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Mansi Shah is an entrepreneur who owns and runs a sustainable and environmental friendly business established in 2016.
She shares her low waste, sustainable and environment friendly journey on her social media. She runs an online business of eco-friendly gift items named Gift Green which has a wide range of sustainable options to choose from which are not only pocket friendly but also takes care of our environment.
Icy Tales is in conversation with Mansi Shah about gifting green, sustainable living, and all things eco-friendly.
Mansi Shah was born and brought up in Mumbai. She has recently moved to Surat and trying to understand how this city works.
The entrepreneur have been following low waste lifestyle for more than 7 years where she has been composting her own food, segregate all the plastic that comes into the house, carrying reusable items and much more.
Doing these little things to make sure that she doesn’t create any waste as she is living on this planet. Mansi Shah loves animals and she comes across so many rescues. She likes to travel locally because she wants to explore how beautiful our country is.
Q) How did you come up with the idea of low waste gifting?
Mansi Shah – The thing was, every year my family being in the printing industry had so many customers, clients and family. We used to keep getting gifts be it any occasion Ganpati, Diwali, Makar Sankranti.
There was a point where I was at home taking a break from my work and I was noticing all these gifts coming in before Ganpati and there was so much plastic wrapping around it.
Food items I understand but even the wedding give aways. Everything is packaged so not consciously. We don’t even think what we are gonna do after that. And many times we have two or three of the same things at home.
Sometimes we have to give out gifts for the sake of giving and this gifting culture can be so because you want to stand out between your family, friends and society.
So, you have to give out the best gift. But in that process we don’t realize how much waste we create. And that was one of the tipping point for me because I was like what is this, this is not even mindful gifting.
Packaging and the gifting items were like a problem which made me realize I want to do something which is more thoughtful. The person should remember that gift for a very long time even if not forever. That was the idea.
Q) Your degree had a lot to do with what you are doing right now so how exactly it pushed you in this direction?
Mansi Shah – My education was in biotech and then I went on for forensic biotech. I wouldn’t say completely it helped me but yes all the knowledge about science, what we create.
If it’s personal care product there is a lot of thought going in. We say chemical free and all that but everything is a chemical. It’s just what are harmful and what are not harmful for your body.
What I have studied has helped me understand the products that I make. So, it helps me with all the research over there. And also I feel education never goes to waste. So, now I know.
I understand the genetically modified organisms better, diseases, because I have studied about it. So, that has helped me understand the greener side of this. There are two different sides to this and now I understand both somewhat. There’s so much more to learn.
Q) Can you explain the concept of green gifting?
Mansi Shah – Basically, green gifting is not only limited to buying something ecofriendly or sustainable for a gift. It also means re-gifting something you have at home which you have never used and could be useful to the person you are passing it on to.
That is also a way of being sustainable when you want to gift something. So, we always think that green gifting is buying something new but that is also not the case. It’s about how you are being mindful.
If you have a plant at home and you have grown it and now you have two or three of the same plant. You can actually take one of them and pass it on to somebody else as gift. That is also sustainable, eco-friendly and how we name it green gifting. You do it because there is a thought behind this.
What we do is, a lot of times if you want to give out gifts to people then we just give you options and alternatives in the sustainable and ecofriendly niche.
Even on the page we try and not promote that you also have to keep giving and buying new things. Re-gifting now is picking up slowly. There is nothing to be ashamed of. That is also a way of being sustainable when it comes to green gifting.
Q) You have a variety of products in your online store. Are you planning on launching some more soon?
Mansi Shah – Right now we are working on collaborating with other brands who can bring items which we don’t have. Because there’s not everything I can do alone.
Collaboration brings more power, more awareness, it brings more people together in the community. We are planning to bring shampoo bars from other brands, some nice natural sweeteners, personal care product which we don’t make, that also we are going to introduce, some more upcycled products. So, we are looking at more of that in the future, in the coming months.
Q) What are your future plans with this initiative of yours?
Mansi Shah – First, I am gonna start streamlining all the upcycled products that we have. The ones that are actually doing good and are getting a good response and are actually useable. Because I don’t want to make things just for the sake of making it. So, I think am gonna streamline that.
I am gonna start building a community in Surat. We already have a community started by a very dear friend in Mumbai where all the low waste, zero waste enthusiast meet, talk about our problems, how family’s not being supportive about our low waste lifestyle or composting and all of that.
I want to build a community in the new city now. And try and get more like minded people to work towards it. If I am meeting ten new people then ten new people are going to do that in their houses and that’s how it spreads. So, that’s my future plan, to build a community.
Mansi Shah has adopted a sustainable and eco-friendly way of living. With the Gift Green initiative of hers she hopes to reach thousands of more people and inspire them to build a community to help spread the awareness.
Check out this very informative and valuable conversation with Mansi Shah on our YouTube Channel.
Rabiat Singh is a third year architecture student pursuing her degree from D.Y patil Kolhapur. She is quite passionate about writing. She have been writing poetry for the last two years.
She also have a keen interest in film making. She wrote articles on living life.