Committed to mindful living

Anita Dongre speaks to us about her commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle, on the heels of her newly launched eco-friendly laundry gel
Anita Dongre
Anita Dongre

Designer Anita Dongre’s life is inevitably shaped around ethical practises and holistic wellbeing. Whether it’s her near three-decade-old journey in fashion or the way she has designed her personal life, the powerhouse designer’s ethos is one of mindfulness and sustainability in everything she does. From terrace gardening to home composting and plastic recycling, the past few years have seen her build a life that embraces the planet we live on. This path led to questioning the forgotten wisdom of traditional laundry agents and the impact of mass-produced laundry on the human body.

Grassroot by Anita Dongre — an eco-friendly laundry gel — is a personal passion project of Anita’s to craft products that support a mindful lifestyle.

The designer, in an exclusive interview with Indulge, tells us how she  constantly worries about the origin of her raw materials, her newly launched eco-friendly laundry gel, her commitment to a less impactful lifestyle and more.

“For me, the process of creation isn’t limited to the function of creating beautiful clothes. I worry constantly about where the raw materials are coming from; the lives touched every step of the way; how to extend the use of the clothes we make; and what happens after,”  she says. And one of the crucial pieces in that process is clothes being washed and   reworn. “The ecological benefit of clothes having a long life is great and I wanted to make sure that people who love their clothes can continue to do so without worrying about the colour fading, or the rivers being polluted,” she adds.

<em>Anita Dongre</em>
Anita Dongre

It was during the pandemic that Anita got the time to reflect on what she wanted from a laundry detergent. “I felt like going back to our roots, and finding that unique combination of ingredients that make for a detergent gel that is good for the earth and our wardrobe,” she recollects.

What makes this eco-friendly laundry gel unique is that it has only organic ingredients. It is hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, vegan, and earth-friendly and is made using a blend of plant-based ingredients and naturally occurring minerals to remove stains, odours, dirt, and germs without any of the harmful side effects. “It is made from ecologically conscious raw material like soapnut — a cleaning ingredient from India’s oldest book, thus making this detergent safe for use by individuals with sensitive skin, including infants,” she elaborates.

And not just the ingredients but in its production too, the gel lives up to the UN sustainability goal. Elaborating on the same, Anita says, “The women of Satara make this concentrated laundry gel in a solar-powered, eco-conscious, zero-liquid discharge facility, free of chemicals and packaged in a reusable and recyclable plastic bottle with a refilling facility available at our stores. We not only produce an eco-friendly product but also provide decent work to these women, which in turn leads to economic growth, as a reliable source of income fuels community-level change.”

She further adds that this is just another step in encouraging people to live more mindfully. “I’ve always believed that fashion could be a force for good. We have begun a slow journey in proving that, with vegan accessories and employing craftspeople in their own villages. This detergent is another step in that direction with a lot more to come. Over the years, I see the House of Anita Dongre name being a banner for all things earth-friendly while luxurious,” she signs off.

Rs 650. Available online.

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