Try these eco-friendly accessories from local brand Tejalkeyur Textiles
Tejal Deshpande grew up in a traditional Marathi family. Like all other middle-class parents, hers were also strong proponents of reusing everyday items like plastic bags, bottles, containers, as well as clothing. The unconventional ways of preserving what had already been used stayed with her, and years later gave birth to her brainchild, Tejalkeyur Textiles. The eco-label specializes in recycled bags, mats, planters and organizers made from fabric scraps and waste.
How was Tejalkeyur designed?
The thought has always been there, and now it has turned into mentality. Throughout my days at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, I consciously or unconsciously incorporated the idea into my projects. At NID, we have not only studied the weaving and details of the textile industry, but also the impacts we have on the environment.
I remember seeing a huge pile of rubbish dumped by six bulldozers in Ahmedabad, most of which consisted of textile waste. This was my eureka moment and I took it upon myself to contribute as a solution to this problem. I decided to use textile waste as a resource.
How are products made at Tejalkeyur?
Initially, I only wove all Tejalkeyur products. However, as we started to gain momentum on Instagram, I contacted a few women from a small village near my hometown called Aambewadi. None of them were skilled craftsmen but had a keen interest in learning something new. We finally started last year and now all products are handmade by them. It took them a while to understand the basics of how each fabric lends to the structure, texture and color of our products, but now all five of them have taken full responsibility for the production of each of our articles.
Has growth during the pandemic been a challenge?
The company started during the pandemic-related lockdown. Explorations with fabric and design were done during the lockdown and the training program for women started right after the lockdown was lifted.
Where do the materials come from?
We generally source materials from local unorganized sectors such as small bazaars that sell second-hand clothes or produce large amounts of textile waste. We also encourage customers to send in their contributions or pieces that have nostalgic value so that we can give them a usable makeover. Each of the materials goes through a review process that helps us decide what factors will add to its durability, color scheme and structure. We have reshaped around 800 sarees so far.
Price: Rs 950 and above (excluding shipping costs)