There are lots of start-ups in India that are working towards the betterment of our environment. Many of them are establishing their business by recycling and upcycling solid and plastic waste. Mumbai-based ‘Sepoi’ is one such start-up that creates designer bags by upcycling old and worn-out Army uniforms. The firm was founded in 2018 by Siddharth Jaiswal and Suchi Jaiswal. The name Sepoi for the brand is derived from the word Sipahi which means Soldier in Hindi.
Sepoi turns used and surplus Army uniforms into cool laptop bags, backpacks and handbags. Sepoi bags are crafted with the prime objective of delivering an experience high on patriotism and style. The initial idea came to the couple when they saw news of four people being arrested for misusing Army uniforms. Almost a year was spent to formulate the plan and read the market. They started collecting used Army uniforms from family, friends and known sources to design the bags. The idea got a positive response and therefore, Sepoi was established in 2018.
Sepoi have only four team members right now but still they have managed to over 110 bags in the last one year. The product line features a wide range of bags made using old Military uniforms and leather. Sepoi hires rural women and artisans from all over the country to upcycle the bags. After collecting the dresses, firm’s in-house designer comes up with different bag designs.
Sepoi have outsourced the production of these bags to Indore-based Pulpy Papaya start-up. The designs are sent to them where they engage with artisans to create the final product. Once complete, the final product is dispatched to Sepoi’s fulfillment centre. Here, it is packed in carry bags made from recycled plastic and paper waste. These reusable carry bags are made by women associated with the NGO Shaktishali Mahila Sangathan Samiti (SMMS).
The unique Military inspired handcrafted bags from Sepoi are priced between INR 1,000 and INR 3,000. The firm donates 15% of its profits to Army and women welfare NGO’s. Sepoi is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on ‘Fuel a Dream’ to expand their startup. Till now, the firm has raised about INR 27,000 from a goal of INR 1,00,000 with 36 days left in the campaign.
You can buy the Sepoi ‘Carry with Pride’ bags through their website. They ship their products all across the world.