allowed DUSG? to thrive?
This is a tough one – at DUSG? to thrive for this balance – we put what we say into practice in every way possible, i.e. integrating sustainability into business decisions, identifying, measuring and reporting the present and future impacts of products, services , processes and activities. I hope this answers your question.
Sure it does! Your “Shop For Change” section has clothing named for countries all over the world. What inspired these names?
They were names we just added up to the collection. Also they were the names which first came up when we were writing up names for some of the styles we were designing, I guess it has a lot to do with the beauty of each of the places , the greenery around, the people, the weather…etc.
Name 3 of your favorite restaurants in India, local gems that tourists don’t know about!
Bean Me Up in Goa – Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan dishes from around the world, fresh organic variety of salads originating from the Mediterranean to California. The Deserts, Ice Creams, Cakes, Pies, Puddings are made on the premises.
Ramana’s Garden in Laxman Jhula Village, Rishikesh – Located in Ramana’s Garden Children’s Home/School. The cafe was created as a space for children to learn the art of good hospitality as a future vocation. They partake in every aspect of preparing meals from tending the garden, baking, cooking and the cutest service you can find anywhere.Every morsel of the meal is organic.
Carrots, The Healthy Kitchen in Bangalore – Carrots is the first 100% vegan restaurant and store in Bengaluru, also with a great focus on health and environment. “For Better Health, For Better Tomorrow” is their vision and guiding principle.
We love the idea of “ethical fashion.” Do you foresee this movement spreading to other countries and companies?
Yes, the Bangladesh textile sector tragedy has been an eye opener. Everyone is some way are pushing towards a more sustainable way of sourcing clothes.
What is one city in India that everyone must experience and why?
There are some amazing places to visit in India such as Agra , Jaipur , Goa , Kerala backwaters.
You must write about this place called Shillong, Capital of Meghalaya and home to the Khasis, Shillong is also known as the “Scotland of the East”. Shillong still retains influences of the British in its architecture, lifestyle and language. Shillong is the place where the British moved to after they found Cherapunji too wet. The rolling hills around the town reminded the European settlers of Scotland.
However, modern Shillong has come a long way from being the capital of Chief Commissioner’s province during the British Raj. Shillong is a multicultural city and home to people from both India and Europe. The city is the hub of attempts of its indigenous people, the Khasis, to revive Khasi traditions. Situated at an altitude of 4,908 feet above sea level, Shillong is known for its salubrious climate and picturesque beauty.
What does being a traveler mean to you?
As a traveler I refuse to live an unfulfilling & mediocre life. My passion for wildlife, desire to explore, excitement for exclusivity continues as I explore this place we call earth.