Kolkata-based Kavita Kajaria launches 8finity, a celebration of sustainability and artisanal craft
Kavita Kajaria who is passionate about circular economy has now founded an online brand that offers stylish totes and other accessories adorned with upcycled fabric scrap and low value plastic waste
Kavita Goyal Kajaria, based in Kolkata, has always been passionate about sustainable practices — way before it became a trend. With the launch of 8finity last week, the eco-warrior has added another feather to her cap — that of entrepreneurship. Her online store offers an interesting range of totes, multi-purpose pouches and laptop sleeves, among many other options. While the range is versatile and aesthetic what makes it fascinating are the artisanal embellishments that adorn these products. “These laces and patchworks are made by a team of more than 50 rural women. What’s more, they are made from recycled materials,” says Kavita, and adds that these women hail from villages like Panpur and Shyamnagar. Made from textile scraps from designer garment units and MLP (MultiLayer Plastic — with a metallic finish on the inside and printed on the outside) wastage collected from factories, with local jute woven in — these intricate crochet patterns represent diligence, design and women’s empowerment.
Kavita, who is also actively involved in Green Pari, a community based outreach programme, found that when the pandemic hit last year, the women in these villages of West Bengal needed help. Kavita began to support the families with food supplies and other essentials. “However, when I had personal chats with the women of the villages — they had one urgent need. They wanted to work!” says Kavita, who is also the Kolkata mentor for the movement Garbage Free India. Soon she combined two of the causes closest to her heart — that of community welfare and recycling MLP. And what came forth with the alliance was this socially and ecologically responsible brand that offers exquisite products celebrating artisanal craft and upcycled materials. She further adds that she has roped in youngster Varunavi Bagaria as a partner to bring in some fresh perspectives.
Kavita, who grew up in Chennai watching her mom sewing and crocheting patterns for bed linen, saris and such, has a natural aptitude for design and had even bought a sewing machine during the lockdown. “However, the credit for the embellishments goes to the women. They are so talented and creative. I gave them some direction in terms of colours, materials and design — but the crochet is their work totally! And of course my inspiration for upcycling is my mother!” Kavita has a full-fledged production house for finishing her products and shares that it is the kilim, washed natural jute material, which gives the accessories that edge — that ‘tweedy’ feel. We find the products resplendent with intricate braided multi coloured laces, rope-like trims and circular patches that glint with recycled low value plastic and MLP sourced from post production waste and post consumer waste.
What next? Kavita hopes to take her brand 8finity to a global platform. “These women deserve a wider market — their work will definitely find takers among the conscious buyers across the world!”
Pencil pouches at INR 400, totes at INR 600 and laptop sleeves from INR 800 onward.
On Instagram: @8finity_india
Did you know?
Low-value plastics like Multilayer Plastics (MLPs) can be used for pollution-free energy in cement plants. In fact, Kavita Kajaria has managed to divert nearly 400 kilos of MLP waste to the ACC cement plant in Chhattisgarh.