If you have an interest in eco-friendly ventures or sustainable initiatives, you might have heard of the Boomerang Bags initiative from Australia, that functions through a team of volunteers. Boomerang Bags works to reduce the use of plastic bags by engaging local communities in the making of Boomerang Bags – community made, using recycled materials, mostly clothes. Boomerang Bags provide a free, fun, sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

When Sumithra Sekar heard about this initiative from the founder of Boomerang Bags (who happens to be her friend), she decided to bring it to namma Chennai along with her friend Shreekanth Murali. Over the last few years, the duo was getting increasingly worried over the use of plastics in all arenas and how it is being dumped in water bodies. So, they decided it is time they did something about it and post multiple rounds of discussions, they recently launched their initiative, Eco Mithra.

There are many NGO who collect used clothes for the underprivileged. But Eco Mithra collects the old, unusable or tattered clothes that are often dumped or thrown away in landfills (mainly sarees, blankets, dupattas, curtains, dhotis, lungis and fabric waste from factories). They work along with NGO, Sevai Karangal that works with self-help groups in a village. These self-help groups are engaged in tailoring and thus, help Eco Mithra to create cloth bags. They are now creating cloth bags that can hold upto 3 kgs and smaller versions of it as well.

Currently, Eco Mithra is tying up with apartment complexes to sell these cloth bags. But they are planning to look beyond and sell through other avenues as well.

Eco Mithra intends to engage apartment complexes, schools, NGOs, offices, fabric industries to help in collecting torn /unusable cloths. They also want to associate with other NGOs that can them with tailoring and creation of bags.

So, if you wish to help, you can mail them at recycle.oldcloths@gmail.com