Started in 2018, Strend; a project developed at Enactus; IIT Ropar aims to provide clothing and shelter for all by reusing the clothes and the flexes which have been discarded by people but can still serve their purpose with small repairs and washing. Strend is a self-sustaining project which not only helps the environment by re-using discarded clothes, but also makes it possible for the poor sections of society to fulfil the basic human needs of shelter and that of covering their bodies.
There are two major divisions of the project. The first one aims to create entrepreneurs who collect old clothes from privileged sections of society and refurbish them, and then sell them with some margins to the needy people ; and the clothes which could not be refurbished are converted to doormats and handbags by women entrepreneurs. The second and the relatively newer one aims at re-using flexes and banners to build shelters for the poor.
An estimated USD 500 billion value is lost every year due to the people who buy several clothes and rarely wear all of them and later discard them. If nothing changes, by 2050 the fashion industry could use more than 26% of the carbon budget associated with a 2C pathway, warns Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Strend is a project which not only helps save the environment but also extends benefit to the poor sections of society.
We devised a sustainable business model, in which the entrepreneurs buy clothes from middle and upper-class people at meagre prices through numerous collection drives held in various colleges and community centres and refurbish those clothes by washing, stitching and packing them making them suitable for sale. After which they are sold to poor and needy communities at a low and affordable price. The Income generated goes to the entrepreneurs’ earnings, covering for costs of refurbishing and reinvestment reserves.
Parallelly, we aim to establish such entrepreneurs for turning flexes into affordable houses which are easy to build and transport to various places. The flexes which are available in abundance after college fests etc. are collected by our team and given to such entrepreneurs.
S-Trend enables our entrepreneurs to make a good income while contributing to the improvement of the lifestyle of poverty-stricken cloth less people. With every changing season we come across old clothes which no more satisfies our size or taste and keeps piling up in cupboards. Strend ensures that clothes which are stocked up in cupboards serving no purpose go in the hands of those who really need and value them. It benefits someone at each step. For instance, the clothes which were discarded earlier into landfills are re-used, saving the environment; the skilled labourers like washermen and tailors earn a supplementary income; and; the poor can now afford good quality clothes at marginal prices.
Till now Strend impacted over 3,00,000 people indirectly and 600+ people directly with areas including Ropar and nearby villages, Chandigarh and Kullu. The project impacts the poor section to great extent in provind clothes and shelter as well as employment.