After a long wait of one year, we were glad that Design Mela finally made its way to Delhi. It was held at Dastkar, Chattarpur, from January 19 to January 30, 2017. The aim of the Design Mela was to promote the beautiful blend of craft techniques and contemporary design concepts through the works of craft entrepreneurs and artisan designers, but this time what grabbed everyone’s attention was the Jaggery stall which had fancy bags for both boys and girls. At the Design Mela of 2017, the jaggery stall became the centre of attraction as it had launched a new concept of ‘upcycling’, which is a step ahead from ‘recycling’.
Recycling is breaking down the waste product into its basic constituents and then using it as a raw material for producing new products out of it. In the process of upcycling, the waste product is not broken down into its constituents, the product may be reworked or reconstructed in a number of different ways, but the material stays the same, if not become better in quality than what you started off with. While recycling, the quality of product is lower than the parent material and hence, upcycling has an edge over recycling.
This jaggery stall offered a wide range of products; all of them were made while keeping the health of our planet in mind. Over 75% of the products were made from reclaimed, recycled, repurposed or recycled materials. Specifically, jaggery bags are made with auto seat belts and buckles, army tents, cargo belts, fire hoses, bike tube inners, kids inflatable castles, Army truck tarpaulins, etc.
Each and every product of jaggery is handcrafted and brought to life after tremendous hard work. Jaggery bags not only beat the normal bags with the quality of raw material it uses in the procedure. but they also beat them in fashion quotient, thus, the customers found it reasonable to pay high prices for them.
John Archer, one of the customers of the jaggery stall said: “I am deeply impressed by the concept on which jaggery products are based on i.e., ‘Upcycling’ and not only did I buy the jaggery products but also have learned the difference between upcycling and recycling”.
Though, this Jaggery stall was one of the best stalls at the Design Fair, other stalls too had the best art at display and despite all odds, they came out with flying colors.
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