In August 2019, REFASH curated Mumbai's first week-long upcycling exhibit from 9th August - 16th August, featuring 15+ Indian designers who showcased contemporary & upcycled garments, jewellery, bags, shoes, stationery, all created from either post-consumer or post-industrial waste.
The pop up was the first of its kind where along with the showcase of upcycled products, there were talks by upcycling designers and sustainability enthusiasts. There was also a collection drive organised where people could drop their old, unwanted clothes. These interactions aimed to spark a conversation around waste, its re-use - how it is the need of the hour.
(Stefano Funari, founder of I was a sari sharing his journey on the launch of the pop up)
Our vision with the REFASH Pop Up was to give a platform to young, homegrown designers who are re-utilising different kinds of discarded materials by designing products that are unique and are aimed at achieving a circular economy. These products showcased the wide range of possibilities created with pre-existing products without creating any new products.
We wanted to showcase Indian designers creating upcycled products not only in Mumbai, but from different parts of the country - to increase their brand awareness and help them reach conscious consumers who could be looking for these product solutions.
There were 15 designers from all across India who showcased different upcycled products - ranging from upcycled clothing made with pre-loved saris; to upcycled stationery made with pre-existing newspapers & discarded tyres; to upcycled jewellery made with discarded marble. The highlight was the range of products displayed using discarded materials. The list of the designers who showcased at the exhibit is below-
Upcycling, although, not a new concept - oftentimes ends up having a stigma associated to its' use as well as preconceived notions about how products made out of waste could be of inferior value etc.
The interactions were organised to give a platform to designers creating upcycled products to talk about why they chose to work with discarded materials, their design process & the unique challenges they face. This also extended to the use of upcycling across different industries apart from fashion - like interiors & architecture.
These interactions served as a conversation starter for those interested in sustainability, upcycling and ethical design. It was encouraging to see the community in Mumbai come together to have these impending conversations.
(A talk with Amrita Neelakanthan & Sandeep Nagpal on the scope of upcycling in different industries)
Collection Centre -
A collective drive was organised in partnership with Bombay Closet Cleanse - this provided a space for consumers to productively dispose their unwanted / unloved clothes that had been filling their closets.
(Left - Collection Drive held at the pop up for people to bring in their unwanted clothes; Right- Maanvi Gangroo at the exhibit)
The pop up was covered by-
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