Recycling as a practice can be traced to 400 B.C. with archaeological studies revealing the lack of or negligent amount of waste produced by household of the time, indicating the practice of recycling being prevalent at the time. When it comes to upcycling, the first recorded use of the term can be traced back to the year 1994, although the practice of upcycling in art to early 20th Century. Both recycling and upcycling as practices incorporate the use of various materials and the possibilities are limitless. Some of the upcycled and recycled product ranges at A Hundred Hands include the following:
Aardra and ABCD are two brands that have managed to breathe in new life into newspapers by upcycling them. While Aardra is in the art of paper weaving that involves rolling and manoeuvring newspaper, ABCD has upcycled the newspaper via block printing thereby making them unique pieces of art.
Aarohana is a brand that uses the traditional Charaka and Handloom to create upcycled products out of waste plastic bags that are not only eco-friendly but also provide a source of livelihood to rural women and tribal youth.
Alankaara upcycles dried flowers to create exquisite pieces of jewellery and has recently started working with flower vendors to sell their wastage at a fair price that is then used to make the jewellery.
ANU Life manufactures handmade products out of recycled tetra packs and cement bags. They collect used milk/juice cartons that are bought from colleges and building complexes. The materials are then washed, cleaned and cut into strips and woven into bags, pouches and bins
Jagadish C is an artist who has always enjoyed the process of creating a wide range of products, especially those made of materials considered junk or discarded by others. His favourite material though is the naturally dyed and treated peepul leaves which are painstakingly worked on to ensure the skeleton of the leaf is left intact. He also uses other materials such as dried flowers, coins, old newspapers and discarded bobbins to create his range of products.
The Denim Project by A Hundred Hands has allowed patients of National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) an opportunity to explore and enhance their tailoring skills to create apparel and accessories using discarded jeans and denim material.