This store in Visakhapatnam provides greener alternatives to plastic packaging

Being mindful of the amount of plastic ending up at the city dump, Asya offers eco-friendly alternatives to packing gifts

Like so many of us, Shaheda Mehdi and Nanditha Kancharla were concerned about all the packaging material from gifts that was eventually dumped. What made it worse were these were usually plastic waste.

Something had to be done about that, they decided and in September last year, they launched Asya(@asya_invitationsandgifts), a store that specialised in packing gifts in an eco-friendly and reuseable manner.

Their offerings include chocolate boxes made of cardboard and paper, leatherette boxes and metal gift baskets. “The baskets, trays and boxes are made of strong materials hence they are durable and can be used as décor item or to store things,” explains Nanditha.

Shaheda and Nanditha are busy now for the upcoming wedding season. “Trousseau and return gifts are a major part of weddings. Hence a lot of people come in looking for trays and boxes to pack them in a fashionable way. While we have several colours available, pastels are in this season. From wedding cards to gift boxes everyone is picking up the pastel hues,” says Shaheda.

There is a growing trend amongst the city’s people to consciously look for re-useable and eco-friendly gifts and packages. Talking about the city’s gifting culture, Shaheda says when it comes to gifts the “the sky is the limit”. However, most of the people emphasise that the gift boxes too should be reusable and eco-friendly. “Even the flowers and other accessories used to decorate these boxes and baskets are either made of cloth or paper. We ensure no plastic is used for any of these,” says Nandita.

Apart from weddings, the store, Located in Kirlampudi Layout, also provides customised gifts for occasions like Diwali, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Holi.

“Currently, we are working on a hamper for Holi which will be provided in a basket made from pine wood. It will have colours, balloons and a jute bag filled with dry fruits or chocolates,” says Shaheda.

The store ships across India. For details 7349554527