Being ethical vegans for many years, we always wanted a revolutionary wedding/engagement or nothing at all. This is the story of the World Vegan Day Engagement of That Sustainable Couple. This is the beginning of our journey (officially)!
What is with the date?
The astrologer never played any role in selecting the date as we wanted to be on November 1st. Being strong believers of nature, we don’t bend with superstitious clock and calendars; and chose the date carefully to add extra specialty, serving as an opportunity to explain the importance of our lifestyle. It was an excitingly unique event on World Vegan Day; as we wished. We made it happen as sustainable as possible. Thanks to our supportive parents and awesome friends.
We never liked any of the religious rituals and wanted avoid them and our parents were so considerate to take personal efforts, executing them diplomatically leaving our relatives surprised.
Activism in an Engagement?
Activism might sound very negative in many aspects for the purpose used. But, it is a great tool of communication especially where there is crowd. With this motive, our enthusiastic and helpful vegan friends who are more than family conducted ‘Brave the crate’ outreach during the engagement making it exceptional. It takes courage to stand amongst the pretentious relatives to manifest a compassionate lifestyle. Through this, we were able to make our visions and cause perceived.
Zero waste. We actually did not do anything and was very pleasant without artificially made landfill creating things hanging all over the place. Even our name board was just a small blackboard with our names written in chalk.
Every event might hire a few photographers who work for what we pay. But for our engagement, we had many passionate shutterbugs who took photos with zeal and love. Their devotion brought life to all the pictures.
We kept our costumes minimalistic, plant based and earthy; wore rain fed cotton, natural dyed and block printed from Tüla and Anokhi.
Tüla is a not for profit social enterprise that brings to you garments from Indian (desi) cottons originally grown by smallholder, rain fed farmers, with the Yarn hand spun by skilled khadi workers and colored with natural dyes where required with expert guidance, with the fabric woven on handlooms by master weavers, with the garments stitched by women and men from economically and socially Marginalized groups. When you wear a Tüla garment, you can be sure that it is the lightest garment possible, both in its environmental sense and fair trade sense.
Anokhi’s ideals have been those of conservation and development, through the input of design, marketing and project funding. The Company is well known as an alternative role model for good business practices, and the ongoing revival of traditional textile skills. The hand block is carved out of wood and is the simplest of printing devices. Dyeing with vegetable colors is the oldest of coloring techniques. As pioneers of hand block printing for the export market, Anokhi has built on these for the last thirty years.
Raw jute slippers recycled from used tyres adorned our clothes. They were from Paaduks. 'Paaduks' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Paadukas' which is the name of India's oldest, most quintessential footwear. 'Paada' means foot in Sanskrit and 'Paaduks' essentially means footwear. Their footwear are made of natural cotton fabric, jute, and soles made from upcycled rubber such as discarded tires, used conveyor belts, old rubber mats and so on. Recycling of discarded rubber to make soles does not involve any chemical processes.
The jewels were from No Harm Charm, by Preethi who took to the effort to make them complete our sustainable fashion goals. The pendant and ear loops were made of grey Manipur clay while the anklets were of red clay. They were all natural and unpainted to keep them close to nature. No Harm Charm believes that one can be made to look charming without harming animals and the environment. Their jewelry is handcrafted with love for you and the planet, completely cruelty free, Vegan and has a low carbon footprint.
This was the craziest, yet the coolest thing ever! We exchanged Bamboo Rings made by Auroville Bamboo centre. They were excited to made these for us, as we initiated the idea of bamboo rings. Bamboo Rings are the best option to avoid exploitation of the earth, animals and humans which the precious metals and stones require. Our rings were shaped smooth to fit snuggly and also coated with a natural tree wax for extra protection. No other processing was done during the creation of these auspicious rings.
Of course there was cake! No celebrations (including vegan ones) are complete without the cake. Being an avid baker I had made a Guilt-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Refined sugar-free, Millets-based Chocolate Banana cake with dark chocolate ganache poured over and decorated with raw cashew cream. We were able to prove that baking is possible without eggs and butter. Our guests were awed by the deliciousness of this animal-free healthy treat that was created by the bride herself!
Obviously food was plant-based! None of our guests could guess it as vegan food is just yummy. Our spread over banana leaf were South Indian and cruelty-free (no ghee in sweets and milk in tea). Everyone enjoyed having their usual food with a twist. The hotel caterers were convinced and flexible for customizing the menu and helping us serve guilt-free dinner.
Overall it was a dream come true for us as we went through many obstacles and struggles to get here to conduct the one of its kind event that repelled all tradition and rules. We had to be rebellious at some points and diplomatic at others. No individuals were harmed during the event or after it. There was nothing to blame or complain. Change for the betterment of all earthlings is a desideratum and combat for it is our purpose.
Let there be Peace