Celebrating mass-produced, frugal, aesthetic design from india

The jack of all trades : The good old newspaper

Purana Paper

The reusing of newspaper is a perfect symbolization of the paisa vasool attitude we Indians possess.

Before the world discovered the reusability of a newspaper, we Indians were using it practically everywhere. We wrapped our spices in them, our food, as carry bags, infact even to wrap shoes.

There is a legend that goes in my family that my father landed his first job interview while seeing an ad in the process of unwrapping his shoes which were inside a newspaper!

Such has been the tremendous power of its reuse. Recall the visual of an extra oil soaked newspaper, which had five minutes back been holding a samosa or a dhokla and now lies crumpled in the corner, but a live fully lived.

What are the various forms in which newspaper is reused?

Though there are various ways in which newspaper is used some popular design practices are :

  1. As paper bags for storing from medicines to household supplies
  2. For making small closed wraps or pudiyas to keep powder like substance like chilli, namak etc. Packed til date along with roasted corn or peanuts
  3. For wrapping  pressed and laundered clothes. A flap of the sheet is used.
  4. As a makeshift dining table cloth when eating in bed .Specially summer days  when mangoes are eaten
  5. Used by roadside stall wallas to serve bhel , jhalmuri, chana chor garam etc. This is the conical structure .
  6. A miniature version of the  same is used to wrap pans .
  7. Vendors wrap gift items like paper mache till date in newspaper .

How much are they priced at ?

Practically nothing.

How to make one ?

Check out some steps and instructions to make a newspaper bag:


Why is this a Design Mela featured product?

For the obvious reasons ,its very very low cost , totally sustainable material, its flexibility to adapt to different uses  and yes ! MASS CONSUMED !

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