Actor Lavanya Tripathi had been looking forward to collaborating with her friend and Hyderabad-based designer Anitha Reddy for some time. The company they’ve floated together is called Redtri, an abbreviation of their respective surnames. With the onset of COVID-19 in India, in late March they decided to put other plans on hold and focus on creating two and three-ply cloth masks using breathable cotton fabric.
“Anitha’s staff were on paid leave during the initial phase of lockdown, but soon they got restless being idle at home. When we floated the idea of making washable and reusable cloth masks, since we are all going to be needing these in the months to come, the staff enthusiastically took it up,” says Lavanya.
The focus was on comfort and design, says Lavanya. “We worked on producing masks in different sizes to suit both children and adults. The initial trials involved looking for non-irritable elastics for children’s masks,” she says.
Redtri masks in the making
So far around 1000 masks have been sold and several others have been donated. “We haven’t really kept count,” adds Lavanya.
Meanwhile, on the film front Lavanya is looking forward to her Telugu project A1 Express directed by Dennis Jeevan Kanukolanu and co-starring Sundeep Kishan, with a story centred on hockey. “We have about 20% of work left,” says Lavanya. While the film unit is deliberating on when to resume work, given the COVID-19 risks, the actor says she has been following her fitness and meditation routines during the downtime. “Self motivation is a bit tough on some days but as always, I begin my day listening to morning mantras and chants,” she says.
She chose to stay put in Hyderabad rather than risking travelling to her home in Dehradun: “I don’t want to end up carrying the virus home to my parents,” says Lavanya.
The entertainment industry is in a state of flux, waiting for things to turn for the better: “We have to wait till it’s safe to shoot. But I’m happy there’s something to look forward to at the end of this phase, with projects like A1 Express,” she says, signing off.
(Redtri masks are priced at ₹100 each and can be ordered through @Red.Tri on Instagram or by texting 8008901292 on Whatsapp)