Meet the Indian entrepreneur who literally turns rags into riches


Jaideep Sajdeh lives in Mumbai. He is the founder of Texool, a company that uses discarded textiles from wealthy countries and recycles them into shopping bags, backpacks, and handbags. In doing so, Jaideep and his team is not only reaping good profit, but also creating job opportunities in India, and helping the environment.

With a burgeoning textile industry in the west, the clothes that get discarded and shipped from the developed world to India and Africa come in at virtually no cost. Exporters often have to pay just the shipping cost for these used clothes. Yet, the market for recycling and processing used clothing in the developed world has been witnessing a major slowdown. Jaideep, whose family has been transforming used garments into recycled yarn for decades, is a testament to how, with some innovation and a lot of passion, such trends can be reversed.

Texool currently employs sixty people in a Mumbai suburb, who cut the used clothes, and sew them back into designer shopping bags, wine bags, bottle bags, handbags, and school bags. Most of these bags have a clever tag saying - “I am not a virgin” to indicate in a stylish way, that the bag is made of recycled material.

“As people are getting richer, it is no secret that there is more wastage happening, more dumping happening. Somebody has to step up, somebody has to start taking responsibility doing this on a mass (production) level rather than a cottage (industry) level,” Jaideep told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Currently, Jaideep's venture produces about 15 lakh bags every year. The price of these bags vary from Rs 20 to Rs 400. Jaideep hopes that one day, people from the wealthy countries will realize the amount of waste they generate, and open up to buying his bags.

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