Mangaluru: Paper seed, a Mangaluru-based company founded by Nitin Vas produces eco-friendly products and decorative items.
Vas comes up with unique and creative ideas every year like plastic-free national flags, badges, jewellery, cups made out of coconut shells, baskets from creepers and climbers, seed and terracotta rakhis, and decorative items made out of recycled paper for Christmas.
His eco-friendly national flags, rakhis, and Christmas decor items including snowman, Santa Claus, decorative bells, and stars prepared from recycled papers were a big hit.
Speaking to Udayavani, Nitin Vas said, “We make various types of jewellery and toys and the raw materials that we use are already derived from nature and considered as waste. Recently we launched a new initiative called Mangalore toys.”
The Mangalore toys are said to be more durable than the clay toys and less fragile than the Channapatna toys. It is also water-resistant and completely degradable.
The Mangalore toys are being promoted on social media platforms by environmentalists and it surely is a good gifting option.
Talking about the use of seed papers, Vas said, “When we launched seed paper, it was widely used for visiting cards and invitations etc. Be it any kind of invitations at the end of the day it usually goes into the dustbin but with the seed papers, people can plant a tree. All one needs to do is tear the cards/invitations and put them in the soil. We give instructions regarding how to plant and when to plant the seed papers. Usually, the shelf life of a seed is not more than three months. We got orders from NGOs too.”
Further Vas opined that while most of us speak about our love for nature and support for Swadeshi goods, it isn’t true. Only a few handful of people prefer to buy eco-friendly products, while the rest opt for plastic products which they feel is cheaper and attractive. On the other hand, artisans are facing a huge challenge due to the pandemic.”
Vas prices his products in the range of Rs 50-10,000. “People usually ask me why is it so expensive. It takes us around two days to make one toy because the process is entirely handmade. A labourer normally earns Rs 600 per day. If I want to hire a labourer to work for me, I have to pay him Rs 600/per day or else he won’t work for me. For him, toy making, swadeshi, Make in India isn’t important, his sole intention is to earn money and feed his family,” Vas said
On the subject of government initiative of boosting the toy industry in India and the expectant benefits for startups like his, Vas says, “We do not want to rely on the government. We believe working hands are more powerful than the begging hands. Till now media was our biggest supporter as it helped promote our products and create awareness”
When asked about his future prospects, he said, “We are expecting the tourism industry to open, Tourists are one of our potential customers. Mangalore toys is a pride of Mangalore, it is our duty to promote them. Our organisation also wants to create job opportunities in rural areas. My whole team including me have been working for big companies, so for us, money isn’t the only important factor. We are on a mission and committed to reaching our goal.”