Published: 24th December 2018
How these design specialists from Bengaluru are making the best out of waste and reducing the burden on landfills
Two design specialists from Bengaluru who were inspired by the theme of their college project formed their own start-up. Now, they create sustainable products to save the environment from pollution
You are all probably acquainted with terms like 'recycling', 'sustainability' and 'eco-friendly'. But have you ever thought about what happens to those small tetra packs or water bottles? They either end up in large landfills or some river or lake, amounting to pollution. But two college graduates from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology decided to team up and form a start-up, where they recycle trash and make it usable for homes and workplaces.
Meet Sushmita Charlu, an industrial design graduate, and Namrata Cavale, a textile design graduate, who started Vr̥tta a few months ago. They use tetra packs, carton boxes and reclaimed wood to create trays, planters and other objects that can be used at home and in the workplace. Talking about how they came up with the idea to make products out of trash, Sushmita says, "Our philosophy is to reduce the waste in landfills and use materials effectively such that they do not cause any harm to the environment. Namrata and I did our college project on sustainability and we got inspired by the theme. Since then, we've wanted to work in the realm of sustainability."
Multipurpose: They use tetra paks and reclaimed wood from furniture stores to make this multi-purpose storage box
So, how do they get this valuable trash? Surely not by dumpster diving! "We get tetra paks from hotels and scrap shops, and reclaimed wood from furniture stores. Once we source these materials, we get them crushed in factories and transport the raw materials to carpenters. Prior to that, we create our own designs of objects for the carpenters to make. A lot of people generally make boards out of this trash, but we wanted to make something aesthetic. So, we started making huge trays, multipurpose storage boxes, hanging pegs, suspended rope shelf and planters," says Sushmita.
The designer duo not only works on their start-up products, but also work collaboratively with senior designers on other projects. "I have my own design studio where I collaborate for projects like interior designing and also make pottery products. Meanwhile, Namrata freelances in several companies as a textile designer," she says, recalling, "We had actually lost touch when we passed out of college. But we kept posting videos and pictures of sustainable products (like the ones we create) on each other's Facebook pages and Instagram handles. One day, it hit us that we could also create innovative designs ourselves. In March 2018, we started working to designing our products and in August, we launched our start-up. Since we use trash, we experiment a lot on the sustainability of the products," explains Sushmita.
Hotselling: Planters are liked and bought by most of the people. These planters can be kept in balcony or study table as they are water resistant
She further adds, "We dedicate five days a month to Vr̥tta and during this time, we organise the requests that we get from our clients. The list that we put together shows us the products in order of demand and we start working on them accordingly." The young entrepreneurs have received good response from buyers till date. "Among all our products, our clients like the planters and multipurpose storage boxes the most. They are not only sustainable, but also attractive as we paint them in bright colours. These actually suit the modern-day office/home," she concludes.