How discards get a new avatar in Bengaluru

These Bengaluru entrepreneurs are transforming tire tubes and discarded wood, scraps of paper and fabric into objects of beauty and functionality

These Bengaluru entrepreneurs are transforming tire tubes and discarded wood, scraps of paper and fabric into objects of beauty and functionality

One man’s waste is another’s treasure. The minds behind A Gentle Light and The Second Life, both based in Bengaluru, tell how their passion to reduce, reuse and recycle has become their work story:

The second life

Sometimes an opportunity knocks when you’re looking for an opportunity to change something. Raahul Khadaliya, founder of The Second Life says this initiative started in 2012 as an exercise to build an experimental brand. “Back then, ‘sustainability’ still had to become a strategy, a lifestyle choice. I didn’t get flexibility from customers in this regard, so I started my own brand,” says de consultant designer.

It was at a craft cluster in Hubli that Raahul saw block printers that used newspapers as boundary markers when partial prints were needed. After the fabric was printed, the newspapers were discarded, but they still retained the dye and block printing design. “We kept the same NGO to continue printing newspapers and started upcycling them as gift wrap, paper bags and other products.”

Upcycled products from The Second Life

Upcycled products from The Second Life | Photo credit: special arrangement

“I had also heard how traditional printers in Rajasthan, Kutch and Gujarat, forced out of work, performed the last rites for their woodblock printing blocks. Some of the blocks were about 400 years old, passed down through generations, but it was unthinkable for the craftsmen to sell those blocks. From there, our idea of ​​working with waste and creating opportunities for the community was born and that is how the philosophy of The Second Life took shape.”

According to Raahul, the NGO that makes their paper-based products uses people with disabilities and uses water-based pigments and organic matter. “There are many variations when you talk about upcycling and recycling. Upcycling, in the truest sense of the word, is using the material as it is without destroying its original form. We did exactly that with newspapers; they are very versatile and make for great packaging and insulation material.”

Within a few years, Raahul and his team began exploring and experimenting with materials that were affordable and realized that tire tubes could be reused as a substitute for leather. “Since tires are black, we use recycled PVC felt to give the color of our products. Our goal is to create products that focus on utility and functionality, so they don’t get thrown away and have the impact they were meant to create.”

Upcycled products from The Second Life

Upcycled products from The Second Life | Photo credit: special arrangement

Today, The Second Life specializes in fashion accessories, stationery and thoughtful gift ideas. On the Second Life website, each product comes with a note to help visitors understand the concept of upcycling. For more details log on to www.thesecondlife.co/

A soft light

“If you keep everything constant and just change the lighting in the room, it can drastically change how a room looks and feels,” says Anoo Kulkarni. The self-taught woodworker who makes sawmill lamps rejects, preferring a minimalist finish to her handiwork.

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light, Bengaluru

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light, Bengaluru | Photo credit: special arrangement

“Many of the pieces I pick up from the sawmill have visible flaws that are more cosmetic than structural. I feel that a rough edge, chip or dent has a lot of character. †

Anoo uses joinery (a method that avoids the use of nails or screws) to build her pieces and while irregularities in the wood are a challenge, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “When using joinery, both pieces need to fit as snug as a plug in a wall outlet, and it’s difficult to accurately mark knotty pieces for sawing or cutting, but that’s what makes them unique.”

Although Anoo started experimenting with woodworking in 2017, she says her love of carpentry and lamps started as a child. “I got a toolbox as a gift when I was about seven or eight years old. Pretty soon I was loosening latches and hinges in the house,” she laughs, adding that around that time she also understood the intricacies of wiring.

Anoo says she is very picky about what kind of fabric is used for each lampshade. “Each shade is tailored to the specifics of the lamp and I try to source as much as possible directly from artisans, weavers and state stores, with an emphasis on traditional prints and weaves.”

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light, Bengaluru

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light, Bengaluru | Photo credit: special arrangement

Anoo says she was always aware of the play of light and shadow nuances. “Fireplaces brought light to the cottages in the fairy tales of my childhood and the warm glow conveyed more than a cozy atmosphere – it also brought a sense of comfort and security. Today I find it important that my lamps convey a sense of reassurance and relaxation. That’s why I’m picky about the materials I use for the shades, because the light has to diffuse in a certain way.”

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light

Upcycled products from A Gentle Light | Photo credit: special arrangement

For someone who has been upcycling since childhood, the concept of waste Anoo seems strange. She shreds miniatures of what’s left after a lamp is made and uses the remaining delicate wood shavings as decor.

For more details log on to www.agentlelight.com

SOURCE : www.thehindu.com

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