Roughly Rs. 4,98,00,000 have been spent on mattresses in First-Line Treatment Centres as the government protocol calls for incineration of the mattress once a patient leaves, subsequently leading to huge ecological damage. With India being the second largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment, tons of plastic scraps are generated in the making of these kits. Lakshmi Menon, a designer turned entrepreneur from Kerala, upcycled this PPE scrap, braiding it into minimal cost bedrolls to help COVID care centres in times of need.
The technique is as simple as braiding hair and requires almost no capital. Laxmi Menon has trained the women of Arayankav, near Kochi, to construct these mattresses called ‘Shayyas’ These women lost their jobs during the pandemic and Menon provided them with jobs. In addition to this, Menon is working with NGOs to provide these mattresses to the homeless. Her innovation has been recognised by the United Nations and is being included in the list of best practices during COVID-19.
This innovation is the perfect example of creative potential being utilised in the time of need, while generating zero waste and why inventive upcycling is the best solution to the majority of everyday problems.
Researched and written by Vihita Nevatia, Team ulaunch