Recycle! 30-YO Kashmiri Designer Turns Waste Into Speakers With An Innovative Idea, Furniture

Business Innovation By Chaithra B S | 2 min read


Recycle! This is what this man from Kashmir choose to do. Why? You will know the story behind this incredible recycling, sustainable and eco-friendly start-up. Meet Burhan ud din Khateeb the man behind Studio Kalib.

Burhan ud din Khateeb founded Studio Kalib after graduating to provide eco-friendly and futuristic spins to Kashmir’s traditional art, creating unique workmanship such as Bluetooth speakers, chicken coops, furniture, backpacks, and more. 

Just like Khateeb, Mushtaq’s love For Paper Mache Art & Innovative Business Ideas Are Making Her The Entrepreneurial Role Model Of J&K – Read this story.

Innovative Ideas of a Kashmiri Man

Khateeb, unlike his classmates, chose not to work for a large firm after graduating from the National Institute of Design-Ahmedabad.

The 30-year-old Kashmiri man made the conscious decision to return home and work to support his region’s artisans after being upset over the state of craftsmanship in his native region. He also wanted to recycle and support sustainability.

Burhan returned to Kashmir and founded Studio Kilab, a Kashmir Innovation Lab, in Srinagar, a design studio aiming at tackling the valley’s disappearing crafts industry through the use of sustainable and biodegradable materials.

Bags, home decor, furniture, poultry coops, and home utility are some of the things that he manufactures. Burhan has found a way to combine traditional Kashmiri craftsmanship with modern design while keeping it sustainable. To make their products greener and lower their carbon impact, they use materials such as wood, paper mache, and willow wicker.

Recycle, Sustainability And Cutting-Edge Design

Burhan began to wonder if there were ways to make the production of designs more environmentally friendly and sustainable, having the least amount of a negative influence on the environment, while he was still a student.

This is when he met Singgih Kartono, an Indonesian designer. Kartono was educated at one of the greatest colleges, but he returned to his village to see how he might build goods using local materials and skills. This greatly impressed me because Kashmiris have many underutilised skills.

Image: Studio Kilab

Furthermore, the region has a wealth of materials to provide. But they were not being used. Burhan was bothered by this concept.

Later, he travelled to Kartono to gain a better understanding of how design can be utilised to support livelihoods and make sustainable designs more workable.

He began looking into what the government was doing to support the craft industry and whether there were any other businesses carrying out similar initiatives locally. He discovered that the majority of these organisations only stay to complete a few tasks. There are no long-term plans in place.

Studio Kilab – The Recycle Lab

They jointly co-founded Studio Kilab after working on a few projects for Ishfaq Mir, who at the time ran a family business specialising in traditional crafts. Burhan has travelled the world and is aware of the benefits that sustainable design may provide.

The chicken coops they produced are the most intriguing item they produced since they were able to combine permaculture principles with a design sense that was quite different.

Moreover, Bruhan used paper mache to create inventive Bluetooth speakers.

He remembers that the purpose of Bluetooth speakers was to advance craft to more modern electronics and technology. The material is strong and environmentally benign, and a paper mache enclosure’s resonance and acoustics are quite similar to those of a wooden enclosure. When compared to wood, the pulp is far more flexible and can be moulded into any shape.

Willow wicker, pine, walnut, paper mache, and other materials are primarily used in designs in the recycle process. Paper mache is created from scrap paper from adjacent printing presses, offices, and organisations. The willow wicker is produced in Ganderbal, which is renowned for producing wicker.

They work together with the Forest Department because they have a very organised mechanism in place for doing so to get wood from particularly old trees. Although Studio Kilab still being in its early phases of growth, more than 100 artisans from Srinagar and the nearby region now have a job and a source of assistance.

Do you want to buy these sustainable, eco-friendly items made of innovative ideas? Check out their website – Studio Kilab

If you loved reading this story, you could also read Entrepreneur Earns Rs 2 Lakh/Month By Making Eco-Friendly Products; Empowers Local Artisans 

If you know more inspirational stories about any person, company, new idea, or social initiative, and want us to write them on, share such information with us on InstagramFacebook or LinkedIn.

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