“Together is more.” This is the mantra at Enviu, a social impact venture building organization, whose ReWeave program in India is tackling one of the dirtiest industries in the world: the fashion industry. The fashion industry is responsible for emitting 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with 85% of textiles produced ending up in landfills, contributing to oceanic microplastic and water pollution. The Reweave program in India is building disruptive ventures that drive the fashion sector towards a circular and fair value chain. The ventures within Enviu’s Reweave program focuses on sustainable and fair production as well as creating value from waste.
“The way to make large-scale impact is together with a coalition of like-minded and like-driven partners,” said Gigi Mathews, Enviu’s India Country Director. For Mathews, bringing value to waste is an urgent need. Waste is a high priority in India but there are still very limited innovations and not enough scalable ventures. The Reweave program aims to drive sustainable innovation in the current ecosystem by building ventures at key levels of the industry.
Enviu believes ANDE’s collaborative approach to building an ecosystem that supports small and growing businesses as key climate solution providers is the best way to create lasting change. “ANDE drives a movement by enabling collaborations, applying learnings on a local level and accelerating progress,” said Matthews. Both ANDE and Enviu deep dive into the entrepreneurial approach to environmental action – ANDE helps members like Enviu to recognize the opportunities that exist to support social impact ventures and promote environmentally sensitive approaches.
One social venture under the ReWeave program, Khaloom, is using a zero-emissions technique, traditional handlooms, to scale recycling of textile waste into fabric for apparel & home furnishing. Khaloom, apart from saving textiles from being wasted, also creates employment for local weavers and allows them to keep carrying out a craft passed down from generation to generation.
“Women are the primary entrepreneurs working in handweaving,” said Mathews. “They are the ones on the ground making things happen.” Empowering women entrepreneurs who are doing the work is key to combating climate change. “Women are proving over and over again how resilient they are,” said Matthews.
The Covid-19 pandemic reminded us of the importance of dynamic and sustainable solutions. During the pandemic, Enviu in partnership with PurFi set up a textile waste sorting facility in Chennai, India. PurFi is commercializing textile rejuvenation across the world. Their all women textile waste sorting facility provides various levels of sorting expertise to bring more value to waste. Women who lost jobs in other industries during the pandemic were employed at the sorting center. The women were trained in the different techniques of textile waste sorting and gained expertise in manual and mechanized waste sorting. “The resilience and adaptability of the women in wanting to make change happen has been the driving force in creating positive change,” said Mathews.
We look forward to keeping the conversation about SGBs as climate solution providers going this November at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt where ANDE will represent our members! Will you or your organization be attending COP 27? Reach out to Laura Simmons-Stern to collaborate!
This piece is part of ANDE’s Stories of Climate Resilience: Small Businesses, Big Impact campaign that showcases adaptation solutions to climate change driven by entrepreneurs.
Enviu was founded in 2004 with the vision to impact economies that serve people and the planet. We start long-term issue-driven and entrepreneurial programs to disrupt and drive broken value chains and industries towards a “new normal.” Together with partners we build companies that address social & environmental issues and drive failing markets towards a new normal. Find out more about us at www.enviu.org