A cloth makeover

Every house has those spaces, niches and corners that contain discarded clothes, toys, bottles etc. They lie forgotten and ultimately end up in a dumpster adding their bit to environmental pollution. It is time to wake up and smell the coffee – see that our everyday actions impact our immediate environment as well as lead to a depletion of natural resources. Of course, it is foolhardy to expect people to immediately switch to natural alternatives, but a small step in the right direction is always the correct beginning. Meet entrepreneur Priya Q., who turned discarded garments to trendy designs through the process of upcycling. What’s old is new again, but with a twist!     

It was the sight of her husband’s discarded kurtas that started a train of thought in her head which she acted on. “I had heard of a designer, Renjini Revi, who is an expert at upcycling old clothes and jeans into innovative new designs. So, as a trial, I gave her a kurta of my husband’s and voila, she came up with a dress. I was so happy that I took all the remaining kurtas to her which she turned into a variety of nifty and trendy designs.”

What is more, Priya’s bell-bottom jeans turned into classy skirts and jackets and whatever was left of the garments, Renjini would fashion into skirts for Priya’s daughter. As Priya happily shares, “There was absolutely no waste as each piece of cloth found some use.”  Soon, her friends and family too joined the upcycling bandwagon with creative garments fashioned from discarded clothing. Priya’s sister took a stained sari to Renjini, who fashioned a party wear dress from it.

Priya in the normal course of routine makes sure that she donates all her used and her kids’ outgrown clothes to charity so that only wearable clothes find place in her wardrobe. “What is the point in letting discarded clothes just languish in cupboards occupying space,” she asks.

It is not only clothes that are upcycled in Priya’s home. She reuses glass candle holders as planters. She has also made a conscious decision to reduce plastic use wherever and whenever possible. “I carry cloth bags with me when I visit shops and keep them handy in the car. I also carry small cloth pouches in my handbag. We have replaced plastic toothbrushes of kids with bamboo ones. I am also consciously avoiding plastic tiffin boxes and  water bottles. Of course, in all honesty, I cannot say I have reached the zero plastic level, but I am glad that I have significantly reduced the use of plastic in our household.”

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