An Indian Textile Designer Is Upcycling Old Sarees Into Nature-Inspired Bags

An Indian Textile Designer Is Upcycling Old Sarees Into Nature-Inspired Bags
Tejal Keyur

It is probable that like mine, your home too houses a trunk or a box of some sort filled with sarees. Through generations of fabric, some of them may be there to be hand-me-downs, while others may simply be a result of hoarding.

The practice of upcycling is not new, either, but while sarees may be upcycled into various things around Indian homes, textile designer Tejal Keyur artfully turns them into bags and other accessories.

When you take a look at the products, the fact that they are upcycled from old sarees may not come as even a sliver of a thought. After sourcing discarded sarees (from a community of women that sell them after collecting them from individual homes) and cleaning them, Tejal’s wonderful team of women in the village of Kohlapur help her out with actually creating the products.

Image Courtesy: Tejal Keyur

Since each batch of sarees that comes in is unique, so are the resultant products. However, her inspiration remains somewhat constant. She borrows from aspects of nature and also attempts to translate her visual memories into designs. Their collections are predominantly of bags, but the powerful artisan team also churns the sarees into baskets and storage pieces.

Upcycling old clothes is common in the daily lives of Indians but efforts such as that of Tejal and her team take it one step forward. To create something of value and beauty from something that most people would turn a blind eye to is remarkable. The work done by the artisans and the vision behind each piece is commendable and the fact that it reduces waste is the juiciest cherry on top.

Find Tejal Keyur here.

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