I stumbled across Tyre Treasures in a facebook group where someone was bragging about their new tire table and chairs, and for good reason. They were absolutely beautiful! I love that this company isn’t only upcycling, they are doing it in a way where you would have no idea the furniture is made from something often discarded on the side of a highway. Not to mention, all their products are made in Nepal. I got the chance to chat with Ojaswi Baidya about her company. Check it out…
Tell me a little about yourself…
I’m Ojaswi Baidya, a married 29-year-old living in Lalitpur, a sister district of the capital Kathmandu. I am the Founder of Tyre Treasures and am currently heading the company. I love locally crafted products and support whenever and wherever I can. I enjoy hiking and going into nature but since I get allergies, it seems like nature does not like me. I also am a cat mamma, currently raising a 6-month-old Abby.
What is your brand called and why did you name it that?
Remembering the old saying that stuck with us since our school days “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, we named our brand “Tyre Treasures”.
What does Tyre Treasures make?
We make furniture such as garden tables and seats, coffee and tea tables, and muda by upcycling discarded tyres and decor items from glasses, cans, and plastic. We have also been making hanging planting pots from tyres as well as doing landscaping with tyres.
What inspired you to come up with your brand?
With waste management being a huge problem in Nepal – overburdened and mismanaged landfills, open burning and use of tyres as a source of fuel in brick factories, we knew that something had to be done. In addition to that, the Nepali market is flooded with plastic furniture that has a short life span. The concept of upcycling and circular economy was new and exciting and we wanted to redirect the waste tyres from being a major pollutant to an aesthetic and functional product for the home. The possibility of actively working on creating a cleaner, greener Nepal by shaping the budding circular economy
How are these items produced?
We work with locally sourced organic materials such as Jute, Cattail, Elephant wheatgrass from the Terai region, and employ hand craftsmanship of the local artisans. We also use local recycled cotton and silk in the making of cushions. With the consultation of our local producers and suppliers, we gather information on what materials are readily available to us and which will complement the tyres. Keeping the local craftsmanship and tradition in mind, we ideate our product line and start sampling and creating our products.
What makes your products special or unique?
Every producer finds their creation special and unique and so my answer may be biased in that sense. But what we can say objectively is that every product that we have made has been upcycled, and it directly contributes to a cleaner world. It is always a joy to see customers choosing our products mainly for that reason and that’s what makes it special and unique.
What is the price range of your items?
Our product price ranges from Rs. 700 ($7 USD) to Rs. 9,500 ($95 USD). It varies depending on customization and product bundling.
How many people do you currently employ in Nepal?
Tyre Treasures works with 30-35 local craftsmen and women of various disciplines – weaving, crochet, carpentry, metal workmanship, among others.
Where can people buy your items?
Our products are available at Maya Ko Chino, Jhamsikhel (@maya_ko_chino). We also take the orders via our own social media accounts: instagram.com/tyre_treasures and facebook.com/tyretreasures and make deliveries ourselves.
What are your plans for your brand in the future?
We are currently working with our artisans on developing new products which will bring options in our product line and at the same time give opportunities to other disciplines.
What is the best part of owning your company?
The best part of having this company is directly contributing to a cleaner, greener Nepal, and supporting local businesses with our own venture. Every upcycled product is an item saved from landing in a brick factory or landfill. Adding to that, in over 2 years of journey, we have seen skeptics, inquirers converting into our supporters, well-wishers, and mainly our sustainability green partners. Seeing this growth in understanding is exciting and motivates us every day to do better and tickle the imagination of our customers.
Follow Tyre Treasures on social media…
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your brand?
Tyre Treasures was formed at a time when upcycling, repurposing and circular economy were alien terms to the local people. We as an organization also had a lot of unlearning and relearning in order to communicate our message loud and clear. As many are becoming more aware and are making informed decisions, we hope many more will take an extra bit of time and care in choosing products that have a positive effect on our environment. The products we make have been designed with sustainable materials kept in mind. We hope that customers see merit in our products and its direct benefit to our environment and chooses them over the plastic ones.
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Michelle Della Giovanna
Writer at Full Time Explorer
I’m just your average New Yorker who quit her job in the fashion industry to explore the world. Come find out what it’s like to trade in five-inch heels for squat toilets.