KOCHI: How long does your pair of jeans live? Does it journey through, metamorphosing into myriad articles? At ‘bluemadegreen’, the chronicles of the denim pants never end; it continues its journey in the form of a travel bag, placemat, organiser, furnishing, aprons, et al. Designer Ratna Prabha Rajkumar’s designer range bluemadegreen is synonymous with sustainability, everything gets upcycled here. Trash gets a fresh twist and turns into wondrous articles.
For Prabha, the journey from being an accountant into a designer who only upcycles articles was not something she chose, it happened over time. “I was never a very conscious consumer. But, I used to think where all this waste would end up. For instance, take the case of jeans. To make a pair of jeans, you exploit a lot of resources, not to mention the amount of pollution it creates during its manufacturing stage. So I tried to craft out new articles from my used pair of jeans. It was just done on an experimental basis,” recalls Prabha. It started with Prabha making clothes for her daughter using her old pair of jeans. That was five years ago and now with an eclectic set of articles made from used jeans, Prabha’s brand stands tall as an active proponent of sustainability.
So if you have an old pair of jeans, all you need to do is give it to Ratna Prabha. And she will upcycle it into an article of your choice. “There are no limitations to the kind of articles we can create from jeans. It is, in fact, my customers who give me new ideas. For instance, someone asked if I can make something out of used baby blankets. They make for ideal laptop pouches with their good padding. So it is the shared idea that finds execution.
Jeans have been made into all sorts of articles, ranging from hair accessories to divan covers,” says Prabha who lives in Kannur. Interestingly, the larger part of her customer base is from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. “They courier their jeans to me and we discuss the article and its design. The products are all customised. I never work on new materials. It is always used materials that I work on, as the idea of recycling is very important to me. It forms the core of my work,” says Prabha.
She along with her friend Malini Kumar is also actively involved in making eco-friendly party decors. Their dream is a green, balloon and glitter-free party. “We use tailoring waste for that and once the party is over, we take it back. The tailoring waste is already trash, we are re-using it and not creating any more trash,” she says.
Prabha feels that if everyone were to become a conscious consumer, then the amount of waste generated can be reduced significantly. “There is a value for every other article. To become trendy or to meet a need of yours, you needn’t always purchase new things. There is a joy indeed in buying yourself something new, but the joy of using upcycled articles is incomparable,” she adds.