Upcycled products

Taking a piece of discarded item and turning it into something useful has been one my favorite things to do since forever. My mantra, “Think before you buy. Think before you throw.” and, you are sorted. Needless to say, as an independent artist, I am more empowered to showcase functional art on reclaimed items and raise awareness.

Like many of you, my learning of recycling began at a very young age, thanks to my mother. When you witness old silk saris converted to cushion covers/quilts/dupattas, scraps of clothes finding their place in a rug for the Pooja aisle, you tend to find use for old mugs or are inclined to turn newspaper comic strips into framed posters to adorn your room, or not?

Today, many of us scour the Web to find ways to re-purpose things before we consider throwing them away. We have found gems like using wine cork as a laptop incline for the study table and have also been inspired to re-purpose discarded commodes as planters on our private terrace even! Off late, all of us have been hearing more and more about the 3Rs in the media too: how important “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is to make our world a safer, healthier, better place. We read of certain initiatives here and there and many of us try to persevere at home, but thanks to our lifestyles, it gets overwhelming at times.

It is important to keep trying and do whatever you can, though. I also think it’s prudent to support the others who’ve found creative solutions to reclaiming discarded items instead of trying to take on everything. And that’s what I find so enamoring and about 220 – an organically growing collective of people doing our bit without being too preachy or obsessive about it. We have the freedom to make, sell, resell, and/or purchase stuff we need, at an unbelievable rate (pun intended). Suffice to say, at 220 there’s new bargains and new lessons learnt in the 3Rs, daily. And, as the group grows, I look forward to innumerable treasures of inventiveness to appear more often. All it takes is a little bit of vision and imagination. Here’s to 220 – cheers!

Monami Bhattacharya
Founder, Project EmmTM


Here are some of the creative and inventive folk who make upcycled products!

project emmNAME: Project Emm

LOCATED IN : Bangalore

OWNER: Monami Bhattacharya – a civil engineer, writer, artist, turned proprietress.

ABOUT: Our primary objectives are to make original art accessible and affordable, and to promote artistry on recycled items.

PRODUCTS: Original silhouette art on canvas, wall murals, recycled articles, and other experimental mediums.

PRESENCE: Project Emm Art Gallery
1st Floor, #3, Laurel Lane
Richmond Town, Bangalore – 25
M: +91 934-222-7003
E: info@projectemm.com
W: www.projectemm.com
FB: facebook.com/ProjectEmm


reimagineNAME: Reimagine

LOCATED IN: Bangalore

OWNERS: Lynessa Couto, Kushy Kuttappa

ABOUT: ‘ReImagine’ is an upcycling project Lyn and Kushy have started, by using discarded wine bottles. For us, these bottles are reminders that beauty can be created from anything. 

PRODUCTS: Bottles with etched art.

CONTACT: lyncoutto@hotmail.com, lcoutto@gonzaga.edu


NAME: Belaku Trust

LOCATED IN: Bangalore

Founder and Advisor: Dr. Saraswathy Ganapathy

PRODUCTS: Handmade paper products, jewellery, notepads, wrapping paper, bags, and more.

PRESENCE: http://www.belakutrust.org


Phone: +91 80-2665 4145; Email: belaku@belakutrust.org.in


NAME: The Purple Orchid

LOCATED IN: Bangalore

OWNER: Shruthy BM

PRODUCTS: Everyday objects painted over to give them a new life (glass bottles, bulbs, jars, etc.) and upcycled objects like tables from cable spools, etc.

PRESENCE: https://www.facebook.com/coffeebloom


NAME: Anokhi Planet

LOCATED IN: Bangalore

OWNER: Poornima Bhola, Anokhi

PRODUCTS: Making fun and cool green bags for everyone and sharing bags of greens ideas, activities and dreams. Upcycled handmade hair accessories…colourful hairbands and clips, and more.

PRESENCE: https://www.facebook.com/Anokhi.Planet


Name: KaraaShilp

Owner/Designer: Tanushree Nair

Address: Bangalore

Phone Number: +91-99009 33095

Email Id : karaashilp@gmail.com, orders@karaashilp.com

Facebook : www.facebook.com/Karaashilp

About: KaraaShilp means “Hand Craft”. Hand crafts are a dying art. Through KaraaShilp, we wish to revive the interest and appreciation for meticulously and lovingly made handcrafted products. Also going the green way, KaraaShilp upcycles/recycles materials wherever possible. This is a small beginning for a giant step ahead and that is to help, teach and provide employment to women and empower them. We do custom orders in Bangalore and outside too. Contact us to know more on how you can customize your old denims/jeans into useful and functional products.

Products:  Bags, Accessories, Home Decor, Jewellery. Currently into upcycling denims/jeans and converting them to useful everyday products like jewellery, bags, pouches.


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