bye bye, plastic Life & Style

How to break up with plastic, The Switch Fix way

The Switch Fix’s grapey soap bar which comes in zero plastic packaging   | Photo Credit: The Switch Fix

If 2018 was the year of fretting over how much our environment was going for a toss, 2019 is the year to pull up our socks and start doing something about it. People have started ditching plastic in favour or reusable materials such as canvas. River clean-ups are happening by the dozens. Neighbourhoods are compiling compost heaps and creating terrace gardens.

But something’s been missing and societies are finally picking up on it: community-driven spirit. We all very well know what we ‘have’ to do but what about breathing life into these very necessary movements? That’s where The Switch Fix comes in spearheaded by the dynamic Rhea Shukla and Abhishek Kumar. Simply explore their website and you’ll see they’re not kidding around — they’re in this for the long haul, proven through active campaigns.

Co-founders Rhea Shukla and Abhishek Kumar

Co-founders Rhea Shukla and Abhishek Kumar  

Abhisehk and Rhea met at Ogilvy in Delhi. They share that coming from an industry plagued by unhealthy habits, they were constantly on the lookout for ways to make health and sustainability ‘convenient’ for everyone. “When we looked around we found plastic to be a big hindrance,” they continue, “Many look at it as an environmental concern only but the toxic chemicals in it also make it a major health concern. It’s only when we started cutting down on our own plastic consumption did we realise we’d found a solid starting point. Many conversations and trials later, we had our business model, which is still evolving as we grow and learn.”

Not Safe For... what?

A shot of one of the Instagram stories of the #NSFWChallenge

A shot of one of the Instagram stories of the #NSFWChallenge  

Channelling their energy through social media is a total no-brainer. Enter their #NSFWChallenge which stands for ‘Not Safe For World’. This is where you purchase NSFW stickers from The Switch Fix and simply identify nine plastic items around you, then put the NSFW sticker on them, and let them be a reminder to end your relationship.

Wait, publicly? Post pictures of those nine items on your social media handles with the hashtag #NSFWChallenge and inspire others to breakup too. Sadly when you look up this hashtag, there are some very precarious posts in the results too.

“It started with just a sticker that’s a constant reminder of all the opportunities you have to replace the plastic you own. Through #NSFWChallenge, we highlight not only the very visible plastic, but the more vicious hidden plastics in our lives,” explain the partners, “It’s fun to see how people recycle or repurpose these plastics into something that doesn’t impact our health adversely. We’re planning on rebooting #NSFW with few extended legs.”

Back to Earth

While social media responses can be calibrated and enumerated, there has to be something tangible to show for what The Switch Fix does. The organisation is paying attention to the Bhalswa landfill in northwest Delhi where huge amounts of toxic masses of polluting particles are being released into the air by the minute. The landfill is suspected to have over 5 million tonnes of garbage across its 42 acres.

How to break up with plastic, The Switch Fix way

“We first visited Bhalswa early last year,” The Switch Fix explains, “We didn’t expect it to rain that day but it did and we witnessed people walking barefoot in water that trickled down from top of the trash hill all the way to their homes. We saw kids playing football in the same black water. We knew instantly that this community needs affordable, sustainable and customisable solutions. And so, with an approach to tackle the plastic-problem at a disposal level too, we set our vision as ‘every kid fit’ under Project Switch Foundation. Over the past three to four months, we’ve been visiting the community regularly and have surveyed over 100 households. We’re currently working on solutions that cover basic hygiene as well as infrastructural support. We hope to implement these solutions with the help of a strong volunteer base driven to make this world a healthier place for all.”

The good goods

However for those wanting to do a some ‘greener shopping’, The Switch Fix offers charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrushes as well as clay-infused soap and shampoo bars of different varieties — and all of it comes to you in 100% recycled paper packaging with zero plastic shipping.

The Switch Fix’s bamboo toothbrush

The Switch Fix’s bamboo toothbrush  

“When something we use every day, that’s supposed to care for us, comes wrapped in plastic, leaking all its toxic chemicals into our lives, we say it’s time to #MakeTheSwitch,” says the team, “We’ve come up with a range of personal care products made from ingredients carefully chosen to keep up with our busy lives. Derived from nature, combined for results: they’re 100% natural and made with a lot of love.”

“We create the first batch ourselves, test it out on ourselves, go back to the drawing board and after making tweaks, we co-create it with our trusted manufacturer. In this way, we not only eliminate the toxic consequences of plastic but go a step further and make your experience completely toxin-free. That’s how The Switch Fix makes health and sustainability quite simple.”

So, are you ready to make the switch?

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 11, 2021 11:12:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/the-switch-fix-delhi-plastic-free-organisation/article26268203.ece

Next Story