RISTA is getting to décor of sustainability with rural handicrafts

RISTA Handicrafts is a social startup that works with rural woman artisans to create handwoven home décor out of natural fibers.


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Commonly used home decor products made up of materials such as plastic, glass, metal, styrofoam and thermocol had been the trend in last many decades. These raw materials consume huge amount of energies to get converted into products and end up as trash after few years of usage.

With garbage piles rising continuously around us, people have gradually started looking for eco- friendly alternatives in recent years. Thus there is a big gap to be filled by new innovations which have less energy footprints, are sustainable and doesn’t add more garbage to landfills. Traditional knowledge of older times, if revived, can act as genius solution to many such issues.

RISTA HANDICRAFTS, a social startup done under incubation cell (RTBI) of IIT Madras by Mrs Jyoti Budhia tackles one such problem. Journeys of rebuilding are not uncommon but each one has its own uniqueness and challenges. Rista Handicrafts’ journey started under guidance of a Prof. from IIT Madras, Ashok Jhunjhunwala, who was working extensively on rural development.

Living in Odisha for few years, Jyoti got to interact with rural artisans over there and understood their pain points. She brainstormed on making a social business model by combining her skills with the skills of people around the villages of Odisha.

She interacted with women artisans who were skilled to weave grass into beautiful products such as baskets but lacked professional expertise. She soon formed a group and started helping local artisans with modern designs, value addition and market linkages. Now RISTA employs 70-80 women artisans from villages in Mayurbhanj, Jeypore and Kendrapara districts of Odisha and Assam. Though farming remains primary livelihood, for many women Rista Handicrafts has provided a stable option of generating income from comfort of households.

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Rista Handicrafts was born in year 2013 and brand name RISTA (Rural Indian Social Traditional Artefacts) denotes connectivity and relationship between rural and urban India. Rista delivers a wide range of exquisite hand-weaved home décor and gift items made out of natural fibers. They use bio-degradable raw materials such as Cane, Bamboo, Golden Grass and Sabai Grass, processed using traditional ways improvising traditional wisdom of rural artisans.

Mostly natural and earthy colour palette is used for dyeing the fibers and customized according to customer’s requirements. Rista visions to not only replace conventional home décor with eco-friendly items but also work exclusively with rural communities and bring them closer to urban India by promoting their art and craft.

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You can follow https://www.facebook.com/Ristahandicrafts for updates.


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shikha Shah has spent considerable time in rural parts of India working on areas such as water conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, livelihood and education. In her free time, she loves exploring new social innovations/startups and writing about them. She can be contacted at shikhashah2002@gmail.com more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shikha Shah has spent considerable time in rural parts of India working on areas such as water conservation, renewable energy, agriculture, livelihood and education. In her free time, she loves exploring new social innovations/startups and writing about them. She can be contacted at shikhashah2002@gmail.com more

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