A Bengaluru-based upcycler’s organisation turns wastes, into cool products, using materials like tetra paks, vinyl recorders and even motherboards.
Have you ever wanted to know the difference between recycling and upcycling? Shailaja Rangarajan, a Bengaluru-based upcycler shows us that difference through her upcyling waste management organisation. Shailaja is the founder of Rimagined, an organisation that turns waste into cool upcycled products from suave bags fashioned from tetra paks, denim and other textile wastes to fancy tea coasters made using motherboards and vinyl records. They create an interesting range of Upcycled products that can help consumers adopt them as part of their mainstream consumption.
Before, doing this Shailaja was working as a business process consultant in the IT industry for 15 years and then quit the industry in 2016 and opted to explore a completely new domain of Waste management and sustainable living. She says, “Upcycling for me is the means for me to make a positive impact to contribute to a greener environment.”
The organisation was launched exactly two years ago as a marketplace. And in this duration, it has evolved into a brand that creates its own label of upcycled products while supporting livelihoods.
She explains further on how the whole process works and says, “The organisation has its own set of production centers across the country. Here we train the women from the low-income groups to make products for us. This way they also earn a sustainable and dignified living. We also partner with like-minded NGOs who have been working in the social sector. We collaborate with them and train their team to create Upcycled products for our label.” Apart from upcycling tonnes of waste Rimagined have also helped thousands of women. Scaling up to create multiple production centers across the country thereby supporting livelihoods of women. “Now I have a strong and dependable team who are part of this journey and we share this dream to make Rimagined a credible brand that will be known worldwide,” Shailaja explains.
While waste management and taking care of the company takes most of Shailaja's time she still keeps her family as a priority and says the key strength in my life is her family. “When I am not working on Rimagined, I choose to spend it with my family. I have a strongly supportive husband who gives me wings to chase my dreams and a daughter who takes pride in telling everyone that her mom works with waste. I am a mom of three kids; two of them are furry kids. They are my stress busters and help me unwind. Last two years also taught me a lot about animals, their compassion, and their pain. Someday I hope to do something to make a difference in the lives of animals that are old and homeless.”...