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Of Waste, Creativity, And A Firebrand Start-Up

After having damaged the planet for a considerable amount, we not now progressing towards recycling. This has given way to several entrepreneurs working on the concept of upcycling — to transform waste products into something usable. Upcycling is new concept and similar is the endeavour of Amishi Shah Parasrampuria who is the founder of The Upcycle Project.

This being an innovative term and concept in itself, the first question that comes to mind is what is upcycle project, is it similar to recycling? The one-word answer is no. While recycling means redesigning and changing shape or structure of the product, upcycle means to merely reuse it. It is the art of reusing a material without affecting its original quality — or in some cases, even improving it.

The Upcycle Project is a concept of reusing waste product as home decors or gifting items from them or even using the old vinyl records that are made using non-recyclable material as PVC.

Visionary Amishi was studying for her master’s in the UK, when she happened to take a class that involved scores of case studies on sustainability and unique businesses that stemmed from being environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.

Amishi explains, “A well-designed, functional, upcycled product that could compete with mainstream products in both price and quality was the need of the hour. So, I decided to give it a shot. It started off as a project, where I tried experimenting with trash. It was more of an endeavour than a venture, honestly, and it is still an endeavour because we never stop pushing ourselves. The idea behind upcycling is that it is so simple that it can be undertaken as a project by anyone. In fact, the name of the brand itself is an encouragement for people to take up upcycling at home themselves.”

This endeavour is on the upscale constant growth. The Upcycle Project is adapting new methodologies and proving with every passing phase that no endeavour is too small. It has made heads turn and celebrated its third birthday this April.

Kripa Shah, the business development manager of The Upcycle Project believes that the significance of their firm is bigger in more than one way. The very fact that you reuse a particular item and delay its fate of reaching the dumping grounds is the biggest plus. Upcycling also helps the environment and helps you retain the things you love. Technically, you could make business out of trash.

Kripa explains, “While our project was in its infancy, we started off with numerous materials like glass, plastic bottles, and their likes. However, managing it all was proving to be a tall order — so we decided to stick to a solitary material and produce varieties of the same. Getting concepts for vinyls was born out of our own creativity, which is something we’re proud of.”

The response to The Upcycle Project has been terrific and thus has popped out more ideas than before.

They have products lined up for travels buzzing people and also designed notebooks which say, ‘Let’s go somewhere, anywhere, everywhere’. They have also added a quote to their usual bookends that says, ‘Professional Dreamer’. The Vinyl Record Wall Clock is by far their best seller, so they came up with a desk version for the same — a small Vinyl desk clock. Finally, for all those who don’t fit into the aforementioned categories, they have the ‘I’m too sober for this shit’ wall decal too!

There has been great response to the home decor version of their products which has given them wings to land in interior designing as well. Recently, they designed few upcycled table accessories and furniture for two bars in Mumbai. These consist of tables made from waste CDs, bottle caps, waste keys, chairs from tyres and pallet stools, and so on.

The upcycle industry is nascent and it has a vast future all across the globe.

“While there are scores of individual artists who are passionate about upcycling, a handful have managed to create a scalable company that can compete with mainstream organisations,” explains Kripa. “With conversations in the world about waste management getting more pregnant by the day, there is a dire need for creative solutions such as upcycling. For that very reason, we hope to introduce new materials and expand our product range soon. We’ve upcycled 480kgs of non recyclable waste thus far, and plan on doubling the number by this time next year.”

The brands main motto is to make the young and old understand the main process behind upcycled products. This is a great endeavour and it grants them a vast market in front of them and makes the industry a big one and as mentioned, a nascent one.

This shows that how there is scope of growth everywhere and that all we need is a visionary’s eye to look beyond what meets the eye. There is something good in even the worst things, all we need is an optimistic overview. Amishi has taken a great cost effective venture and has turned the vintage into modern art.

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