How a Woman Entrepreneur has Rimagined the Waste that we generate in our daily life

November 5th , 2018 | Shailaja Rangarajan

It all started with Voluntary SWM work

It was while working as a business process consultant that I started my work in the space of solid waste management. 

I did voluntary work in SWM which involved talking to individuals and apartment complexes to segregate their waste and responsibly handle the waste that is generated. This was at a time when no one really understood or spoke about waste. So this task of setting up a waste management process in our apartment complex involved lot of reading and self exploration. This is where my learning process started and my journey towards sustainable lifestyle commenced. 

While doing this I was also coordinating with the local municipality to set up the required infrastructure for handling the waste. This work got me to walk through heaps of garbage, talking to citizens and understanding the challenges in the entire waste pickup and transportation. 

Wading through garbage, seeing the unmanageable volumes generated got me thinking about what lies ahead for the future generations. Are we being responsible just be segregating waste, recycling waste. Does that give us reason enough to consume the way we do ? Isn’t every dumped product using up resources ? Some day Mother Earth will be devoid of resources that we so conveniently take for granted. 

This introspection led me to explore options of more sustainable lifestyle and consumption. A lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily need use of the virgin resources. A consumption pattern that does not support the use and throw , single use lifestyle. So how is that possible ? 

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Repurposing was always the traditional Indian Lifestyle

As a kid I remember that there was no waste pickup done. Reason was simple. There was no waste generated in the first place! Repurposing stuff was the traditional Indian lifestyle. So why the drastic change in just the last one decade ? Why are we so into buying, using and discarding stuff? Do we even pause and think what goes into making any product we use, how it is used, how is it discarded and how is the waste impacting our planet ? The answer is a straightforward No. 

This got me thinking about bringing back the traditional lifestyle back into way of living. We can sustain only if we reduce our impact and consume less. But then it isn’t practical telling people not to consume. Inspirational living is what that drives people. 

I realized that people need to believe that sustainable lifestyle options are “cool” and there is nothing tacky about it. Customers need to be offered products that tread on the planet gently. And these products need to be of very high quality and superior design to be appealing. 

Rimagined Team working on creating beautiful bags

A better planet for future generations to live

Rimagined was setup with the sole aim of promoting Upcycling as a sustainable lifestyle choice. We reroute all types of low value waste that usually end up in landfill and bring it back into circulation in the form of high quality products. This way we not only pull back waste , we also avoid consumption of virgin resources that are fast depleting. 

I strongly believe that every individual can make a difference. All we need to do is consume only what is needed. Make choices that don’t take away from nature. Let us not get carried away by western lifestyle choices as they are no measure for success. Simple choices in the day to day living can have a cascading and lasting impact that can offer a live-able planet for the future generations. 

Square Patchwork Tote Bag

The author of the story is “Shailaja Rangarajan of Rimagined and you can reach out to her shailaja@rimagined.com 

InwasteR is only a platform to share WaStory and the views and experience are purely of the author.

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