Indian Eco-Social Enterprises Upcycling Plastic Waste Into Hand-Woven Designs - Homegrown

Indian Eco-Social Enterprises Upcycling Plastic Waste Into Hand-Woven Designs

As a byproduct of uncontrolled urbanisation and substantial industrialisation across India, approximately 70% of the plastic consumed by the country gets mindlessly discarded. With a mountain of waste piling up, landfills are becoming a ticking bomb.

Perhaps it’s also the consumer desensitisation to plastic. With not many affordable plastic-free alternatives available at supermarkets and incompetent waste disposable systems, sometimes we just don’t know how to avoid that plastic packet of chips from ending up in a landfill.

To combat this, EcoKaari and reCharkha are social enterprises accepting plastic from consumers and giving it a new lease on life. Aiming to reduce plastic waste and uplift handloom weavers and artisans along the way, these enterprises are using the traditional ‘charkha’ to incorporate donated plastic into handwoven, contemporary designs.

I. EcoKaari

Founded on the concept of representing the interconnected and interdependent relationship between artisans and the environment, the enterprise is reintroducing traditional techniques of upcycling, material optimisation, and waste minimisation by upcycling plastic waste into handcrafted bags, sleeves and home decor.

The organisation not only collects plastic waste from consumers who donate their household waste plastic but also goes the extra mile to pass on plastic donated to them that they cannot upcycle or optimize to organisations that then turn it into fuel.

To increase their product’s life cycle, they offer free-of-cost repairs for a lifetime. They also take up the responsibility of repurposing and disposing of their products once they reach the end of their lifecycles.

Check out EcoKaari here.

Image Courtesy: EcoKaari

II. reCharkha

reCharkha is an eco-social enterprise founded on the belief that sustainable development is possible only when it begins at the grassroots and involves empathy. The fabric made from donated plastic is used to make their range of upcycled hand-woven consumer products such as handbags, fashion accessories, office utilities and home decor products.

Aiming to combat issues around waste management and plastic pollution caused by difficult-to-recycle plastic waste, their initiative also employs tribal women and youth to craft their contemporary designs.

Check out reCharkha here.

Image Courtesy: reCharkha

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