We are told to conscientiously recycle, reuse or upcycle our waste so that it does not end up in one of the many overflowing landfills.
But how practical is all this effort, if thousands of bottles, newspapers, cloth pieces, e-waste articles are discarded every day, and only some are reused?
One excellent option here is to rethink waste, as raw materials for home decor items, stationery and daily need products. For example, when you use plastic bottles to manufacture a T-shirt, you reuse whatever is at your disposal and secondly, you eliminate the need to cultivate/make other raw material.
Here are ten such brands whose entire business is woven around the idea of making amazing utilitarian products from erstwhile waste materials.
Yesterday’s news is today’s production material
What happens to the millions of newspapers, after they’ve been read? Well, they are mostly collected, bundled up and sent off to the kabadiwala. No harm in this except you don’t know what happens to them afterwards.
Here are four brands that reuse your old newspaper to make beautiful home decor and stationery products.
Candles, fridge magnets, key rings, bowls, table mats—Act Paper Wings makes several everyday items from newspapers. Pretty when you want it and practical when you need it, the products by this eco-brand are a must-have for anyone who wishes the planet good health.
Pepaa uses waste paper to make pencils, that can be used to write on paper again! Apart from the fact that the pencils are made of newspapers, we also love the fact that they contain a plant seed within. So keep writing and keep making the earth green!
Pencils, envelopes, paper cards—Dopology makes them all from recycled paper. The next time you’re giving someone a cash present, your envelope is sure to stand out not just for its design but also for the fact that it is saving the planet from paper waste too!
This brand shapes waste newspaper into useful lifestyle products like bins, baskets and coasters, and purposefully leave the products unpainted. This way, they not only look rustic but also send the message of recycling and sustainability loud and clear.
Never getting “tyred” of these products
One million tonnes. That’s how much waste rubber India generates every year. And every effort to recycle this helps because if not upcycled, these rubber tyres, belts etc., will either be burnt or lie in landfills for eternity.
Green The Map is re-imagining black, burnt tyres by turning them into everyday products like diaries, pouches and bags.
This Kerala-based trust utilises discarded tyres to make colourful rubber pots for your plants. Add a pop of colour to your garden these earth-friendly pots!
Electronic waste turned into your favourite desk pot
We are the fifth-largest producers of electronic waste (e-waste) in the world, thanks to the ever-increasing use of phones, desktops, laptops and other electronics.
What can be done when the devices no longer work? Ideally, they should be recycled. Let’s look at an amazing initiative that turns e-waste into something that adds to the beauty of your desks.
EWA uses discarded electronics and upcycles them into pretty flower pots, that also double up as a pen stand. Perfect as a gifting option this season!
Plastic waste that makes you look stylish
Although India recycles nearly 60% of its plastic waste, approximately 9400 tonnes of it ends up in water bodies anyway. This is where the need to make individual and collective efforts to recycle it comes into play. While many of us are upcycling plastic bottles on an individual level, let’s look at a brand that makes T-shirts from them!
Every T-shirt made by this label recycles 12 PET bottles for the fabric. You’d think that this makes the apparel itchy or rough, but that is far from the case, it is quite soft! What’s more, since the shirt is manufactured using only recycled plastic, it also saves the 2600 litres of water that is needed to produce enough cotton for one T-shirt.
Clothes get a second life
A typical Indian household will never let go of a piece of cloth, until its very last breath. Now let’s look at two brands that are applying the same thought, but on a commercial scale.
When my mother was a teenager, she would use cloth during her periods. She switched to disposables only after getting married. So, if you think about it, until very recently, the cloth pad was the mainstream menstrual hygiene product.
If you, too, find cloth pads comfortable to use, check out these wonderful ones made by Rekke! They are reusable, and you can choose the size according to your flow!
What do you do with your favourite pair of denim jeans when they tear or do not fit you anymore?
Rimagined turns jeans into beautiful and sturdy bags. From a sling bag to gym bags and lunch bags to laptop bags, they have a variety of designs, stitched to suit your needs. With Rimagined, your old jeans get a new face!
You may also like: Reuse, Restyle: Six Ways Fashion Is Going Sustainable in 2020
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)