Sand-proof blanket aims to save PH beaches

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2013 04:15 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2013 07:40 AM

A Lagu blanket. Photo from Lagu's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – A local company is hoping to save Boracay and the rest of the country’s beaches from erosion by creating sand-proof blankets that double as towels.

Antidote is the company behind Lagu, which is dubbed as the world’s first beach-friendly beach blanket. Citing studies, co-owners Kendrick Co and Govind Daswani noted that each person unintentionally takes nearly three handfuls of sand whenever he or she hits the beach.

“The story of Lagu started when a few years ago we went to Boracay and we just noticed that the sand is so short in the shore. We can blame climate change, we can blame overdevelopment, but at the end of the day, the thousands of people visiting Boracay are taking away sand unintentionally. And we play a role in that,” Co said in an interview on “[email protected]” on Friday.

Lagu is made from “a unique blend of linen,” such that the sand will easily come off it whether the fabric is wet or dry.

The “packaging” for the brightly colored fabrics, which are sold in beachwear stores and resorts all over the country, also took the environment into account.

“One of the things we are most proud about is the label of Lagu. Normally, when you do a nice product, you want to put it in a nice packaging, a shiny plastic or cardboard, and tags and all that stuff. We purposely used a big label, it’s the biggest label I’ve ever used for fabric and we make sure that the product is self-contained,” Co explained.

“No excess packaging, no excess cardboard or paper or plastic was used. Just fold it up, roll it up, and the label itself [is the packaging],” he added.

With Lagu, Antidote hopes to replace the use of towels in beaches as these attract the most sand.

“No matter what you do, it (sand) stays [on the towel],” noted Daswani. “And as we know, sand gets stuck in shorts and slippers. We want to create awareness also, for people to remove sand from slippers and shorts before leaving the beach because these add up incrementally.”

Lagu is priced at P999 each, with a portion of the sale of the product contributed to the efforts to conserve the Philippines’ most popular beach destinations such as Boracay.

According to Antidote, Boracay lost over 155 truckloads of sand over the past ten years not only because of climate change and modernization efforts, but also because of the visitors’ failure to remove sand from their towels, bags, shorts and slippers before leaving the beach.

Located in Aklan province, Boracay was recently named the best place in the world for relaxation, according to a poll conducted by the hotel booking site Agoda.com. It ranked third in the “nightlife” category, following Bangkok in Thailand and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, it was hailed as the world’s best island getaway by Travel + Leisure magazine.