5 ways to recycle your clothes

Finding a home for your clothes that you no longer need is a hard and tedious job. I know of many responsible friends who took the initiative to sell their clothes through their social media platforms but also recall how much it took to put them through one final round of laundry, take pictures, price them, talk about them to a 100 strangers, sell them to some & ship them across the world. 

That is one way to do it. Here are some other ways. In each option there is a dependency on finding the right contact. If you know of any donation houses, thrift stores, swapping clubs, creative tailors & kantha magic makers – please let this community know! Thank you in advance for your help in spreading the word. 

1.DONATE : Please do not throw your clothes into the trash unless they are absolutely unusable – even then am sure you can find a way to re-employ it as cleaning cloth. Most clothes thrown into trash end up in landfills. There are several reputable destinations who would pass your clothes on to those in need.

2.SELL : Take your clothes to a thrift/second-hand store who can help decide if your clothes are worth another lifetime. I simply love seeing the thrift movement in India & can’t wait to see it spread. My advice would be to use services that are upfront about whether they can sell your clothes or not. Online places like threadup unfortunately “donate” ~50% of the clothes they receive & they don’t really get a second life. Or sell your own clothes on FB Marketplace or Depop.

3.SWAP : For those clothes that are hardly worn and in great condition, try out a clothing swap! This is another small but growing channel of finding another home for your once-favourite item, while finding another piece of treasure yourself. You typically pay an entry fee and then just exchange clothes with the participants!

4.RE-PURPOSE : If it’s really the current form of your dress that’s bothering you, re-purpose it into another silhouette! Even easier, if you try layering and pick up the art of re-imagining the occasion of your outfit. When not possible, reach out to your friendly tailor to make something else out of it – chop off the sleeves of your t-shirt, make skirts/tops out of saris or convert your skirt into a dress – you need only watch the first influencer you stumble on for great ideas in this area!!

5.UP-CYCLE : If you just don’t want to wear a clothing anymore or it has suffered burns & tears in significant places, fear not! I have a final suggestion – make something else out of it. There are many things in your home that are made of fabric – make them out of your used clothes, just like our ancestors did. Ex: Kantha stitched blanket, pillowcases, screens or throws.

5 closet project ideas for your break

I love organizing closets. Mine and others too. You could call it an obsession. I’ve forced many a friend to walk me through their closets while we hang out. So here’s an idea for you as holidays are approaching – if you’re like me, you have a very low key, no travel break end of year break coming up. You’re thinking of all the things you need to do.. allow me to add one crucial item to the list – take stock of your closet! Here are some ideas in increasing order of complexity for you to engage in. If you’re like me, you might enjoy securing some company for this long and important task – recruit 1/2 besties, catchup with them virtually or in-person over wine and get cracking on your closets. You could all do it together or take the day off & even do it alone. It is therapeutic in every way! Get some information for 2021 – that you probably need a shopping break next year! 🙂 

1) Take stock of your closet : Spend a day going through your closet and really understanding what you have. Pull out everything and lay it on your bed. Take each piece, remember when you bought it, how many times you’ve worn, and put it back. It takes a while but is the first step in understanding your closet baggage.

2) Organize by color : An old trick from my UNIQLO days – I am whom you can call a closet organization obsessed. It comes from years of training running UNIQLO retail stores. We organize every inch of the store by color and I use that same code till today years later! It allows me to understand which colors I tend to go towards, whether while shopping or simply while dressing every day.

3) Organize by categories : This is what I call a level-up from step 2. Not only is your closet arranged by colors, but also by categories. This one is harder to do if you have a wide variety of silhouettes. That said, I always think you’ll be surprised by what you learn about your shopping decisions when you put them by categories & color! Example reaction from a friend: Do I really have 18 black full-sleeved tops?! (That said, never wrong to have black tops!)

4) Use the 1 year rule : Another classic rule to apply on your closet to find those poor babies who haven’t gotten your love in a long time. Let me tell you something, if you haven’t worn it in a year, you’re probably not going to wear it anytime soon. Even those of you who claim you have weather. Some of my most used tops are all-season – or I make it a point that they are. And fine, you can leave occasion wear out of this rule – it’s 2020 and I get it.

5) Add some containers, techniques : The most common problem with an unused closet, is the way it is arranged or the lack thereof. Inaccessible clothes will not be worn. So take steps to get your pants in a visible stack, t-shirts folded and arranged like you would a filing draw in your dresser. Essentially make it visible and accessible. If you’re finding me hard to follow, watch Marie Kondo!

Do send me pictures of your closet stock parties ❤

5 conscious holiday gift ideas

Are you too looking to gift this holiday season? I was talking to a friend this weekend about gifting ideas for her family. Every year, she spends time with her family in her parents home with all the siblings, their partners and kids. It’s a big gala for 3-5 days and she had gotten used to way her year unwinds, bringing her love & hope for the next year. This year they were forced to cancel due to the pandemic and were instead having a couple of virtual celebrations, with everyone sprinkled around the globe. So she was looking for ideas to send a physical present, something special; something more than her usual high street shopping.

As I was giving her ideas, I put together a few conscious ways you too could gift to your loved ones:

1) Make/upcycle something handmade – make a card, a photo book, a cake or upcycle a gift from your garage with your bare hands, whatever the outcome. 2020 has been a hard year and the fact that you took out time to make something with your own hands as a gift is just too precious.

2) Gift virtual experiences – airbnb experiences (and other sites a quick google search away) are galore with virtual experiences like slime making, interior design principles or singing with a broadway star. It’s bound to bring joy to your loved ones in the form of new knowledge, while being absolute fun!

3) Shop pre-loved/thrift gifts – if you have to buy something, get something that needs a new home. Share the principle of shopping second-hand with a loved one today & explore the wonder world of vintage for a treasured gift. 

4) Gift time – an age old romantic gift of time. Gift your loved one a few hours of your time & share an experience with them. Be it taking them on a long drive to see/do something they always wanted to, learning yoga or building a cabinet together – create an excuse to spend a magical day mindfully!

5) Plant a tree – or a small indoor plant. There is nothing like adding to life on earth. Welcome life in your home in their honor or simply send a plant to your loved one. 

Bring light & love into your lives this holiday season. I send you my heartiest wishes this year! 

Why is sustainability important?

The english dictionary definition of the word is ‘ability to be maintained at a certain level or rate’. The word has gained a prominence in fashion branding and mission literature because of several macro effects. 

With textiles being one of the biggest polluters on the planet now and climate change being the need of the hour, sustainable brands have sprung as a solution tackling both requests. Fast fashion’s textiles are made of plastic and when discarded, release greenhouse gases which catalyze our climate change crisis, slowly but surely. One dress at a time. 

So it’s important for you and me to pay attention to what we buy, how it was made, who made it, how much we use it and how we throw it away. Running this cycle consciously and understanding every part of this 5-step process >> sustainability.

Doing something meaningful

Papreeka started in 2012 with a dream to do something really meaningful with the community of small conscious brands, artisans, brand owners, creatives, editors & consumers. I wanted to be connected to this space while I was working abroad full-time in the corporate world for leading international retail brands.

As I am nearing a decade mark very soon with this idea, thats become a 60K strong community on Instagram, I wanted to establish a place that documented some more of the behind the scenes on this website. I imagine this will be a wonderful place to journal everything I’ve learnt about the retail & digital marketing worlds in my 8+ years old career in Asia & the US, while also working hand-in-hand with brands to help them grow online as my side-gig through Papreeka.

Welcome – thanks for stopping by. It’s your single visit that I love curating, consulting, writing and collecting stories for.