Reshma Kadvath says, “if you want to make a difference, you don’t always have to be out there in the World. You can do so from the comfort of your home” .
Reshma Kadvath stumbled upon upcycling at one of the lowest points in her life, when her four-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD. Repurposing pre-loved objects and wastes soon became her solace, and after seeing the environmental benefits, became her calling too. As a Sustainable Décor Blogger, and an Author, Reshma urges us to “Think Big, Start Small, Act Fast”. Discover how you can turn discarded items into innovative, quirky artefacts in eco-friendly ways, during this cozy conversation with Storiyaan.
RESHMA KADVATH: WASTE IS THE NEW WEALTH
Questions and answers
What made you venture into sustainable décor blogging?
As an Army wife, I have seen 18 relocations and stayed in more than 20 homes in 24 years. Although I had already taken up upcycling, sustainable home décor happened when the décor enthusiast in me felt the pinch while setting up our ever-changing Fauji homes. Once I realised the mammoth benefits of sustainability on the environment, I knew I had to spread the word, thus I took up blogging.
What sparked your interest to blend the creative bent of your mind along with your earnest upcycling endeavours?
Upcycling is inherently creative and an environment friendly process. The nature loving and creative person that I am, I found this process to be satisfying, sustainable and spiritually uplifting. Hence it sparked my interest in trying to blend my creative sensibilities into upcycling.
Share with us a story of your upcycling journey that you feel very proud about.
A proud moment for me was when my upcycling attempts were featured in ‘the Times of India’. It is very heartening when your sustainably decorated home gets featured on magazine covers and gets asked for film shoots. Yet nothing beats the pride I feel when random people reach out to me saying that I have inspired them to take up upcycling.
What are some of the sustainable practices you follow in your day-to-day life and how do you manage to follow them every day?
As a family, we try to grow our vegetables in the small spaces we have, buy only fabrics made from natural fibers, donate unused items, redesign old clothes, repurpose plastics, carry reusable water bottles and bags whenever we travel. Also, my sixteen years old daughter has started stitching her clothes and we are going in for some serious composting too.
People often find sustainable living to be overwhelming. Elucidate the ways through which sustainable living can be fun and gratifying.
Through my social media handles, I am always trying to show how fun and aesthetically pleasing sustainable practices can be. Trying to turn waste to wealth is a creative art and not a chore. Moreover, the fact that every small step that you take helps mitigate climate change is most gratifying.
Tell us how the zero-waste lifestyle changed your life and what impact it had on you.
Although I am nowhere close to achieving my goals, the baby steps I have taken, have given me immense joy, satisfaction and a sense of purpose. All sustainable practices take you closer to Nature. Once you discover Nature, you discover yourself. So, it has been a journey of self-growth for me.
What message do you want to spread among the people regarding upcycling and repurposing?
My message is that sustainable practices can be beautiful, fun, soulful and creative. I would like to change the general perception that upcycled items cannot look classy or upmarket. In fact, Upcycling can give you unique, one of a kind, bespoke pieces.