We all know that plants are extensively used for making medicines as they possess numerous medicinal properties. Apart from its other uses, have you ever heard of someone making handbags from grass? That is exactly what Chennai-girl Arati Krishna did as her step towards advocating an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
When it comes to accessories like handbags, wallets, pouches or belts, the usual assumption is that it might be made of leather.
But then even if those look pretty fancy, that leather is obtained from skin of animals which is environmentally looked down upon.
After completing her MBA in operations, she joined a marketing team who were manufacturing equipment for Swachh Bharat Mission.
She was always passionate about protecting the environment and animal life through her small efforts. But the idea of making handbags from grass in place of cruelly obtained leather was indeed a huge step.
Arati, herself being an engineer started to work on her business with her focus on cruelty free products. Thus, she decided to make products from organic materials.
Arati made bamboo handbags from Sabai, the local grass of Orissa! Apart from that, she also used khadi, handloom cotton, ikkat, upcycled sarees and vegan leather obtained from coconut.
She created a subordinate team of local craftsmen and tailors who were experts in their field.
The reason behind this was, Arati wanted her products to be handmade: locally.
She created a blog to showcase her products with the domain name www.ritiindia.wordpress.com. In order to sell her products she setup a store named RITI in an online marketplace which brought her great response from people.
Besides handbags, she started producing accessories like wallets, pouches and belts. Each of her products highlights her creativity and a satisfaction of protecting the environment.
One of the biggest challenges she faced was the availability of organic materials. These materials were difficult to find and eventually become expensive for production.
To overcome this, she only launches one set of products each month. Her first limited edition “RENU” consisted of only 8 products! Every product shows uniqueness and is intended to be cherished by the user.
The products range from Rs.1000/- to Rs.5000/-
One can buy these accessories from their stores online. Along with that, she has also started accepting customized products!
Her home grown business is indeed a great example of creativity and kindness towards mother earth. Her products display her determination and efforts put into making each of those products.
There are so many similar ways where you can upcycle your local produce, start a business and empower more people on your journey.
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