Last week, a bag with 35 KARIGAR Capes went missing on a bus from Ukhimat to Dehradun.

What happens next is a series of nail-biting events.

Here’s what we know: at 11am, the bag with the woven Capes was packed and loaded on a state bus that regularly takes commuters down the winding, mountainous route. At the end of its typical 7-hour journey, our products are picked up from the bus station and passed on to our tailoring teams, who add their finishing touches with armholes, washing and tagging.

When we reached the bus stop to claim our goods, we discovered that our duffel bag was probably taken by an army jawan (soldier), who mistook the bag of 35 colourful capes for his dirty clothes. Possible, because our bag was made from Army camouflage fabric, similar to the bags that troops carry. This bus route is also a common one for troops, who travel to their barracks and back.

But this soldier had got off much earlier, his friend said, and taken another bus to his home in Uttarkashi.

Yes, he did come home, his mother confirmed when we finally tracked him down. He had indeed picked up the wrong bag, she said. Now he’s on duty in Jammu and has taken the bag with him.

As we write this, we are heaving a sigh of relief as the travelling Capes are being collected 509km from their original destination. They will soon be put on the commuter bus for Dehradun town, where Hari will be waiting to pick them up.

You’re probably thinking, why a commuter bus in the first place? As a young brand that’s ever-conscious of its eco-footprint, we are encouraged when we realise the positive impact of such decisions, no matter how small.

Every day, multiple times a day, there are commuter buses that depart from the bus stop not far from our weaving centres. Typically, a petrol-fuelled van that travels 10 to 12 km (or 6.5 to 7 miles) adds 1 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the environment. If we wish to transport our products every single time from our weaving centres to our fulfilment centres, we would add an extra 10kg of CO2 to our carbon footprint.

By using a bus that will make the journey anyway, we might increase the risk of our bags going missing, but what we get is a reduced environmental impact.

Here’s how we see it: either way, this story has a happy ending.

Text: Kanak Hirani Nautiyal
Photo: Marloes van Doorn