Jugaad: The Shop With A Cause

Tucked away in a corner on Delhi’s Westend Marg, lies Champa Gali, a tiny alley bustling with bistros and cafes. In the midst of all of the cafes is Jugaad, a shop where everything for sale is recycled.

Jugaad as a concept started in 1997 as a part of Karm Marg a Delhi based care home that provides refuge to disadvantaged children and teenagers and equips them with an education and/or skills. Jugaad put to use the skills of the teenage rag pickers to make recycled products, which could be sold in an effort to help elevate them from the streets.

Eventually, Jugaad came into its own and broke away from Karm Marg as a separate business in 2004; though it is still considered as the “nerve centre” of Karm Marg as it employs the local women of the village in its enterprise and its sales cover 40% of Karm Marg’s expenses.

Jugaad now competes in the competitive market and has taken to tying up with other NGOs, craftsmen and brands that showcase its many beautiful, handmade things.

“In the beginning, the children were involved in developing the products as a part of our drive to impart skills to them in an effort to get them off the streets. Now, however the children are given a proper education or undergo vocational training and the women of the local village are employed to produce the products in an effort to empower them”, said Rachna from Jugaad, while speaking to Iamrenew.

The little shop is filled with loads of products and each one is more delightful to look at and seem even more fascinating when you read about the materials they are made with. Jugaad sells clothes (kurtas, blouses, etc) to recycled handbags & earrings to stationary made from elephant poop (yup, that’s right they use elephant poop to make notebooks which are shaped as popsicles and are aptly named “poopsicles”).

“We initially just started off by selling paperbags and now we have around 250 products in our little shop”, said Rachna.

The unassuming shop is truly a treasure trove. So, if you’re looking for something to buy for your friend or yourself, do stop by this little shop. You’ll be doing the environment a favour and you’ll indirectly be aiding underprivileged children and rural women.

Jugaad currently only has one flagship store in Champa Gali, Delhi which opened two years ago, however their products are sold in many other stores around India or you can order their products online via Flipkart or iTokri.


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