We need to realize that reducing waste and improving the efficiency of resource use is the need of the hour. We all should in some way bring out the creativity in ourselves and up cycle old or undesired goods and turn them into new and useful items that serve a different purpose. Managing waste and upcycling helps to conserve the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is dumped in the landfills. It also conserves the limited resources and reduces the cost of production. It supports local industries and encourages creativity and innovation. 

Recently, our changemaker, Mrunal Adhav had a very creative session with the founder of Scrapshala, Mrs. Shikha Shah. She pursues her hobby of upcycling things and has made it a business venture along with contributing such a great deal to the environment!

At Scrapshala, they aim to create value out of trash. 

Inspiration to start SCRAPSHALA 

Started in January 2016, in one of the oldest known living cities in the world, Varanasi, Scrapshala is not only making beautiful products out of waste material but also empowering local artisans along the way. Scrapshala was born seeing the potential in the concept of creating value out of trash and the presence of an untapped market of scrap in a country like India, where the waste management sector is highly unorganised and where upcycling could bring pragmatic solutions. The founder says that the simplicity of upcycling gave her a lot of inspiration to start this venture. “Initially, to even explain that the company would be working with scrap and making something worthwhile out of it was a huge challenge. None of the artisans seemed to grasp why I was asking them to work with waste material. The initial sale wasn’t great either and hence there was no motivation for workers to put in that work. Eventually, the artisans have also seen how much value scrap can generate and now the team at Scrapshala is growing steadily” says Shikha. Inspite of hardships this company is now well established and continues to do good and very important work of upcycling trash. 

The founder’s take on sustainability 

Many of us care for the environment and are looking for ways to eliminate or reduce the waste we generate. Only a few among us decide to go a step further and act upon this desire. Upcycling, recycling and waste management are some of the buzzwords that we read about often. While these concepts are not new, the manner in which it is being practiced and implemented is often quite novel. The founder of Scrapshala, Shikha Shah is one of those who went on to create value out of worn out things thus helping to manage a lot of waste that could harm the environment. She says that in this plastic revolution, we use so many single use plastic products which could be upcycled and put to good use. Also she believes that when you upcycle you not only manage waste but also develop a mindset of not throwing away things which still have value. She started her company with two products and now it has a huge range of beautiful eco friendly products. They are trying to create a sustainable alternative to everything in market . 

It is difficult to set up and go on with a business venture like Scrapshala but they still believe and continue to create beautiful items out of waste. The founder indeed has a commendable take on sustainability and love for the environment!! 

By : Sakshi Kangane