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CSR: Millennials’ Social Enterprise Recycle Denim Waste

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Denim is among the fastest-growing fashion trend in the recent decade. With its sturdy finish and a comfortable fitting, it has become highly popular among millennials as well as the older generations. However, this denim is very expensive ecologically.

Manufacturing one pair of jeans takes up 8000 litres of water. Taking this into consideration, a pair of jeans can be justified only if it has a long life. However, with fast fashion and changing trends, this is not happening. Every year millions of pairs of jeans are discarded by households across India. And most of them end up in the dumping sites along with other dry waste despite the fact that many of them are in reusable condition.

Recognising this, a Jodhpur based group Solecraft is doing a wonderful job by upcycling the old pairs of jeans into bags, footwear and pencil cases. The social enterprise founded by Mrinalini Rajpurohit, Atul Mehta and Nikhil Gehlot (CEO, COO and CTO), distributes these items for free to the marginal school children in Jodhpur and the villages on the outskirts of the city with help of donations or sponsorships.

The pilot project which was started to reach out to 100 children gradually increased to 1200 children. So far, the social enterprise has upcycled 1,500 discarded pieces of denim, and they hope to reach out to one million children through the project.

Their customer base is also expanding beyond Jodhpur. For instance, some of their customers purchased the school kit (Rs 400) in bulk and distributed them in cities like Mumbai, and Bengaluru.

To make the mission self-sustainable, Solecraft is making merchandise consisting of travel kits, duffel bags, laptop bags, iPad covers, etc. which it plans to gift to people who donate clothes. They are also collaborating with local shops in the city to sell their products.

After the success of their first phase, the company is now raising a crowdfunding campaign to equip another 1200 children in government schools.

This article is part of a new series on Indian millennials reshaping the world through social impact.