Skill Lab

Skilled Samaritan is offering immersive experience to upcoming and budding designers to play with their ideas and create products with a focus on sustainable living and converting #trashtotreasure!
We provide you with access to our resources, materials and artisans’ skill-sets to create innovative designs that have the stamp of your name and our story! We aim for our ‘Skill-lab’ to be an inventive platform for you to experiment with your ideas and create a product that echos – comfort, sustainability and visual-appeal.

Our Materials:

80% or our products are made using pre-consumer plastic waste and post manufacturing textile fabric waste. This waste is converted into usable ropes that are used to weave our products using a traditional Indian style of weaving found mostly in villages in the Northern Indian.  
Plastic Waste:
Skilled Samaritan works closely with local rope-making units that are set up in villages as MSMEs, mostly found in the interiors of Northern India. These units are regular buyers waste from an informal economy of rag pickers that pick up discarded sheets of pre-consumer multi laminate plastic wrappers from flexi packaging units, that is converted into usable ropes using indigenous machines set up by these units. This underground supply chain of ‘waste to wow’ is unknowingly adding to the circular economy of plastics creating a huge impact by using waste that would have otherwise been dumped in land-fills or incinerated.
Considering the physical properties of multi-layer packing materials, which is light weight, good strength and barrier properties, grease and water resistant and attractive in design; our ropes material is light, bright (the blue and purple from Cadbury chocolates, the green of Garnier shampoo bottles, the yellow and orange from packets of crisps) and extreme tenacity.
Textile Waste:
The global demand for textile products is steadily increasing, a trend likely to continue due population growth and economic development. Meanwhile, the textile industry is facing tremendous environmental and resource challenges, where 63% percent of textile fibres are derived from petrochemicals whose production and fate give rise to considerable (CO2) emissions. The remaining 37% is dominated by cotton (24%), a thirsty plant associated with water depletion. 
India is one of the largest producers of textile and the waste associated it with. Skilled Samaritan works closely with women from villages in Sirsa and jodhpur regions of Haryana and Rajasthan respectively, to convert textile waste into ropes. These ropes are made mostly by hand using colourful materials, that works to our advantage.

Characteristics of SSF Products:

Form: Our products are the definition of aesthetic skillsets combined with modern design sensibilities to create functional, comfortable and unique pieces of furniture and home living items.
Function: Our products have taken cues from India’s most functional piece of furniture, which is the charpoy bed. We work closely with product designers and weave artists to curate practical objects that make ever everyday living even more comfortable yet attractive.
Quality: We use wood and iron metal as frames to weave our products.The tenacity of our frames combined with intricate and fitted weaving techniques, passed down by generations of charpai weavers that made sturdy beds for everyday use; our products are last for years, where most can be used outdoors and indoors with simple cleaning instructions.
Sustainability: Our model focuses on a model of circular economy for plastics, where we use plastic and cloth waste materials created during the manufacturing process by flexi packaging units that has not yet passed through the consumer, but would have otherwise been dumped and discarded; adding to the global plastic waste. 
Pricing: While the raw materials used in our products are bought from a secondary market of rag pickers, the cost of materials is reasonably low; we focus on equitable and fair wages for our artisans, ensuring safe and comfortable working conditions with benefits for their families and communities and determine the pricing accordingly.
We seek artists who who wish to gain experience working in the field using their expertise to provide technical and design inputs to their rural “counterparts”. To know more about this opportunity, write to gauri@skilledsamaritan.com