Weaving jute products to combat plastic menace
Hyderabad-based Madhavi Lakkakula is on a mission to reduce the use of plastic through 'Mugdha Designs' that manufactures various jute products including dress material, hand bags, decorative wall hangings
Pollution by plastics is a perennial widespread problem until we find a best alternative and ensure that people buy environment-friendly products.
With an aim to address this issue, Madhavi Lakkakula established 'Mugdha Designs' in 2005.
She shares, " I am fortunate that my dream has fructified into reality with the support of my whole family , a real boon to a housewife in traditional families. My husband encouraged me to do a PG Diploma in Dress Designing and Garment Making as I have a good drawing and painting skills and good sense of cloth materials."
With these basic qualifications, she started the business in 2005 with the distribution of fabric products at first and then started saree business under the brand name Mugdha Designs.
"In tune with the customer's choice, I underwent training in Kalamkari Painting too from a State Awardee Kalamkari Painting Master and underwent training in a few more craft courses for skill enrichment," adds Madhavi.
Recalling one of her best satisfied achievements, she says that she worked as a costume designer in a Telugu movie, 'Mallela Teeramlo Sirimalle Puvvu' for the actress Sridivya in 2012.
Madhavi adds, " I used all cotton handloom sarees, die and block & screen printings as per the director's visualisation. The rangoli (Muggulu) designs on sarees introduced by us became very popular and became a trend setter for others to introduce rangoli printed sarees in the textiles market."
In tune with changing times, to promote environmental friendliness, she realized that jute products will be the right option in place of harmful synthetic plastic products in day-to-day life including decorative furnishings.
For promoting Eco-friendly products, Mugdha Designs diversified into Jute Products from 2013. She is now a certified designer from National Jute Board, Hyderabad. To meet the challenges of new trends in industry and business, she has also attended a couple of Training Programmes organised by National Jute Board (NJB) along with MSME, Hyderabad.
According to Mugdha, they constantly experiment with materials, prints and forms. Their products are sustainable and eco-friendly. Mugdha Designs procure jute raw material mostly from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamilnadu.
Currently, the business is providing employment to around eight people directly and aims to multifold it in the coming years, all depending upon the post Covid-19 scenario.
"Being a woman, I always aim at contributing my part for women empowerment in the Society and so started training youth and housewives in these skills in Hyderabad. Recently trained women entrepreneurs at Ramky Foundation, Vizag through NJB, Hyderabad and helped them to start their own microscale jute bags manufacturing units. My dream is to start a Training Institute of our own to impart occasional training to youth in jute diversified products manufacturing skills. Social media was her key to grow and there were times when the market was totally down," concludes Madhavi.