Every city you visit, there is a particular place that is dedicated to the landfills where the garbage of the whole town comes at the end of the day and gets dumped. Often we see these landfills produce fumes, and there are small fires that get started in the areas because of the toxic fumes and heat in the area, and this causes pollution in the environment.
The industry of solid waste management in India is still developing, and not many people are working in this direction due to a lack of awareness, resources, and funding. The segregation and responsible disposal of waste is a band-aid fix to a deeply hit wound to the country. The disposal of waste in recycling bins sounds like a great option, but only 9% of the trash gets recycled.
The root of the problem here is the general lifestyle of the people instead of handling and disposing of waste. The problem can be solved by revisiting the consumption model, and this is when she decided to launch her startup – Rimagined.
The beginning of the entrepreneur life wit Rimagined
Born and brought up in a middle-class family in Hyderabad, Shailaja completed her engineering and MBA from NIT, Trichy. She has spent over 15 years in the corporate world working as a supply chain consultant, and she has traveled to several countries and learn about different cultures and people. After gaining all the experiences and meeting new people, she finally decided to settle down in Bangalore, and this the city which turned this corporate professional into a first-time entrepreneur.
With the idea of creating wealth from waste, Rimagined was launched with the belief that every individual can always opt for a sustainable lifestyle that ensures minimal usage of resources and ensuring that nothing gets treated as waste and dump. With the help of her startup, she wants to repurpose all types of waste products and bring them back in the consumption circle, creating a circular economy. They are working with different kinds of waste, intending to turn into an upcycling conglomerate and offer upcycled alternatives for most of the products.
Challenges faced in the initial stage and collaborations by the startup
The biggest problem faced by the startup was to understand the process of upcycling. People have a negative perception of products that are created using waste for an existing market for the products. They aim to create awareness about the environment and about upcycling to ensure that the products produced by them are high quality and finish so that the customers don’t have to make any compromise on design and finish.
The company has collaborated with handloom weavers who have woven their upcycled sarees range from waste cotton yarn, woolen rugs from waste woolen yarn produced in the factory. In the sourcing end, they have collaborated with RajArt that are involved in delivering the waste yarn as a part of the CSR initiative. The consistent supply of good quality waste has helped them produce new product possibilities.
The first milestone by the firm
The first milestone for the company was when it finally started its first in-house production unit in Kolkata. This unit has helped them create employment for mothers of special children, and they dream of making a better future for themselves and dignified living.
The current growth and vision of the company
In conversation with TimesNext, Shailaja talks about the growth of the project and how they are planning to scale-up the process and exploring new areas, including global markets. Along with this, they are planning to scale up their production side and setting up production units to create a new range of products.
Shailaja is working for the betterment of the country with her startup to establish Rimagined as a one-stop-shop for all upcycled creations in both the domestic and international markets.