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Alternative Reuse & Upcycling Foundation is a Non-Profit, Section 8 Company that works on Environmental Issues, Livelihood Programs and Community Development.


We strongly support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production. We intend reaching out to women, men, youth, children and the community at large, to participate and change the way we use our resources, responsibly. Our focus is to promote a more effective way of handling and using garbage and scrap; to imbibe in us, the concept of effective waste management, up-cycling and reusing resources that would otherwise pass-off as scrap or waste.


As per the report of the Secretary-General, special edition: Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals, the worldwide material consumption has expanded rapidly, as has material footprint per capita, seriously jeopardizing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 12 and the Goals more broadly. Urgent action is needed to ensure that current material needs do not lead to the over extraction of resources or to the degradation of environmental resources, and should include policies that improve resource efficiency, reduce waste and mainstream sustainability practices across all sectors of the economy.


We promote the concept of Circular Economy, which is employing, reusing, sharing, repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing, up-cycling and recycling in order to create a close-loop system, minimizing the use of resource inputs and reducing the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions (Definition Source:


Therefore, the concept of responsible consumption, creating a circular economy wherein we consciously discard/segregate waste, reuse, reduce and upcycle is what we believe should be the new norm.


The Problem

As per statistics, in India, over *62 million tonnes of garbage (mixed waste containing recyclable and non-recyclable waste) is collected every year, with an annual growth rate of 4% (Source: PIB 2016).  And 2.01 billion metric tonnes of solid waste the world over, annually. The *Word Bank in its report “What a Waste 2.0” has stated that the annual global waste production will increase by a staggering 70% if the current scenario persists. Flawed waste management systems and lack of information and knowledge on how to manage waste at the local level, starting in our own homes or societies, contribute to this problem.

The Solution

Our focus is extensive research and data collection on the availability of scrap, documenting its lifecycle and how it can be reused and upcycled. In-house design and development of products made with available scrap is also part of the initiative.

Mission and Vision

To initiate sustainable development practices in the community, where local problems are addressed using a combination of traditional wisdom and modern technology through multi-stakeholder participation.  The objectives will encompass waste management, natural resource management through awareness, education, skill development, employment and product creation.

Our Main Objectives

Initiatives by the Foundation are supported by extensive research in their specific areas and broadly fall into the following categories.



  • Garbage

  • Recycling and upcycling

  • Ecology

  • Waste management


  • Skill development

  • Employment


Community Development

  • Promoting sustainable living

  • Circularity

  • Education and awareness programs to create responsible citizens

Research and Development

  • Lifecycle analysis of materials

  • Design solutions and creation of prototypes

  • Product Development

Independent Non-Profit Initiatives

The team has worked on various non-profit initiatives independently that became an integral part of our journey in coming together to form the organization. Here’s a glimpse of the initiatives done so far:



Green Idea

This Project was funded by the Environment Department, Government of Maharashtra (2015-16) in collaboration with Eco-exist to work with three types of materials that were not being recycled but ended up in landfills. The project included basic research, collection, design and training of Self-Help-Groups (SHGs) to make products from materials identified that included thermocol, MLP and thin plastics.

Teaching and Awareness Initiatives

The team has volunteered with Zilla Parishad schools in the area, to impart awareness on ecology, environment, general knowledge and current affairs.

School Support

Funds were raised to improve infrastructure at a government school in Mora Village, Raigad District. Repair and restoration of the classrooms, donation of outdoor play equipment, indoor activity area, library and a full-fledged computer lab was set up at the school. A donation drive for books and stationery was also conducted, entirely driven by children from privileged backgrounds living in the area.

Upcycled Playgrounds

Upcycled play areas were set up at two Zilla Parishad schools at Pune, Maharashtra that was entirely crowdfunded.

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Dhara Kabaria is an alumni of the School of Interior Design, CEPT. Dhara had an amazing opportunity to learn from her Guru Dashrath Patel, and was highly influenced by his unfettered and fearless design ideas. She completed her post-graduation in 3D Design from the Kent Institute of Art and Design, UK. During this research-based course, her topic of research was ‘Alternative use of materials in Design’. The projects undertaken by her during her student times greatly influenced her outlook towards sustainability in design and society. She founded Studio Alternatives in 2010 with a driving interest in the reuse of materials and upcycling. She has also been involved in design education and various community projects. She aspires to practice her creativity and out of box thinking in creating remarkable solutions from waste.


Sonali Phadke is a Partner at studio Alternative LLP since 2017. 

At the studio Sonali has been handling awareness workshops for various age groups regarding garbage and scrap. Her work mainly involves handling Logistics, People Management, Purchase, and coordination with outside associates and agencies. She is also actively volunteering in the local ZP school in Arvi village where the studio is located. 


An active member of ‘The Grassland Trust’ working on Grasslands near Pune, Sonali has been a part of an award-winning documentary ‘Treasures of Grassland’ about wildlife, specially focusing on the Indian Wolf. As a Resource person with Oikos for Ecological Services based in Pune, she has conducted various awareness sessions and surveys based on socio-economic-ecological issues. She was also a part of a team that worked on a Government funded project under 'Green Idea' to document Traditional Environmental Wisdom. The team also executed a project for creating material regarding teaching Environment studies – Nisargshala. An Engineer by profession, the PG Diploma course she did on Sustainable Management of Natural Resources by the Ecological Society has made a deep impact on her outlook towards life


Saipriya Paranjape is a Communications and Events professional with over 10 years of work experience in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Non-Profit sector. An Economics graduate, a Post Graduate in Advertising and Communications and a Post Graduate in CSR, she has worked with organizations such as Vedanta Foundation, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Population First and Sandvik Asia in the past, on issues like female feoticide, gender equality and education of less privileged children. She has developed brand promotional and fundraising strategies nationally for various Indian and international brands. She has organized and executed pan India events like the Sandvik India Gender Awards and the UNFPA-Laadli National Awards for Social Change.


Passionate about charities and philanthropy, Saipriya has independently been working on crowd funded projects to improve infrastructure at government schools near Mumbai and Pune, with special focus on creating up-cycled play grounds for children, aiming to create play equipment out of scrap and to also address the play gap that exists between privileged and less privileged children in India.


She shares her passion with Dhara Kabaria and Sonali Phadke in working with scrap and the concept of reusing and upcycling.

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