Happy Travels - creating a Happy Planet through Positive Change!

The team in India and Byron Bay, Australia have been working on an exciting new project for the last few months and we are finally ready to launch! Collaborating with our local partner SISP’s social enterprises workshop, we have been creating alternatives to plastic products for the Australian market, commencing with our newest major partner, Australia’s leading backpacker company Happy Travels!

Happy Travels wanted to switch their travel wallets from plastic to a more sustainable material. After a period of collaboration and consultation we developed a locally sourced cotton alternative - hand made and hand printed at SISP’s factory, with our Coordinators assisting to oversee product development, ordering and quality control.

 Our master printer and our Global Program Coordinator, Krishna, screen printing our bags before they are sewn and sent.

Our master printer and our Global Program Coordinator, Krishna, screen printing our bags before they are sewn and sent.

 Blake and Krishna, our local Coordinators in India, cutting cloth for the bags in our Marine Conservation Centre in Kovalam.

Blake and Krishna, our local Coordinators in India, cutting cloth for the bags in our Marine Conservation Centre in Kovalam.

The initial process involved buying and cutting the fabric, screen printing the logo and then sewing the wallets into their final form. India is a country where bright colours and an enormous range of fabric varieties are on offer and after an exhaustive countrywide search we found the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly fabrics (natural fibre), which suited Happy Travels design preference and was within their budget. Our partners at SISP then cut the 40 metre rolls of fabric into the required size and sent them to our local screen printer, with many of the screens being placed and printed by hand. In the final step of the production process, the ladies of SISP worked hard on their sewing machines to produce our first 5000 wallets, which were ready to be sent to Australia and to start Happy Travels journey as our newest major partner and towards reducing their ocean impact, whilst raising awareness and supporting our work in Australia and abroad! The Happy Planet initiative was born!

 The women of SISP preparing the printing press for our bags.

The women of SISP preparing the printing press for our bags.

Our Happy Travels travel wallet partnership is the first of many projects that we will be undertaking with Happy Travels and their subsidiaries Travel Bugs and Happy Tours to incorporate ocean friendly practices into all that they do! Through the development of SISP’s small-scale industry we are assisting to expand their operations to manufacture products made from sustainable materials, which have a much lower cradle-to-grave impact than plastic and are socially responsible as well! The products provide income for women and youth in Vizhinjam who live below the poverty line and assist in the transition of Australian companies towards becoming 100% single-use plastic free, whilst aiming to also addressing harmful biodegradable and compostable single-use items that aren’t all they’re cracked up to be through creating innovative, sustainable solutions.

 SISP’s fair trade factory working hard to produce our sustainable travel-wallets for our newest major partner, Happy Travels in Australia and New Zealand.

SISP’s fair trade factory working hard to produce our sustainable travel-wallets for our newest major partner, Happy Travels in Australia and New Zealand.

 The Happy Travels team and our local PCFML team celebrate the arrival of the first new Happy Planet travel wallets in the Byron Bay store!

The Happy Travels team and our local PCFML team celebrate the arrival of the first new Happy Planet travel wallets in the Byron Bay store!

Our first-ever major order was definitely a challenge, however it enabled our team and the team at SISP to work out the kinks in the production process, whilst undergoing a crash-course in doing business in India. We are now poised to ramp up production and we will begin to offer a wider variety of sustainable, plastic-free products to Australian businesses as a part of our Don’t Be A Sucker initiative and Business Sustainability Services. This will assist businesses to reduce their environmental impact, whilst funding our vital marine conservation programs on the ground here.

 The first bags are exchanged at the Happy Travels Byron store as a sign of good things to come and the tens of thousands of plastic wallets that have been replaced with our sustainable, fair-trade alternatives!

The first bags are exchanged at the Happy Travels Byron store as a sign of good things to come and the tens of thousands of plastic wallets that have been replaced with our sustainable, fair-trade alternatives!

If you’re business would like a free assessment and/or are interested in our long-term, whole-of-business approach to waste, why not get in touch today?