Meet these women who earn lakhs by converting plastic into fashionable bags

From a very young age, I was fond of environmental protection. Left the corporate job and worked in the parent’s NGO. Now she earns lakhs by making bags from plastic, as well as gives employment to many women.

 

Have you ever heard of a plastic bag belt or bag lying in your house? If not, then now read about those who have not only thought about it but have also done it. Delhi-based Kanika Ahuja’s company Lifafa makes daily use bags, belts and many other things from such plastic.

Kanika Ahuja, the founder of Lifafa, told News18 that she had been a part of her school’s environmental club in her childhood and had always actively participated in the cleanliness campaigns organized by it. Under one such campaign, he was taken by the school to clean the Yamuna and make it plastic-free. She says that she has not been able to remove the image of the pathetic condition of Yamuna from her heart and mind till date.

32-year-old Kanika Ahuja is an engineer by profession, but she has been very interested in environmental protection since childhood. After doing engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, he did his MBA from Shri Ram College of Commerce. After completing her MBA, Kanika started working in a corporate company. But after some time she did not like the corporate culture and she realized that she wanted to contribute towards environmental protection and social welfare. After this realization, she started working in an NGO run by her parents. Established in 1998, the main goal of this Delhi-based NGO was energy saving and environmental protection.

She tells that she comes from a family where she has always been taught thrift. His family members were always conscious about how much and what he was using in his lifestyle. Many artisans worked in his NGO who were trained by his parents. This NGO would then transmit the products made by these artisans to the customers through their website and whatever amount was deposited was given to these artisans. After fully joining the NGO and taking charge, Kanika started working on improving the design of the products made by these artisans.

Tried social entrepreneurship in the past too
Kanika says that earlier also she had started a transformational initiative to become a social entrepreneur and social welfare, but that initiative could not be financially feasible. So he thought of closing it and opening another startup with financial stability.

How was the envelope established?
Again as a social entrepreneur, he founded Lifafa in 2017. She says that it was while working with the artisans that she realized that something even better and more innovative can be made from this plastic. With this, his new journey started. Today Lifafa recycles about 12 tons of plastic annually. Not only different types of bags are made from this plastic, but many types of fashion accessories like belts, wallets, laptop bags etc. are also made.

Know how social entrepreneurship is different from social work?
She explains that social entrepreneurship is based on three value principles – Profit, People and Planet. Inspired by these three principles, he decided to become a social entrepreneur. Social work is focused only on the interests of the people, whereas in social entrepreneurship, along with the interests of the people, financial stability and the interests of the earth and environment are taken into account. While it is not possible to do social work for a long time without funds, social entrepreneurship becomes a means of social welfare as well as economic stability.

8 lakh fund received from Ashoka
Kanika tells that Lifafa received funding of eight lakh rupees from Ashoka. Ashoka is a global venture that identifies and supports social enterprises around the world. According to him, the funding received from Ashoka was very helpful in the initial days.

Most of the customers are abroad
Much of the envelope business is dependent on exports. Most of their customers are in America and Europe. Kanika believes that there are more customers abroad than in India because their production cost is slightly higher according to the local market.

Business to business model
Envelope is still based on business to business model. Anything made by Envelope does not reach its customers directly but is made available in the market through a retailer.

grown up team
Now they have a team of 8 people who take charge of manufacturing. Apart from this, he has two designers who design all the bags, belts etc. Kanika also provides employment opportunities to trained artisans in her parents’ NGO. She works with 200 artisans of NGOs.

A bag is made in 2 days
She says that on an average it takes half a kilogram of plastic to make a bag. This quantity depends on the size of the bag and it takes at least one and a half to two days to make one bag.

lakme fashion week
Bags and fashion accessories made by Lifafa have been showcased twice at the Lakme Fashion Week so far. It is a matter of pride for anyone to participate in this show along with the leading fashion brands of the country.

future policy
She tells that in the coming four-five months she will start a b2c business, through which she will be able to sell her goods directly to the people. Along with this, she also wants to expand in the Indian market in the coming days. But she wants to keep her business online for now. He has no idea of ​​opening a physical store yet.

The new generation is environmentally conscious
Lifafa Founder believes that the new generation is more environmentally conscious and aware. They are always ready to use eco-friendly things.

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