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Post-consumption Creativity

During my current trip to India I’ve been adding a collection of posts to the REculture blog where we feature the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycling in low-income contexts. I thought I’d add some of the highlights here – a wee taste of post-consumption creativity.

Siesta Sachets and Remnant REculture: Fabric scraps (lead image) and discarded foil sachets (above) are woven into rope to form bed bases.

Repurposed Beauty: Reusing advertising billboard canvases – at a construction site in Ahmedabad and a workshop in Mumbai.

Cigarettes and Spirituality: I stumbled on children down an alleyway at Dharavi who had made a makeshift temple out of old cigarette packets.

Material Efficiency: Nestled behind a lean-to stall in Mumbai were two ingenious guys fashioning lanterns out of scrap metal and glass. They cut the salvaged glass into small sections to create the lantern casing. Given that Diwali is just around the corner – they’re bound to make a killing with very low material costs. I wasn’t the only one fascinated by their street-side enterprise – a small fan-club had gathered round and were equally impressed with their lucrative venture.

Related posts:
Scarcity Sustaining
Mathare’s Micro Farms and Market Gardens

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Pauline Millar November 19, 2011, 2:00 PM

    Hi, do you have more information on how the foil sachets are woven into ropes? I was hoping to employ the same technique in making seats for low-cost wheelchairs, and I haven’t seen anything like that here in the Philippines. Amazing pictures, btw!

  • Meena Kadri November 23, 2011, 4:09 PM

    Hey Pauline. They often use a cobbled together machine which is pedal powered – I’ve seen these on the sides of roads around Ahmedabad. Sometimes they are pedaled by hand and other times in the usual way by feet. Not too sure on more detail than that – wish I had photos for you. I’ve often meant to stop & snap the process in action when visiting India but it’s in an odd spot of town and I usually just see it in passing. Good luck on your own project – sounds great.

  • Meena Kadri February 28, 2012, 5:30 AM

    Pauline – I’ve just added a new post Spun Gold: http://bit.ly/spun_gold where you can see an image of the hand-powered machine used to spin this rope.

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