Gayatri Fabian, primarily based in Bengaluru, affectionately labels herself as a hoarder, expressing her fondness for accumulating objects, significantly bottles. “I can by no means have sufficient of them. I’d go to scrap sellers and wander round searching for pretty-looking bottles,” she exclaims.
Nevertheless, quickly sufficient she discovered herself in a unusual predicament — her home had change into a battleground of bottles! With a twinkle in her eye, she confesses, “There was no respiratory area left. My poor children teased me relentlessly, however hey, I couldn’t half with my valuable assortment.”
Way back, somebody clever aptly expressed, “One individual’s trash is one other individual’s treasure.” Carrying the sentiment ahead, Gayatri began to search for methods of utilizing the mammoth quantity of bottles in her storage room.
That is how she discovered ‘Kavi The Poetry-Artwork Venture’ on Instagram, a enterprise that converts glass waste into items of house decor and utensils. Based by Noida-based Madhuri Balodi and Amit Singh, the venture collects glass bottles from ragpickers and clients, and converts them into serving units, platters, ingesting glasses, lamps and different such objects.
“I had by no means seen anybody do that earlier than, so I spoke to them, I resonated with their ideology a lot that I shipped six cartons filled with bottles to them. They made me all kinds of issues like planters, platters, vases, wine glasses, jars and lamps from these bottles,” she informs The Higher India.
“The standard of the merchandise is so good, I’ve gifted so a lot of these items to my family and friends,” provides Gayatri.
Testing the waters of sustainability
As per a report by Inexperienced Sutra, India produces three million tonnes of glass waste yearly. Out of this, solely 45 % is recycled whereas the remainder results in landfills.
And for 32-year-old Madhuri, sustainable dwelling has all the time been a priority.
“We don’t realise how a lot hurt we do to the atmosphere with our day by day actions. We would assume that these glass bottles go to recycling however the floor actuality is kind of completely different. Most of them find yourself in landfills,” she says.
Madhuri met Amit whereas working within the media trade. “Amit and I had a really related outlook in direction of life and sustainability. We might chat about how we might do one thing about it and ended up brainstorming concepts for hours. Being within the media trade, each of us had been uncovered first-hand to innovators around the globe who had been working within the sustainability discipline. We regularly heard subjects like photo voltaic vitality, upcycling, reusing, and recycling round us,” she says.
“Taking a look at so many individuals working in direction of sustainability, we thought, ‘Hum bhi kar sakte hai’ (we will do it too). So in 2013, I made a decision to take a leap of religion,” Madhuri shares.
“Once we began, the idea of sustainability and carbon footprint was not as well-liked as right now. Folks weren’t as well-informed concerning the hurt we do to the atmosphere, and plenty of didn’t care about what occurred to waste,” she provides.
So the duo began brainstorming concepts. Madhuri got here throughout varied individuals changing bottles into items of decor. The duo determined to attempt their hand at it too and used bottles at house to make a couple of lamps and glass jars.
They then determined to put up them on Fb. “We bought an awesome response. To my shock, we additionally bought an exhibition invite from The Occasions of India in Hyderabad. We bought out all of the items,” she says.
This gave Madhuri and Amit the push that they wanted.
Upcycling bottles into useful artwork
They determined to stop their jobs and dedicate themselves to their enterprise. They began ‘Kavi The Poetry-Artwork Venture’ in 2013, and have transformed over seven lakh glass bottles into items of house utility and decor thus far.
“Whereas we had sustainability on the core of the venture, we additionally needed to earn cash so we might repay the rag pickers and different staff. So we began to host varied Fb campaigns urging individuals to come back be a part of us with their bottles,” she says.
“We marketed it in a approach that caught individuals’s consideration — we requested them to come back with their bottles and that we might convert the bottles into no matter piece they fancied. This gave a lift to our enterprise, and by phrase of mouth, we began getting flooded with orders,” she provides.
Their merchandise are priced wherever between Rs 300 and Rs 1,600.
The duo didn’t have any formal coaching in working with glass, so they’d their fair proportion of errors. “Glass breaks very simply and we’ve to be fairly cautious with it. We used the web and employed some glass artists to assist us with the method. Now we have had loads of hits and misses, however it’s observe alone that has helped us come thus far,” says Madhuri.
She provides that they deal with the ending touches very rigorously so the merchandise don’t really feel upcycled, however slightly really feel model new!
“Our social media campaigns additionally resulted in one thing very candy,” she remarks. “When individuals got here to us with their bottles, many shared particular tales behind every of them!”
“We had individuals saying issues like ‘I opened this bottle when my daughter was born’ or ‘My finest buddy gifted me this bottle 20 years in the past’. They arrive to us with requests to save lots of the bottles and protect them in a memorable,” she provides.
Madhuri and Amit share that such requests and tales make their jobs much more particular and add a component of problem to their work.
The journey from waste to surprise
Speaking about how the method of upcycling begins, Amit says, “There are two methods by which we acquire bottles. First, by way of our BYOB (deliver your personal bottle) initiative, we remodel the bottles that folks deliver to us into no matter they request them to be. Second, we collaborate with rag pickers who acquire and produce bottles to us, for which we pay them.”
Amit and Madhuri have a community of greater than 150 ragpickers in and round Noida.
“The collected bottles are sanitised, after which a tough design is made. We put loads of thought into what might be made out of those bottles. We don’t need individuals to only view them as items of decor. We wish to promote the reuse of merchandise, so we make utility objects like platters and bowls out of them,” Madhuri says.
The duo firmly believes that upcycling is the best way ahead and desires extra companies to do the identical.
“The pandemic considerably boosted the sustainability motion. Beforehand, individuals considered merchandise as mere consumables and had been hesitant to spend money on them. Nevertheless, the state of affairs has fully reworked. Folks are actually wanting to make additional efforts to keep away from contributing to international warming and carbon emissions. This presents an opportune second for brand new companies to emerge,” says Amit.
Having been on this enterprise for nearly a decade, the duo now have clients from all throughout the nation and overseas. “Now we have a powerful buyer base of over 80,000 individuals from India in addition to Canada, Netherlands, Dubai, and the UK,” he provides.
“By means of our venture, we wish to give individuals another and a chance to reside sustainably. This venture is past simply enterprise for us as that is for the atmosphere,” shares Madhuri.
In case you want to ship them your glass bottles, contact them right here.
Edited by Pranita Bhat