Thursday, Jul 09, 2020 | Last Update : 05:29 PM IST

107th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2237241231929448 Tamil Nadu118594711161636 Delhi102831742173165 Gujarat37636267441978 Uttar Pradesh2996819627313 Telangana2761216287313 Karnataka2681511100417 West Bengal2383715790804 Rajasthan2140416575472 Andhra Pradesh211979745252 Haryana1799913645279 Madhya Pradesh1562711768622 Bihar12525933898 Assam12523833016 Odisha10097670354 Jammu and Kashmir89315399143 Punjab67494554175 Kerala5895345228 Chhatisgarh3415272814 Uttarakhand3230262143 Jharkhand3018210422 Goa190311568 Tripura171612481 Manipur14307710 Himachal Pradesh107876410 Puducherry104351714 Nagaland6443030 Chandigarh4924017 Arunachal Pradesh270922 Mizoram1971390 Sikkim125650 Meghalaya94432
  Life   Art  24 Apr 2017  A stitch in time

A stitch in time

THE ASIAN AGE. | AARTI BHANUSHALI
Published : Apr 24, 2017, 12:30 am IST
Updated : Apr 24, 2017, 12:30 am IST

From conceptualising the design to shipping the re-purposed clothes, the drill takes about eight to 10 days.

Manisha and Ayesha Desai
 Manisha and Ayesha Desai

Do you have old, worn-out T-shirts that you absolutely love and don’t wear, but can’t bear the thought of parting with them either?  Mumbai-born siblings Manisha and Ayesha Desai transform your old and used T-shirts, kurtas, dupattas, saris or anything that’s in your loft, into quilts, bedcovers, cushion covers and bags. The aim is to provide sustainable alternatives to everyday utility items by working on the principles of sustainability and environmentally safe alternatives to plastic.

The idea stemmed from their efforts to reduce waste as social activists, shares Ayesha. “While working on recycled products, we realised the potential for old clothes. We started re-purposing old clothes at a household level for our friends. It was when people started approaching us often that we realised there is a scope to have a wider reach.”

77

The foundation of their entire organisation— Cornucopia — rests on the core concept of sustainability. All the material is sourced locally to ensure that there should be little or zero carbon footprint. They also have pick-up facilities in Mumbai, Pune and Gurugram. “They are made with love and care by a bunch of women in Maharashtra and Haryana. We have tied-up with local NGOs and migrant workers in these places, who manually stitch these pieces for us,” Ayesha shares.

The concept isn’t new, they remind us. It was a common practice among the older generations to stitch together old items of clothing to make a quilt or bed sheet. There was little then, that wasn’t put to re-use.  

So how do they decide which cloth is worthy of being turned into a quilt or a bedcover? “We tell people to do a quick tear test to see the quality of the material they are sending us. If it is completely frayed out, it is difficult to work on such a cloth.”

But mostly, the decision is driven by the people’s fondness for the materials. Shares Ayesha, “Some people are so attached to their clothes that they don’t want to cut them. This often happens when we make baby quilts. In such occassions, we try to change the design in a way that there is no cutting required.”

From conceptualising the design to shipping the re-purposed clothes, the drill takes about eight to 10 days.

“We recently had a customer who wanted cushion covers made out of his deceased dogs’ clothes. There’s too much nostalgia associated with these clothes and we have to be careful with it. There are rounds of design approvals before the final product is made, the clothes are keepsakes, so we ensure everything’s just perfect,” she adds.

Tags: saris, t-shirts, kurtas, dupattas, ayesha desai, manisha desai