Ecokaari: Up-cycling Waste Plastics into Fabrics

Ecokaari: Up-cycling Waste Plastics into Fabrics
Case Code: LDEN208
Case Length: 8 Pages
Period: 2020-2023
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Ecokaari
Industry :Environment & Waste Management Services
Countries : India
Themes: Social Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Strategy, Environmental Sustainability,Marketing Mix
Ecokaari: Up-cycling Waste Plastics into Fabrics
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case describes how Pune-based Nandan Bhat (Bhat) founded EcoKaari, a social enterprise, with the aim of coming up with a circular business model where traditional Indian craftsmen would create handcrafted fabrics using upcycled plastics. The case touches upon the early challenges that Bhat faced, which led him to change his mode of operations and come up with a manufacturing process that was completely manual and did not use any form of energy. Ecokaari also employed local artisans and offered a sustainable livelihood for them. Ecokaari’s products included garments, handbags, home decor products, footwear, accessories, and office stationery that were sold online as well as through stores.

The case then describes how EcoKaari sought to attract customers as well as extend the life of the products by offering free lifetime repair services for its products and a returns management facility whereby customers could return the product to the company after its life-time. By 2022, EcoKaari had the capacity to annually upcycle about 1.7 million plastic waste bags and other items through two units in Pune, Maharashtra and Bellary, Karnataka. The question was how Nandan should go about scaling up the initiative given that most of the processes were labor intensive and the sourcing of plastic waste was also localized to a large extent.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Describe the concept of circularity.
  • Apply the knowledge of 3R’s and principles of sustainability.
  • Recognize the need to change the operating model to overcome challenges.
  • Identify the measures used to classify a circular business.
  • Describe the challenges of marketing products made from upcycled waste.



Social enterprise; Inclusive business; Sustainable development; Circular business model; Waste Management ; Recycling; Sustainable Business; Marketing recycled products;

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