This is my blog and its mostly about my new venture – Shruti’s – the ‘up’cycle shop. Although you’ll find other posts like my poetry and a few personal moments too.
About Shruti’s : There is a lovely story behind this venture. It starts in 2007. After the birth of my son, I was left with tonnes of ill-fitting clothes. I did what normal Indian women would do. Selected a few and gave them away to my maids. But still I was left with three bagful of them. I gave them to a ‘boharin’ – a Maharashtrain woman, who goes from door to door collecting old clothes and giving stainless steel utensils in return.
Prema – that was her name – told me then that with the dropping prices of new clothes and an awareness about looking good, people were not buying these old clothes as much as they did earlier. All that she could give me, in return of 3 bagful of clothes was a small ‘dabba’.
The thoughts lingered in my mind for quite a longer time than I thought it would. The next time, i had a few old clothes left – and this time there were just a couple of dresses, i decided to make something creative out of them. I ended up using the dupattas to make these lovely pillow covers.
They were just wonderful and my friends didn’t believe i had used my old clothes to do them.
I was happy. But still was left with the dresses of those dupattas. My mind got racing again. What could i make out of them?
My living room was being renovated at the time. Complete with a wooden trussed roof and a warli painting on one wall, it was a complete traditional looking. I was looking for a good seating to be kept there. My husband, Rohit, and I both liked the idea of having a ‘bajla’ a woven cot mostly foundon indian ‘dhaba’s, in our living room.
Then another idea struck me.Instead of buying a woven cot, why dont i weave one out of my old clothes? I got my carpenter to make a frame using leftover wood and got to work. I cut up strips of my dresses and made them into a stool. Both of us were happy with the result. And we made 3 more. (I gave away one to my brother)
As a part of project at work, i had to visit the slums in the city. Meeting the women there really changed the way i thought. I felt i had to do something for them. But at that time, i did not know what.
It was in November 2009, when i thought of ‘up’cycling old clothes as a business venture. I started off with just a couple of women doing the sewing. But soon the idea grew to a larger scale and today i have about a 50 women who work for me.
I am happy to say that, these women earn a decent INR 200, working from home. And since i teach them to sew new things, they increase their skill also.
My future blogs will give you an idea of what we manufacture. The range of products is from doormats to bedspreads and cushion covers to mobile pouches.
We also came up with the idea of making grocery bags from old newspaper. Currently we can manufacture about 50,000 to 1,00,000 bags a month.
Shruti’s – the ‘up’cycle shop, was started as something that I could occupy myself with during the break that i took from my work, following a short illness. But soon, it has been a very successful enterprise with an ever-increasing list of clients.