Fashionista Omi Gurung launches OMI to create awareness on recycling household wastes, fashionably.

American author Earl Nightingale hit the nail on the head when he said: “Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” This is true in the case of 24-year-old Omi Gurung who hasn't limited his creative genius to one specific field of art.

Omi who hails from Sikkim, came to Bangalore to study fashion designing at the Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology. His life took a different turn when he decided to pursue a PG diploma in Journalism at the Sri Sri Center for Media Studies.

Omi has been writing for various newspapers and online sites on fashion. He joined a local youth magazine as the fashion editor.

Adding style

Now, he has launched OMI, an initiative to tell people to recycle their household waste fashionably. The young entrepreneur informs: “OMI was the label I used to design under earlier , so I formed a group with the same name on May 10, 2010. At present we have 15 active members and more than 160 members online. Members meet twice a month and brainstorm on how to recycle, reduce and reuse waste that can be converted into something stylish. We also create awareness about caring for the environment through our group on Facebook.”

Ask him what made him start OMI, something that's got very little to do with writing or with designing clothes and Omi replies: “I have always been an eco-friendly person.

“I wanted my creativity to benefit not just me but the people around me as well. Household waste was the first thing that came to mind because this is something every person in a metropolis has to deal with.

“Considering it's our lifestyle and careless nature that adds up to it, I decided to form a group which can educate people on how to tackle the issue effectively.

“Be it creating small decorative figurines or arranging a party, my creative instincts have always shown up. What's happened now is that the manifestation of this creativity is taking shape in more forms than one. And having studied fashion and journalism, I just feel better equipped to do what I'm doing now. .”

Some of the products designed by Omi and his group include accessories such as friendship bands, belts, earrings, finger rings, mobile covers, and bags, fabric embellishments such as hand embroideries, fabric paintings, sequins and mirror work, cut work, applique and patch work, customised gifts that range from photo frames, file folders and card holders to pen stands and wall hangings.

They use waste products such as old clothes, buttons, bottles, bottle caps, old note books, newspapers and magazines, plastic and jute fibre, ice-cream sticks, sweet covers, shampoo and milk sachets to create these products. They also take orders for weddings and birthdays.

Omi conducts art workshops every weekend in batches of 10 at his residence in Banashankari. He finds art therapeutic.

Working professionals are charged Rs.1,000 while for students and housewives it is Rs. 500.

Omi can be contacted on 9241756710.

This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

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