Planet Healers Environment

TreeWear founders Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala plant trees on behalf of their buyers

Brothers Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala

Brothers Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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Tees and trees for the planet: Advocates of slow fashion and sustainable lifestyles, TreeWear founders Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala plant trees on behalf of their buyers

‘Buy one, get one tree’; ‘Tree for a tee’. These aren’t just attention-seeking captions. The founders of the three-year-old label TreeWear take their quest for a sustainable lifestyle seriously. For every tee or a personal care kit purchased from them, they plant a tree on the buyer’s behalf. Their plantation projects are in Udaipur (Rajasthan) and Sundarbans (West Bengal). The tree is geotagged and the customer can track the updates online. So far, TreeWear has planted more than 2300 trees.

Last weekend, TreeWear showcased its clothing range and lifestyle products as part of The Conscious Collect pop-up at The Chalet, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. TreeWear manufactures alcohol-free sanitisers, chemical-free cleaning agents, and aluminium and preservative-free deodorants that are packaged in recycled paper boards as opposed to single-use plastic containers. Their tees are usually packaged in recycled plastic bottles.

Mumbai-based brothers Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala quit their respective jobs and founded TreeWear in 2016, channelling their common interest of doing something environmentally conscious.

A green exchange
  • TreeWear has partnered with Grow Tree and partakes in plantation projects across the country, the primary ones are near Udaipur in Rajasthan and Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • Each tree planted on behalf of a customer is given a unique tree code (UTC). The code is shared with the buyer and since the trees are geo-tagged, one can find its approximate location and visit the plantation and spot the tree.
  • The tees are manufactured in Mumbai using organic and fair trade cotton sourced from Tirupur. Look up treewear.org

Mikail graduated in psychology from Australia’s Bond University, followed it up with a degree in psychology and marketing from Monash University, and was an entrepreneur. Mishal trained in industrial product design and research at Queensland University of Technology. He also worked with an architect for two years and was drawn to other areas of design.

They grew up in Mumbai, and spending a few years abroad during their higher studies helped them observe the contrast in environmental scenarios.

“I didn’t think Mikail and I would end up working together. Since both of us wanted our areas of work to be in an eco-friendly zone, we came together,” says Mishal.

They began by sourcing ethically-produced cotton from Tirupur and other regions, and designed tees. “Our designs and cuts are basic; we are not fashion forward boys. We asked our friends and family to try our tees and the response to our products and the concept was good. Gradually, we had to get creative to scale up the business,” says Mishal.

A t-shirt packaged in a recycled plastic bottle

A t-shirt packaged in a recycled plastic bottle   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

They noticed the dearth of eco-friendly personal care products and decided to tap into that segment. “Mikail researched on locally-available ingredients and the methods to make sanitisers and cleaning products that are kinder to our skin as well as the environment. When harsh chemicals are used, they also show up in the effluents that are released from the manufacturing unit and ultimately pollute our water bodies,” says Mishal.

The tees are dyed using natural dyes extracted from herbs and flowers. The water used in different stages of manufacturing the tees and personal care products are recycled to be used for the garden and other necessities in the premises. “We use ingredients like beeswax and aloe gel that aren’t detrimental to our surroundings,” adds Mishal.

TreeWear founders Mishal and Mikail Pardiwala plant trees on behalf of their buyers

From time to time, the brothers partake in community activities, beach clean-ups or go on long nature hikes. As nature lovers, being friendly to their surroundings is a way of life, Mishal emphasises. Their Instagram account and website take the conversation further on what we can do to counter climate change, hacks for sustainable living, among other topics.

During a plantation drive

During a plantation drive   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

As they got noticed online (treewear.org) and began to build a steady clientèle, the brothers began thinking of how to use upcycled or recycled material for packaging, in sync with their zero waste philosophy. For outstation orders, paper and paperboard are used. “The packaging may not look too sophisticated, but our buyers understand our ideology. The paperboard packaging for the deos, for instance, has a layer of lamination. Once the product is used, the lamination can be peeled and discarded, and the outer cover is compostable. We package lip balms in small aluminium containers. For each tee or a personal care kit that contains four products, we plant a tree. We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint and it is a continuous journey of learning,” Mishal elaborates. The brothers have tied up with Grow Tree organisation and the trees are geotagged for easy online tracking.

This column celebrates eco-conscious initiatives. If you know an eco-warrior, write in to at hydmetroplus@thehindu.co.in

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 11:18:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/treewear-founders-mishal-and-mikail-pardiwala-plant-trees-on-behalf-of-their-buyers/article30006091.ece

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