From ketchup, which adds flavor, to soft drinks and Mojito syrups that quench our thirst, our kitchens are filled with various bottled items for daily consumption. These products have become essential for our taste buds. However, according to Green Sutra Research, around 3 million tonnes of glass is discarded in India annually, with less than 50 percent of the total waste being reused or recycled. Instead of simply throwing these bottles away, have we ever considered what else can be done after the bottles are empty? If not, get introduced to an artist who is already way ahead in transforming used bottles into beautifully crafted decorative products. Renjini Thampi excels in upcycling used bottles and creating stunning pieces that are both artistic and environmentally friendly.
Renjini Thampi: An Introduction
Renjini Thampi is a 35-year-old entrepreneur from Kochi, Kerala. An MBA graduate from Mahe Manipal University, Renjini is a self-taught artist who is committed to the cause of climate change. Her team includes creative minds who possess an artistic lens for trash. Her mission to reduce waste has seen positive growth since the company’s inception. Family is the most significant contributor to the success story of Renjini Thampi. All her in-laws are art lovers; her husband himself is an artist.
“When I got married, I moved into a house where many people liked different kinds of art. I got a lot of support from my husband, who is also an artist.”
“We used to go to scrap sellers so that my husband could find old instruments or other things he needed for his sound studio. “This is when I saw so much trash lying around with no use at the moment but a lot of cope for use.”
– Renjini Thampi
The Idea of converting Waste into Décor
An area of interest can become a powerful passion that allows the youth to impact the environment positively. While recycling is a well-known concept, Renjini’s innovative approach goes beyond the norm and falls out of the box. She has embraced the art of upcycling and transformed scrap and glass waste into stunning home décor items. Her dedication has resulted in the upcycling of an impressive 21000 bottles while maintaining a solid commitment to environmental consciousness throughout the process.
The birth of an Upcycled home-décor brand – Vapasee
Vapasee, a Kochi-based start-up founded in 2021, is a sustainable home décor brand. They focus on creating visually appealing, eco-conscious, sustainable, and practical products. Through upcycling, Vapasee has repurposed 21,000 glass bottles, 5,000 coconut shells, over 800 kg of wood, and more than 500 kg of metal scrap. By collecting, sorting, and sanitizing discarded materials, they transform them into aesthetically pleasing new products that can adorn homes and workplaces. Renjini Thampi, the creative mind behind Vapasee, repurposes the trash thrown by one person so that it ends up inside another person’s house. The concept aligns with the name ‘Vapasee,’ which comes from the Hindi term ‘vapsi,’ which means ‘to come back.’
From Climate Collective to Glass Artistry: Renjini Thampi’s Inspiring Journey
Renjini Thampi’s career is driven by her involvement in the Climate Collective initiative in Kochi, which made her believe in her potential. Her journey to convert her passion into a mainstream business is no less than a roller coaster ride, as handling a fragile item to make magically beautiful items requires careful handling of the glass and following various precautions to avoid injury. Her wisdom says everything from learning the desired temperatures to being cautious about breaking or melting the glass. Today, with all the support, a good mind-set toward the environmental cause, and an artistically creative outlook, she looks forward to serving more people with an existing audience of 5000.
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