Entrepreneurship

Arohi Dalwadi, Founder of ReStory

We all want to create something with our own hands, to bring to life an idea that hasn’t yet been realised by many others, but to be the first to develop it. A passion for their respective fields and a detailed understanding of them are two ladders that have led to all first-timers succeeding.

ReStory is a home decor accessories brand with the central idea of upcycling and recycling waste materials into unique home decor products.

About the Founder

Arohi did her undergraduate degree in interior design and then went on to pursue her postgraduate degree in sustainable design from the University of South Australia. Reflecting back, she was always more excited about the decor aspects of the interior spaces than the construction aspect of their design. She was intrigued by decor accessories and wanted to do something unique and innovative in this particular field.

She worked at an interior design firm immediately after graduation, where she learned key design elements and spatial understanding. Her exposure to a variety of designer positions provided her with knowledge of various styles, materials used, manufacturing methods, cost, and so on.

As an environmentalist, Arohi believes that sustainability is critical due to the massive amount of natural resource waste and environmental harm caused by the daily creation of new products. Instead, she believes in creating high-quality products that last a long time. Lockdown gave her a lot of free time to read and research the Indian market. She came across a few articles mentioning how pollution and waste had gone down during the lockdown period. The article spoke about how our skies were clearer, noise pollution had gone down, etc. This ignited the idea that she should explore the recycling and upcycling of products instead of creating them from brand-new raw materials.

She found that India is a developing country with the world’s highest population, where the sustainable market is fairly new and no one has been able to quite penetrate the market as of yet. There is an abundance of skilled workers available, along with high-quality recycled materials. The sustainable market was finally emerging in India post-lockdown, and it was the perfect time to launch ReStory as a sustainable home decor accessories brand.

So why the name?

ReStory aims to give waste materials a new “story” through unique, sustainable decor products. It was very clear from the start that sustainability would be an important aspect of her brand, so she made conscious decisions around that. All materials used in her products are sustainably sourced and manufactured using energy-efficient processes. Scrap mild steel pieces were recycled to make metal products, and they use wood and glass that have been tossed away to create amazing products. The brand philosophy was against plastic use, and hence she decided to make Restore 100% plastic-free, which included packaging too!

Restory has taken numerous steps to minimise its carbon footprint and environmental impact, including sourcing materials from local vendors and factories in and around Mumbai. All of the products are handmade and of high quality, so they last a long time.

Vision and future of the brand

Arohi wants to penetrate the sustainable home decor market, which has been growing quite rapidly in India. ReStory wants to provide value to people by creating home decor accessories that have unique styles and designs, attentive customer service, and plastic-free packaging. It is clear to her what she does not want, which is to have a curated marketplace. Instead, she wants to have a website where you can find things that you can’t find anywhere else. As she moves forward, she wants to discover innovative ways to reuse materials in ways she never imagined before.

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