Whether it is steamed idli, Gujarati snack panki; Parsi’s patra ni machchi, Assam’s bhapot diya maach or the elaborate Onam Sandhya from Kerala, the humble banana leaf has found its way into many cuisines.

A 26-year-old IIT Bombay design student has made a common gadget sustainable — headphones!

Called Bambass, these are 70 percent recyclable and biodegradable.

“I wanted to design something that gives back to the environment. During my course in IIT-B, I realised that products around us can affect the environment and that it is a designer who can change that.”

He says that he chose to design sustainable headphones as it’s a product that is widely used by people across the world.

While pursuing his engineering degree, Aakansh realised that his aspirations lay elsewhere. He decided to switch to product design and got into IIT Bombay in 2020.

After three months of brainstorming, he found that bamboo is the most viable option, as it is sturdy, long lasting, eco-friendly and lightweight.

He worked with bamboo craftsmen to design a sleek, modern-looking design using traditional craftsmanship.

The outer part of the ear cup of our headphones is actually a tribute to bamboo craftsmanship — strips of coloured bamboo are woven together to give it a pixel-like look.

He also developed a screw mechanism to adjust the headphones as per the user’s skull size.

Additionally, Aakansh used vegan leather to make the inner covering of the ear cups.

As for the future, Aakansh wants to make more sustainable alternatives to every gadget. “As a designer, my aspirations and designs will always align with co-existing with nature,” he says.