Dr. Sabita Baruah,                                                        Mrs. Milan Desai,

Coordinator, Fashion Design                                          Associate Professor

SVT College of Home Science                                        SVT College of Home Science     SNDT Women’s University                                             SNDT Women’s University

In the city of Mumbai, crows perched upon rooftops caw incessantly every morning to draw man’s attention to the menace of plastic bags strewn in the streets. Nevertheless, the pleas of the crows to rid the city of plastic bags seem to fall on deaf ears. Incidentally, Indian society has been known to display a spiritual indifference to the garbage crisis!

Most modern societies joining the industrial rat race are not seriously committed to the idea of recycling plastic waste. In fact, the idea of recycling plastic bags usually conjures up images of an army of a rag pickers rummaging through a mound of garbage. However, most people might be unaware that discarded plastic bags can be given a new lease of life when intelligently converted into attractive consumer products and fashion accessories fit for the royalty. In this paper therefore, an attempt is being made to inspire students of Fashion Design to use discarded plastic bags and create a new range of products as a part of the Make in India initiative.

As a basic raw material, plastic provides an inexpensive light-weight alternative that has the added advantage of being molded easily into intricate shapes. Plastic products are also highly durable. Unfortunately however, when plastic is used in the manufacture of disposable products for everyday use, their durability becomes a curse. Durability leads to serious environmental problems.

One approach would be to introduce a Permit Raj in India severely curtail the use of plastic by industry. Another approach would be to make plastic products highly recyclable. This way, discarded plastic goods can take to reincarnation and appear on store shelves in their new avatar. All this begins with recycling, and with a little help from the local rag picker.

As a starter, discarded plastic bags can be converted into trendy hand bags. By using the traditional crochet technique, garbage bag remnants of different colors can be locked into exciting geometrical patterns to produce hand bags fit for the fashion ramps.

Trash bags that had once been banished to landfills have now come back to haunt mainstream civil society in the form of exquisite swim ware. Thanks to recycling. What was once good for the filthy landfill is now good for the local celebrity’s wardrobe. Surely, recycling has hit a new level and is breathing new life into trash.


Thanks to Samidha Singh ,student of Fashion design, for modeling and Sweta Patel, student of fashion design for photography, SVT college of Home Science, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.