Sustainability Research and Design

How sustainable is Bhar ?

Collection Bhar recycles the traditional teacups and presents the new material called Terramittee. Designers are invited to create innovative ceramic items to transport Bhar's heritage in an encouraging context. The first designed product is a reusable teacup that presents Bhar as a traditional basis for trend-oriented products.

To guarantee a circular economy Collection Bhar needs to have a special focus on reconciling user's responsibilities and to appreciate customer's needs. Today, people call for progress, innovation, globalisation, digitalisation... but also to recognise one's own culture and self.


A new material is made from waste, and the designed item is a homage to the strong character of Bhar. Users of the disposable teacup are united with users of the reusable. The concept builds a connection between tea cultures and tea drinkers.

The first tea product that follows designing out discarded Bhars, is a reusable teacup made of Terramittee, gathered from West Bengal, and white slip. Its design is based on the original aesthetics and functions and combines the Indian tea tradition with a contemporary appeal and lifestyle.

The designed teacup extends the utility of the resource in context of the cup and increases its value through a new use.

Designing a collection

Collection Bhar puts Bhar in a new light and showcases the clay cup as a traditional basis for trend-oriented products.

Its approach is to recycle an ignored material and to improve the understanding of sustainability in all its forms. The designed items embrace the century-old traditions of Bhar, placed in an innovative context.

The collection is designed and manufactured by Indian and international craftspeople to broaden the various perspectives on Bhar. The different designs represent a certain region of India and connect local traditions with Indian tea culture and global motivations. They bring out the versatile character of Bhar and represent the diversity of different shapes and types of clays from India.


The income of the products, offered on Indian and international markets, supports the potters financially so they can pass on a lucrative business to their descendants.


Postcards showing images by photographer Amitava Saha und oil paintings by designer Jothi Kanayalal

Collection Bhar communicates a change of consumer behaviour to better value materials and in the way traditional artisans are treated in many countries. The global beauty of Collection Bhar comes to the fore when the new products pay homage to the old Indian craftsmanship.


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