We are all aware about plastic and other non-biodegradable product consumerism. But are we aware about how our indigenous craft making processes are suffering a lot due to mass manufacturing of plastic toys and lifestyle products with the advancement in time and technology? Along with this we are also losing cultural richness and it is getting difficult to preserve Indian crafts. This shift of using more mass manufactured plastic products also affects the livelihood of local artisans. The artisans are left with no other option but to join some industry and do some task for their family’s livelihood.
Here is an opportunity for design intervention! The designers can collaborate with artisans or craftsmen and understand the value of craft and later acknowledge the artisans about the need for creative collaboration for sustaining a craft and promoting it in the contemporary world. If such mindful collaboration of craftsmen and designers happens, it not only uplifts the livelihood of the craftsmen but can also set a trend of using sustainable hand-crafted products over non-biodegradable plastic products.
People are actually aware about the sustainability and their responsibility towards the nature, but somehow due to less availability of minimalist and contemporary design in other materials like wood, stone and textile they end up buying plastic products. It is a designer’s role to thoughtfully choose to work with sustainable and biodegradable materials and provide a wide range of design options to the customer.
Chhapak is a brand which collaborates with artisans and creates handcrafted, playful- utility products out of sustainable materials. The vision and the mission of Chhapak is to promote the use of handcrafted products by designing very minimalist and playful utility products. We are currently working with wood, but have recently started exploring soft materials and have a vision to create a wide range of utility products using the soft material as well. Chhapak products have a very interesting product language, we use forms inspired from nature mainly figurative animal forms which create an emotional urge to interact with the product. The use of figurative forms makes the object speak for itself and, psychologically we connect to something that speaks for itself rather than the sharp and geometric forms.
Handcrafted products not only serve a utilitarian purpose but have an emotional value attached to it. Handcrafted products are timeless and celebrate beauty and honesty of the hard work of a craftsman. Each of these products are made with limited resources and locally available materials but leave an imprint of the maker on it forever.