Have you ever considered the potential value of the wrapper from a packet of chips? It may not have crossed your mind before, but there’s actually something valuable that can be created from it. Meet Anish Malpani, an innovative entrepreneur who chose a different path after completing his BBA at the University of Texas.
Instead of pursuing a lucrative job in America, he returned to India with a social cause in mind. Anish joined forces with rag pickers to address environmental concerns related to plastic waste, particularly chip packets, by converting them into something valuable – fashionable sunglasses.
His startup, known simply as Ashaya Recyclers, became the world’s first of its kind, offering sunglasses made from recycled Multi-Layered Plastic (MLP) under the ‘WITHOUT’ brand name. In 2020, the company launched its pilot phase, and within just one week, it achieved an impressive revenue of Rs 11 lakh by selling 500 pairs of sunglasses through its website. Each pair was priced at Rs 500.
Anish’s motivation for starting this eco-conscious venture was not solely driven by profit but also by a desire to do good with recycled materials. The process of creating the sunglasses has been arduous and challenging, involving about five chip packets and 3-4 days to complete a pair. The team persevered through numerous experiments, overcoming doubts, procuring empty packets, and even adapting to the COVID-19 lockdown, ultimately achieving success.
By converting chip packets into fashionable sunglasses, Anish’s initiative not only contributes to reducing plastic waste in landfills but also empowers underprivileged individuals by providing job opportunities and improving their living conditions.
Ashaya Recyclers has ambitious future plans, including raising funds and establishing more production units to scale up their operations. This expansion aims to increase the company’s environmental impact, create more job opportunities for waste pickers, and contribute to a greener and more inclusive economy. Through his innovative approach, Anish Malpani demonstrates that businesses can make a positive difference by addressing environmental challenges while fostering social and economic growth.