“Don’t run after money; it will follow. Just pursue your passion. With your persistence, patience and hard work, nothing can stop you.” – Harish Mehta
The concept of sustainability is something that everybody advocates for these days but there are very few who go ahead and make an initiative to actually do something to save the environment and the “world” per se. Now, this imaginative approach of using corrugated cardboard to build furniture ranging from cardboard desks, storage boxes, organizers, rocking chairs and many more is envisioned and achieved by an innovator named, Harish Mehta.
Harish Mehta is a perfect example of a self-made man as today wherever he is and whatever he has achieved is all a result of his hard work and determination. Mehta was a college dropout and had no interest in his family business. The only thing he was fully engrossed in was the art of origami; hence this is what drove him to achieve his dream which today has turned into reality. He was a visionary and a strong opposer of dictatorship and is a man who encapsulates resiliency.
The idea in itself of creating furniture out of cardboard, when hearing for the first time, seems a bit unwonted as cardboard are typically used only for packaging purposes. Also cardboard, when comparing it with the characteristics of plastic or wooden furniture, seem a bit fragile and weak. But this mountain of impossibility is amazingly vanquished by Mehta.
Harish Mehta’s cardboard manufacturing firm “Paper Shaper” based in Mumbai is taking humongous steps in creating eco-friendly furniture providing multi-faceted variations in the usability of the furniture that proves to be extremely convenient for the people.
Paper Shaper is a young business that was launched a year ago online. Paper Shaper’s major input in the process of manufacture is the “corrugated cardboard”. Corrugated cardboard is generally used in packaging and comprises of two layers of cardboard having a wavy structure inside. As a result, this gives a lot of strength to the structure. The corrugated cardboard is light but can withstand heavy objects and sustain the hassle of transportation.
As intriguing as the idea sounds, the design of the furniture made out of the corrugated cardboard is also equally fascinating. Now, the furniture does not require any screws or nuts in its amazing design instead, the furniture is fold-able hence, anybody can assemble it in no time. Now this is possible as the parts of the furniture are designed like a jigsaw puzzle that can be connected hence, like connecting the parts of the puzzle the furniture is also similarly connected and reassembled. Also, owing to the fact that the structure of corrugation enables the cardboard to connect easily the furniture turns out to be picture perfect and durable bearing less flaws.
In the midst of all the creativity and innovation, few challenges were also prevalent in their glory, one being the pre-conceived notion that people had towards cardboard and its furniture. The idea of using furniture made out of cardboard sounded antonymous to the people’s want of presenting luxury in every way possible in the society.
In terms of working towards the saving the environment, the furniture made by Paper Shaper is actually an epitome of fulfilling the consumption needs without harming the environment. From rich to poor, everybody needs furniture; hence Paper Shaper has also enabled a culture of making furniture affordable and accessible for everyone regardless of their financial constraints.
One of Mehta’s ambitious projects of creating “Loo-Box” tackles and addresses the issues of sanitation. As a result, this portable loo box also acts as an alternative solution to avoid the unhygienic public toilets in India. The portable toilet can easy to use and can be set up and disassembled in no time. Also, in order to maintain the privacy arrangements, adjustable cover is also made available along with offerings like mobile holder in the inner walls of the loo.
Therefore, the efforts put in by Harish Mehta will truly be acknowledged and appreciated for the longest time possible.