Trash to Treasure | Sunday Observer

Trash to Treasure

Udari Mohotti receiving her award
Udari Mohotti receiving her award

The environment is the most precious thing in this world and it is our duty to protect it. But unfortunately, every day Earth is piled with millions of tons of garbage making it more polluted and unhealthy to live in. At present, pollution has become one of the challenges to overcome in achieving sustainable development goals. We are lucky that there are organisations and people from all around the world who try to make a difference by taking steps towards saving nature. As a result, the recycling revolution has had a considerable effect on the reduction of garbage. This week, the Youth Observer talks to a young designer who is creating eco friendly designer products using trash. She is the Designer, Director and CEO of Umo Designs, Udari Mohotti.

“Actually people don’t pay much attention to garbage that can be reused. Trash is always convertible to anything creative and at the same time useful. As a designer I thought of creating fashionable accessories out of wasted tires and tubes. There are 550 millions of tyres discarded every year and it has become an emerging problem in the world. The creation of this kind of jewellery has provided answers for two main social issues. One is that it reduces the number of wasted tires. Creating art out of waste materials is an upcoming trend. And by promoting it we could save the environment on a major scale.

Also, this could be introduced as an extra income source for university students. Of course it is a great idea for the ones who are ambitious to become self employed,” said Udari.

Wasted tires and tubes are cut, levelled and smoothed by hand until she gets the type of jewellery the customer wants. “This was my initial step in creating eco friendly products. Thereafter, I began to create portraits out of waste paper and boards. These two are the main products I market online at ‘Umo Designs’. I always prefer to personalise the products I create. When it comes to portraits, I give them the 3D effect by hand embossing them. I have also initiated experimenting with plastic. After pursuing an Honours Degree in Design from the University of Moratuwa I made use of the knowledge to encourage society to become eco friendly through my products. I’m really proud of what I have created so far as it has had a positive impact on the community. I have plans to extend my business in the future,” said she.

In 2017 she won the 9th place in the Green Inventor -competition organised by Sampath Bank PLC for eco-friendly Innovators and inventors. At present she is participating in the Climate Launch Pad Contest for green entrepreneurs.

Udari is a real inspiration and example for the younger generation who are aspiring to become future designers. Her example in protecting the environment should be followed by all. She is also a great example of a self employed young person for young people who are about to start up their businesses. “This field is a great option for young people who are struggling to find extra money for their education. Anyone could learn and earn and get more profit than they think from this because we don’t have to pay for the trash; the materials could be found from anywhere. It is also a contribution towards saving nature. From childhood I was taught to love and appreciate nature by my parents who are into science and agriculture.

If we could leave this earth unharmed for future generations that is how we can become true human beings in this world. I think we should get closer to nature in every way because there’s only one earth for all of us to live in” said Udari.