At At-Tin, designers turn waste material into homeware. Sriya Ray Chaudhuri writes.mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2013 02:05 IST
Deep inside one of Mazagaon’s serpentine lanes is a storehouse of quirky home goods. Almost everything at At-Tin has been rescued from scrapyards, remodelled and turned into something entirely different.
It starts at the door, a bespoke creation of vertical bars formed by twisting perforated metal sheets into cylindrical shapes. This decorative element is on sale too — you can take such bars home and use them on your windows or staircase railings.
Walk into the store and the first thing that strikes you is how large and airy it is — a rarity in space-starved Mumbai.
At-Tin has high ceiling and unpaved floors but optimises space in a different manner. The tables displaying its wares are also on sale, as is the bench near the entrance. Two tall panels hang from the ceiling: the light white one is a day panel; the black one a night panel. Made from waste Bandhani fabric, it has an applique-work design. But, hey, you don’t have to use it as a panel. It can be a drape for your window, a screen for your living room or inserted between the glass panels of your front door.
“Industrial waste and other scrap can be used in so many ways to create something new. Many of our designers are graduates from institutes like NID [National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad],” says co-owner of the store Mubina Kachwalla. Her husband Aziz, the other half of the store, is an NID and IIT-Bombay graduate. The duo source works from artisans across India, some of whom hail from weaker socio-economic backgrounds.
Although the store is difficult to locate, Kachwalla says the response has been good.
And if you’re wondering about the name, the answer lies in the location: At-tin in Arabic means fig tree. The store is located in the Old Anjirwadi area (anjir is Hindi for fig).