If you think corrugated board furniture is light, fragile and not sturdy, Haresh Mehta of Mumbai-based design packaging firm Jayna Packaging Pvt Ltd, will prove you wrong. ‘Paper Shaper’ is an innovative corrugated board lifestyle product of his company. His creations, which include furniture, accessories and utility items made from recyclable corrugated boards, are durable and strong. Mehta’s office in Kurla, Mumbai, is the best example of his creations, as right from the furniture at the reception to the office desks, chairs and shelves, all are crafted from corrugated board.
Paper Shaper’s corrugated board furniture products
“Consumer demand for eco-friendly furniture and décor accessories, is on the rise. Reuse and recycle is in vogue the world over. Paper is an environmentally friendly choice, partly, because it is easier to recycle than other materials,” says Mehta, adding that corrugated furniture is a better alternative to wooden, metal and plastic furniture. “Corrugated board is a material that is both, versatile and flexible and can be recycled again. We have an entire range of children’s furniture, which is free of sharp edges and simple to assemble. It can be assembled without glue or screws. So, children can enjoying assembling it on their own,” he elaborates.
Paper Shaper’s range of home and office furniture includes cradles, beds, tables, sofas, chairs, shelves, drawers, lamps and coffins for pets, etc.
“With the correct mix of material and design technology, corrugated board furniture can easily take up to 150-200 kgs of weight. The furniture is coated with a water-proof material and can last anywhere from five to 10 years, depending on the usage. Corrugated furniture does not need any maintenance like polishing or varnishing, is termite free and apt for children’s rooms, as they outgrow furniture quickly. It is also ideal for people on the move, people who live on rent and for students’ housing,” explains the entrepreneur.
Convincing people to adopt corrugated board furniture, a challenge
Mehta who inherited the business from his father, was always fascinated by origami, the art of folding paper and in his free time, would experiment with the paper and corrugated sheet materials with which he worked. He then realised that it was one of the most durable products and a great piece of engineering. “I have been researching and experimenting with the idea of furniture for nearly two decades and finally launched the brand Paper Shaper, online, in May 2017. Corrugated cardboard is different from regular cardboard, as it contains a corrugated sheet in between two flat liners. It has been challenging, to convince people that corrugated furniture is sturdy and durable, as the storage boxes they see in most stores are fragile. I made a rocking chair out of the boxes and made people sit on it, to change their opinion about cardboard furniture. I also displayed the chair at the Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai in 2012 and at other exhibitions and got good response,” says the manufacturer, whose company has the exclusive rights to manufacture these patented products in the Indian market.
Green benefits of corrugated board furniture
Corrugated board furniture is for people, who wish to do their bit to reduce their carbon footprint and yet, ensure that their home makes a visual statement.
“Paper, from which corrugated board is made, has hardly any wood content. It degrades easily and can be recycled. Paper Shaper furniture is also economical, as the range for children’s furniture starts from Rs 2,500 onwards and furniture for adults is priced Rs 4,500 onwards. It is recyclable, foldable and portable, which is perfect for the millennial on the move,” maintains Mehta, who has also designed a portable toilet box, with covers.
Sanitation is a big problem in India, as one does not easily find clean toilets, especially when travelling, he explains. “Women particularly face problems, in the absence of toiles. These portable, corrugated board toilets are lightweight, easy to use and have adjustable covers too,” says Mehta.
Paper Shaper has clients, not only in India but also in the Middle-East and USA. In the near future, the company plans to introduce a foldable backpack-cum-stool and a foldable cradle with a mattress and mosquito net. Mehta says that his aim is to develop an entire range of corrugated board products that one uses, from cradle to grave.