"WorkShopQ" providing new life to discarded products
Oct 26th , 2019 | Madhvi Pittie
Starting early as an entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur starting at an age of 22, I learned most about product design and managing finances during my work. Having done an internship in a bank before, running my own start-up along with my sister (Radhika. K. Mittal)was a totally different game. For a few months, my daily routine at work was to read about other businesses for atleast a couple of hours a day and I would make notes which I felt could be imbibed in my work. It was an extremely big challenge to set up our workshop, hire the right people, fire the wrong ones, pay salaries on time, maintain accounts but it all worked out well with the constant support of my parents and their business acumen.
The primary challenge regarding our work within the Indian design scene is challenging the notion that ‘eco-friendly means earthy colors and dull concepts’. When we introduced the concept of upcycled art, we were faced with some stiff resistance as is the case with every new concept. One of the apprehensions we were confronted with was the relatively high price factor of our products as compared to other home décor products in the market. We overcame this by explaining to our consumer base that procuring the waste is simple but the process of converting it into something useful and attractive is challenging especially when only handmade techniques are used.
Small but meaningful step towards Sustainable lifestyle
Upon moving back to India after having studied abroad for 4 years, we realized that little emphasis is placed here on recycling. Through our innovations, we prove to people everyday that Upcycling is not limited to only earthy looking colors in small objects, it can also mean endless possibilities to reimagine and reuse.WorkshopQ is here to ensure that Upcycling becomes a common name in everyone's lives. By making small changes in our lifestyles, we are unknowingly taking a large step to protect our planet.
We at WorkshopQ are making sure that we take strides big enough to educate people about Upcycling and its importance through our designs and implementations of different materials into various forms. With our large scale installations, we are trying to consume as much waste as we can to create and design permanent solutions to bring “Awareness through Art”. We are also actively working with corporates where we help them in their waste management stream by creating upcycled products from the waste generated at their factory premises. With a lot of companies adopting the EPR policy (Extended Producer's Responsibility), this project enables them to manage the pre/post consumer waste, promote employee engagement and support their recycling goals. These products are in turn used by the corporates themselves for their internal or external gifting solutions.After all, all the world needs is a little bit of humour with a big sack of green consciousness on its back!
Garden Flower Upcycle Metal Sculptures
Reducing waste entering landfills
Our initiative is mainly focused on reducing waste from our planet through employing innovative methods to upcycle pre and post consumer waste. India alone produces 62m tonnes of urban waste annually, out of which 5.6m tonnes consist of plastic waste, 0.17m constitute of biomedical waste, 7.90m tonnes constitute hazardous waste while 15 lakh ton is e-waste. The total waste generation is estimated 165 million tonnes by 2030. 43m tonnes is the total amount of solid waste, out of which only 11.9m tonnes are treated while 31m tonnes are untreated and dumped at landfill sites. It is our aim and mission to drastically reduce the size of these landfills by limiting the amount of waste that goes into them by creating art through reusing, upcycling and creating from waste.
Changing Mindset for Upcycle Products
We were amongst the first companies in India to build a brand around the cause of Upcycling. In our year of initiation when we started with doing exhibitions, the quirkiest notion that we came across was people asking us that, ‘why should we pay for something that has been made out of garbage’. Getting questioned on such grounds was something we never thought we would be confronted with. Our USP at WorkshopQ is to not let the end consumer know that we have reused waste thereby not conveying any notion of “second-hand” goods. We certainly did face strong resistance in the beginning but we stayed persistent and people slowly started realizing the importance of going green.
The author of the story is Madhvi Pittie, Co-founder of ‘WorkshopQ’ and you can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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