We have all heard the phrase “don’t waste papers as it takes 100 trees to make one page”. Right? 

However, still unknowingly or knowingly, we do waste tons of paper. Be it by selling old newspapers to rag pickers, throwing paper bags after use, selling our registers, diaries or notebooks in exchange for money etc. 

It takes lots of trees to produce papers. And in a world that is suffering from global warming, we can’t afford that. A solution to combat the wastage of paper needs to be found. 

And this is where Pulp Factory comes into action. It is a startup established in Jaipur which transforms waste paper into water-resistant and durable furniture.

The Team At Pulp Factory

Founded in 2017 by Spriha Chokhani, Pulp Factory is a design studio where Spriha and other four team members deal with waste paper and devise ways to turn it into furniture. 

Workers working in the Pulp Factory, Jaipur

The team of Pulp Factory says, “At Pulp Station we deal with remodeling and transformation of waste paper and post-production fashion waste into 100 % biodegradable furniture.” For managing the finances of the company, Spriha’s cousin, Bharat assists her. 

Talking about her team, Spriha stated, “Jainarayan, our weaver, is a master with the loom. He just needed a little time to get used to the new material. The women who work with me, on the other hand, came with no experience. We trained them for six months and gradually they not only learnt the craft but have acquired managerial skills as well.”

She further stated, “Neetu Devi helps me make the furniture and during the lockdown, she has been helping with managing the studio as well. Radha Devi, who spins the yarn, has not only become a master at her work but is also a totally different person now — brighter and smarter.”

How The Seeds Of The Company Were Sown?

During the studying days at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru, Spriha started experimenting with waste paper and paper furniture. 

When she began experimenting, all she had in her mind was turning the waste paper into furniture. However, it gradually stuck to her that working with chemicals in the entire process was impacting her health. Hence, she started using organic and natural materials in the process of making paper furniture. 

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While talking about her experience in the design school, she said, “We were supposed to work with materials and I started noticing that a lot of people were working with bamboo or cane.

While this helped in developing more products, materials like papier mache were heavily ignored. Other than a few souvenirs from Bihar and Kashmir, this material was hardly ever explored. This is what got me really curious.”

From Fragile Paper To Durable Furniture

Paper mache was considered fragile and people questioned how dainty and delicate paper mache would be able to hold weight. 

Spriha said, “It is a misconception that papier-mache is fragile. We have seen masks made out of it which give us this idea. But these masks are made by mixing the pulp with Multani mitti and thus it loses the strength. This is cellulose which in itself is a strong medium and it gets stronger when you mix it with adhesives as the binding agent.” 

Final furniture made using paper mache

At Pulp Factory, the team came up with different styles of furniture which were capable of holding 80-100kg of weight. Not only this, but they are also water-resistant as well as manufactured using natural raw material. 

It takes around 25 days to turn paper into furniture. They work the most during summers, while during monsoons, they take their time to experiment and come up with new ideas. 

Hence, at Pulp Factory, “We reinstate, re-establish and restore the cultural value of long lasting craft techniques, allowing us to bring local solutions at macro level like waste management, skill development, employment, community development.”

Image Sources: Google

Sources: Edex Live, The Better India, Pulp

Connect with the blogger: Palak Dogra

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