Upcycled treasures

Saritha started creating art serendipitously. Now, she is making and selling upcycled bottles as a means to help the environment

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. A bottle that you discard after drinking from it is something Saritha would treasure. Because for her, trash is art waiting to fulfill its destiny. When she dabs them in paint, bottles and discarded cardboard pieces become wall decors. On her shelf at home, sits over fifty bottles she collected from the roadside, all ready to be turned into beautiful decor pieces. Saritha is all about upcycling that breathes new life into old things.

It all started during the pandemic. An MSc graduate in electronics, Saritha was far away from the art world. Even as a child, she hardly drew or painted. When the pandemic and lockdown happened, as she was idling away at home, her five-year-old’s art supplies caught her attention. She started dabbling with them, attempting to paint. “I didn’t even know how to hold the brush, let alone paint or mix colours. But I kept at it as I was enjoying the process. I relied on YouTube for the tutorials on painting,” recalls Saritha. 

But it was only later that she started painting on bottles and discarded articles. One day, she was on her way home and noticed a heap of used liquor bottles discarded on the roadside. “They were beautiful bottles but were all dirty. I collected all of them and that’s how the journey began,” says Saritha. 

She imprints motifs of Theyyam or Radha Krisha mural art on these bottles to turn them into decor pieces. Every time she goes out, Saritha is on the lookout for bottles to use. Except for a few used bottles that her friends donated, all others were collected from  the roadside, says Saritha. “When I started, I couldn’t even identify different kinds of liquor bottles. Now, I am very particular about the shape of the bottles,” says Saritha, a Thrissur-native living in Edappally, Kochi. 

Saritha takes orders through Instagram. Each finished bottle costs around Rs 200 to J 2000. Mural art bottles are at the pricier end. Saritha’s dream is to open a shop that sells upcycled articles. “Every one of us can help reduce waste by recycling the waste we discard. One bottle may not create a big difference, but if every one of us chimed in, the world would be a better place to live in,” says Saritha. 

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