Renjini Thomas turned her love for art into the sustainable venture Vapasee. She converts waste glass bottles into pieces of home decor.

For us, used glass bottles are mostly waste. But for 35-year-old Renjini Thampi from Kerala, they are a treasure.

Always enthusiastic about learning new things, when Renjini moved to India from Dubai, she wanted to create something that marries her two interests — art and sustainability.

“Back when I was in Dubai, I never thought of what happened to waste. But, when I came to India and saw so much waste being generated, I thought, why not create something good out of it?”

She started with exhibiting her artwork and trying to create a community of artists, but quickly realised she wanted more to come from her art.

Looking for a purpose for her art also led Renjini to realise the potential of waste materials.

On a visit to a scrap dealer with her husband, she saw large quantities of glass waste lying around and her artistic instincts kicked in.

With the collected waste, Renjini would make home decor pieces for her house and her friends.

She recalls, “I would make small home decor items, tables and centrepieces for them. They really appreciated it and asked me to make some business out of this hobby.”

Word spread and she started getting more and more requests from people and in 2021, she started her brand Vapasee.

With Vapasee, Renjini makes a range of home decor products such as bowls, centrepieces, tables, lamps, and art pieces.

So far, she has saved over 21,000 glass bottles from ending up in landfills by upcycling them.

Additionally, she has upcycled 5,000 coconut shells, over 800 kg of wood, and more than 500 kg of metal waste and sold 5,000 products so far.