I can't remember when I first found the products of Green the Gap, but I have loved them ever since.  

In 2000, a couple of young adults wanted to raise awareness about the ridiculous pollution in the Yamuna River.   They named it Swechha (which means "one's own free will") and within a couple of months had more than 500 volunteers giving their time.  Amazingly, they were able to register as a NGO in 2001 and now their work focuses on not only awareness, but they have also started a recycling / upcycling arm, called Green the Gap.

Green the Gap was set up by Swechha as a way of raising awareness on environmental issues and providing secure employment with reasonable wages for disadvantaged people. Through reusing waste in innovative ways to create high quality, useful products, Green the Gap empowers consumers to make choices about their shopping habits. As a customer, I am encouraged to be an active citizen who spreads an environmental and social message through my consumer choices.

The Green the Gap workshop is in Malviya Nagar.  They purchase old tires, juice boxes, cloth, and other materials (even tetra packs!) from rag pickers (and pay a fair sum for them!!  You would be astonished to hear how much others pay the rag pickers for their day of labor and work.)

Fabric rescued from waste piles from factories and such.

Tires!  Soon to be made into wallets, purse straps and billfolds (after being thoroughly cleaned, of course!)

As we toured their workshop, we enjoyed watching the tailors at work.  Green the Gap employs 10-12 tailors full-time.  They are all experienced tailors, who were looking for better work conditions.  Green the Gap is also starting a new project in the Tihar Jail, whereby they will utilize some of the experienced tailors who happen to be incarcerated there.  Not only that, they will also upcycle some of the waste FROM the jail!

The design team and the tailors make really great bags, purses, wallets and coasters.  (They even customize!)

Vimlendu Jha, who started Sweccha. Bad photo, great guy!

On this particular day, a group of friends went to visit the workshop and learn more about the NGO.  After we learned all about upcycling, we went SHOPPING!

... and shopping we DID!

If you are in need of conference bags, or gift bags for an upcoming function, Green the Gap can handle that

If you are in need of AMAZING, brilliant purses, wallets, etc., check out their store in Hauz Khas, or if you'd like to visit their workshop to learn more about Green the Gap and Sweccha, email or call 011-2667-1758.

4 of you said:

Lindi said...

LOVE my wallet...(: Very cool to learn the story behind it!

kay* said...

How fabulous! While I was in Delhi I actually had a friend who was volunteering there as a product designer - one of the handbags are named after her :) Oh, and now that I think of it I have another friend currently working there too....

It's a great organization!

Tracy said...

I Wish they shipped to California! I would LOVE one of those messenger bags and wallets!!!

deb said...

Is that where my wallet came from? I've had several comments on it.

btw, I think the photo with "tires" is actually inner tubes.

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