Quirky upcycling shop Rangoli Street , founded by Pondicherry native Patricia Lavocat and located at 74 Rue du Cherche Midi, Paris, combines ecology with the pleasure of consuming.
100% of the products on sale at Rue Rangoli are made from used materials, including telephone wire earrings, bags made from recycled tyres, stools made from recycled and woven food packaging and even notepads made from elephant dung, among other quality goods, all creatively designed from used items, waste and used materials.
Valuable expertise to help save the planet
Rue Rangoli works with craftspeople and designers who use their knowledge and expertise to help save the planet and train people from sensitive or marginalised backgrounds to help them to make a living out of their talents. From refugees in Italy and single mothers in South Africa to underpaid craftspeople in Niger and even handicapped individuals in Vietnam, anyone can use their work as a way of regaining a certain independence and dignity.
Indian partners Mahima and Vijendra have implemented an entirely ecological process for transforming elephant dung into paper and using it to make stylish and 100% organic products that are also, thankfully, odourless! Bearing in mind that an elephant produces 100kg of dung per day, it’s easy to see how this could spare large numbers of trees.
“I’m originally from Pondicherry, a small piece of France in India, where I spent the first 10 years of my life and where I developed my great sensitivity to the issues associated with development, choosing to establish a career based on the values of cooperation. The great deal of inequality that still exists in the country conceals the human wealth that I have always wanted to promote, but resilience can help bring some extraordinary talents and items to life”, Patricia Lavocat explains.
A physical store at 74 Rue du Cherche-midi
Patricia Lavocat opened her first physical store just a stone’s throw from Le Bon Marché, in Paris’s 6th arrondissement, in 2018 with the help of the Paris Initiative Entreprise (PIE). Rue Rangoli certainly but not exclusively attracts customers who are sensitive to environmental and social issues and aims to reach a wider audience by making ecology a source of consumer pleasure.
An art called Rangoli
“Getting up very early in the morning you’d get to really appreciate the village and see these women tracing these complex geometrical patterns on the ground using rice powder. These ephemeral designs then feed the animals living on the street and honour all living things. This ancestral art form, known as Rangoli and passed on from mother to daughter, serves to protect and care for a street, a neighbourhood, even a village, and represents a certain openness to the world.