New Delhi: Sowing the seeds of an idea and letting it grow is what this architect duo from Nashik have done. The idea is a little unusual but it helps take care of some of the waste generated in the kitchen. When you cherish that fruit chaat or relish the juice freshly extracted from fruits and veggies do you ever think before discarding the seeds? Probably not. Afterall what can be done with seeds, except plant them! But Mrunmayee Pendse Chaudhari and Shilpa Dahake have an innovative solution for these seeds that usually get thrown in the dustbin. They design beautiful jewellery and accessories with these seeds.
After attaining a bachelor’s degree in architecture, I opted for a diploma in ecology and restoration, during which I was exposed to sustainability, ecology and how as an architect can matter. We worked on coming up with alternatives required in today’s world. Later when I came back to Nashik – my hometown, I started thinking about changing the ideology of people and promoting sustainable living. I discussed the idea with one of my friends and together we ended up opening ‘Urban Dialogue’ in June this year. We deal in three fields – architecture, ecology and upcycling, explains 28-year-old Architecture Mrunmayee Pendse Chaudhari, co-founder.
As part of an upcycling initiative, the duo (Mrunmayee Pendse Chaudhari and Shilpa Dahake) started ‘Beej’ to design jewellery and accessories using seeds which are usually thrown away. The duo collects a variety of seeds from different sources like ice-cream parlours, juice corners, residences, and others. Only rattan gun seed – the red one, is purchased online as it is available only in Satara region of Pune.
Our idea was to create an alternative to modern jewellery using natural material which we throw away without any thought, for instance, sitafal or tamarind seed or have in ample. While we store a share of collected seeds to plant more saplings, the major part is used to create jewellery, tells Ms Chaudhari.
During the making of earrings, the seeds are treated with anti-termite (a chemical barrier) so as to avoid any kind of environmental impact like rotting of seeds. The seeds are then turned into unique pieces of jewellery by weaving them into threads and hooks. The shape, size and colour of the seeds are not changed in any way. The good thing about these unsual pieces of jewellery is its natural pastel colours that make it easy to pair them with almost all attires.
While the earrings are priced between Rs. 100-250, the necklace and earring sets are valued between Rs. 250-350. Elaborating more on the price range, where one can buy these accessories from and how to maintain them, Ms Chaudhari says,
The price also depends on the design and intricacy of accessories. For instance, some people request for a particular thread colour or size of the earring. An individual can place an order either via Instagram or Facebook and request for delivery across India. As far as maintenance is concerned, we just ask our customers to store earrings in a dry place.
Once the accessories are worn out, they can be thrown into soil and over a period of time, seeds will decompose.
When the challenge is this enormous, every effort to reduce the waste burden on our landfills count. Till now, the duo has sold over 200 products and has only received smiles and thank you notes from all their customers.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.