There is a certain attraction to weaving a masterpiece out of scrap and using what is discarded to skillfully create a brand new work of art. The uniqueness that reclaimed and waste materials lend to a product combined with the obvious advantages of eco-friendly practices has the design world excited to further explore this avenue. Redefining this space, these sustainable home decor brands and designers show us the beauty of old is gold via their products.
Sustainability runs through every vein of this furniture and lighting design studio. Founder Aakriti Kumar uses wood from shipping crates, old floorboards, and salvaged fallen trees. She cut down wastage by sculpting layered designs that utilise all the material or working with scrap to create an entirely new piece. Kumar also uses natural polishes, oils, and waxes that have a low impact on the environment and dramatically enhance the wood grain. Inspired by nature, landscapes and waterfalls, her eclectic creations have a sense of movement and fluidity that lends to their sculptural appeal.
Making surreal lamps from sustainable materials, Oorjaa was born out of a partnership between Jenny Pinto, founder of one of the first handmade paper design studios in India in 1998 and Radeesh Shetty, lighting designer and founder, The Purple Turtles. Their unique designs are handcrafted from materials like paper made from natural fibres of agri waste like banana fibre and lokta fibre paper. They have also developed a material that looks and feels like concrete, but is made from stone dust and fibre waste, making it better for the environment.
Founded by Anu Tandon Vieira, The Retyrement Plan uses old and waste materials to create vibrant, contemporary designs for sustainable home decor. Vieira works with skilled urban migrant artisans and craftsmen who deftly craft beautiful chairs, pouffes, stools, swings and charpais from repurposed urban waste like textile ropes, cane, bamboo, and used tyres.
Using leftover materials from the silk sari industry, Ishrat Sahgal’s design house, Mishcat Co, weaves exquisite carpets and dhurries that are nothing short of show stoppers. The label also employs independent artisans from the rural areas of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Each vivid, handmade beauty brings with it unique features that result from different yarns and the artisan’s style of weaving.
Bandana Jain’s Sylvn Studio showcases the beauty and functionality of unusual materials like recycled burlap and corrugated cardboard. The handmade, innovative pieces range from lighting and mirrors to chairs and book racks. These sustainable home decor items are luxurious, intricate and sturdy.
Designers and founders, Sahil Bagga and Sarthak Sengupta staunchly believe that contemporary design can be ethical and sustainable. They consistently strive to make their products ‘as sustainable as possible’ by using materials that are eco-friendly, reused or recycled. They also incorporate a ‘Zero Kilometre Design’ concept into their interior projects by using locally available materials and creating ethical partnerships with craftsmen. Their Katran Collection uses leftover pieces of colourful cloth, a by-product of cloth mills, which have been spun into ropes to create contemporary furniture, décor pieces, and lighting.
This up-cycling brand, founded by Ira Maurya and Abhinav Mehta, sees the beauty in the discarded, giving waste or old pieces a new form and a second life. They have transformed an old ornamental headboard into a beautiful vintage bench, crafted a bookshelf from dilapidated cribs, and sculpted waste tyres into stunning tabletop pouffes.
Images: Courtesy Instagram