A luxury of waste: Check out Ribhav Kapur’s new range of minimal luxury pieces

It is fashioned from metal and leather scraps, embody the essence of transition and renewal
Ribhav Kapur’s new collections is a tribute to the eponymous biannual celestial moment, with each piece being inspired by the idea of change
Ribhav Kapur’s new collections is a tribute to the eponymous biannual celestial moment, with each piece being inspired by the idea of change

In a pile of metal and leather scraps begins the story of every piece by jewellery brand Econock. Their new collection, Solstice, is no exception. Frequent visits to industrial zones in Delhi’s Paharganj, and Noida, takes the brand team in search of piles of waste, which they collect and melt to fashion them anew.

“A nod to sustainability and reduction of waste, repurposing pieces from discarded materials has not only honed our creative prowess, but has also instilled a profound sense of satisfaction in our homegrown craftsmanship,” says the 37-year-old founder of the brand, Ribhav Kapur, a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).

The new range is Kapur’s take on the fleetingness of time.

“It’s a tribute to the eponymous biannual celestial moment, with each piece being inspired by the idea of change. It features accessories adorned with intricate sun-ray details, reflecting the beautiful interplay of light during the sun’s descent. The radiant motifs tell a story of transition and renewal. The use of deep black enamel enhances these details, creating a captivating contrast that represents the dance between light and darkness, day and night, letting the wearer connect with the cosmic rhythm and embrace the symbolism of transition as they embark on a new phase,” says the Delhi-based designer, whose body of work is influenced by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery; Kapur transforms waste into jewellery and other accessories.

All his ideas are rooted in concept. They aren’t hastily churned out overnight for the sake of launching a new line. “Homegrown brands like ours work with the challenge of not being able to drop 100 products every time. We don’t have the budget to market en masse nor do we have the monetary flow to try out big marketing strategies, which in a way, is also an advantage as it gives us the time to produce unique pieces,” he says.

Designing, for Kapur, is the most organic part of the business. It cannot be forced nor can it be based on trends. Also, for the longest time, sustainability has been considered anti-fashion and boring, and Kapur wanted to change that. And, he did, by putting in all that extra work to make his jewellery statements of urbane sophistication.

Wearability underlines every collection, including Solstice. The Tuscon brooch (a reference to the tusk element and the elephant form) exemplifies this. Made of gold and inky black enamel, it comes with a secure fastening pin. Inspired by the sun and elephants, the simple design of the brooch can be paired with a traditional or edgy outfit. The Tuscon pendant, handcrafted and moulded in-house, features a design with sun’s rays along with an elephant motif.

The Era earrings with black enamel and gold finish incorporate circular zircon and are extremely lightweight. The Gemini Sun ring is a double-finger ring with gold plating, and is a distinctive design addition to the collection, along with the stunning Sinclair earrings featuring the Tuscon lord’s emblem studded with a black gem.

“Solstice revolves around the creative exploration of brass, an economical yet versatile material. Each piece emphasises an experimental design language. This approach allows for unique, artisanal creations that are timeless. To attain perfection in design, on the other hand, the moulding for each piece was perfected over time before they were cast,” says Kapur.

If there is one thing he has in abundance, it’s his conviction. It’s evident in the way he’s remained steadfast in creating products that don’t harm the environment. When he started, Kapur was most scared about aspects such as sourcing, collecting waste materials and treating it to form a product that could be used for years to come.

“I think I’ve been able to at least initiate the process with Econock. We’re aware that the fashion industry is often associated with waste generation, resource depletion and harmful processes. By venturing into waste management, we tackle these issues head-on. We wish to redefine the landscape by adopting a circular economy approach, wherein waste is minimised, and materials are recycled and repurposed,” says Kapur.

He wishes, one day, to collaborate with American businesswoman and fashion icon Iris Apfel.

“I love her maximalist style. We could explore creating couture through the medium of waste and upcycling, further shaping a new language for the future of fashion,” he says.

To find a moment of peace in all that he does, he turns to nature. He enjoys taking long hikes. It heals and revitalises them. Despite his love for the outdoors, he appreciates the vibrant energy of city life, especially in Delhi, where the hustle and bustle, along with lively markets, have a life of their own, much like his jewellery.

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