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Lavanya Bahuguna


Aanchal Sukhija, Who Created A Fashion Empire Out Of Kabaad, Shares Childhood Recycling Memories

  • IWB Post
  •  June 10, 2019


Aanchal Sukhija was in the news after she showcased her chic recycled jewellery made using kitchenware and plumbing pipes at New York Fashion Week in collaboration with designer-friend Vaishali S.

Read our conversation with an effervescent Aanchal, who presented us the insights into her everyday sustainable life and brand, Mission Pluto.

Was it from the childhood itself that you started making conscious choices?

My mother always lived an awakened life when it comes to living in harmony with nature. I hardly saw her throwing away any used item that could be of any value afterward, for example, she would turn pillow covers into my toy bags by adding zips to them. She also encouraged me to sketch/paint at the back of blank cardboards before disposing them of.

What was the first artwork that little Anchal made as a kid?

When I was around 3, I made my mom a collage-portrait using glace paper and other recycled sheets that I gifted to her on her birthday. She still keeps it by her bedside.

Looks like the idea of using metal and plastic waste as jewelry motifs came quite naturally to you.   

Maybe it was a realization that hit me really hard after I watched the Hollywood film ‘Blood Diamond.’ It taught me about the disastrous waste that human beings produce while creating the most precious stone – diamond. It inspired me to give a makeover to the waste material we often find in our homes like a sponge cleaner we use in the kitchen.


619 Likes, 7 Comments – Delhi Style Blog~Mission Pluto (@aanchalsukhija) on Instagram: “😎😎😎😎😎😎”

I also see a Lego neckpiece, it’s definitely my favorite.

Thank you! Isn’t it an innovative way to revive one’s childhood memories?

POLARIZE EVERY SCENE…. Its instant confrontation…. everyone is forced to become an actor and trust me thats revolutionary enough in a society of passive consumers. Presenting curious mediums by @shopnimai #curiousmediums

255 Likes, 3 Comments – Delhi Style Blog~Mission Pluto (@aanchalsukhija) on Instagram: “POLARIZE EVERY SCENE…. Its instant confrontation…. everyone is forced to become an actor and…”

How did your work get noticed?

I started wearing my junk jewellery at events and personal get-togethers. It was during Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week 2012 that  Sunil Sethi, President Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), and Nandini Bhalla, Editor-in-Chief Cosmopolitan India, happened to notice my neckpiece and earrings. They appreciated my idea of introducing recycled jewellery into the market and I think, after that, it just took off.

Aanchal Sukhija

Was it for the NYFW stint that you decided to take it up professionally?

Vaishali wanted to collaborate with a sustainable jewellery brand for her show at NYFW. She asked me if I knew any Indian designer and I instantly dropped her hint of how I was planning to give my ideas a direction. Things worked out as planned as we received an amazing response!

#Newyorkfashionweek #fallwinter #NYFW #nyfw2017 Wardrobe – @vaishalis29 Jewellery – @mission_pluto shot on @coolpadindia #CoolpadvalaISHQ

213 Likes, 2 Comments – Delhi Style Blog~Mission Pluto (@aanchalsukhija) on Instagram: “#Newyorkfashionweek #fallwinter #NYFW #nyfw2017 Wardrobe – @vaishalis29 Jewellery – @mission_pluto…”

Your brand Mission Pluto now retails recycled jewellery, which overseas market is the most welcoming so far?

Currently, I am selling in California and the reviews I get from my clients are really motivating. I am now looking forward to exploring the market of Europe.

Aanchal Sukhija

source: Google


How are friends and family members a support in your life?

Oh, they are a game when it comes to showing off my artwork. Also, it’s funny how their kabaadiwallas’ contact details are on my speed-dial and not theirs. *laughs* You see, I am a pro at collecting the waste. I am not kidding but I bring home all the polyester, nylon and leather filth that comes out of my boyfriend’s bag-manufacturing unit.

Dear Mom, Three things to remember:- 1. I ll go like this only. 2. Yes I will wear matchboxes. Yes mom I ll make it a little bit better than what this already is, this is a prototype. Hahahaha Cause fire (fire is the creator and the destroyer.) 3. Okay we will wear only ONE gold chain. ONLY ONE BYE (i get all the real gold shit) trust me I get it hahaha #PunjabiMomProblems #IAMNEVERGETTINGMARRIED @phillaurithemovie @anushkasharma

1,168 Likes, 3 Comments – Delhi Style Blog~Mission Pluto (@aanchalsukhija) on Instagram: “Dear Mom, Three things to remember:- 1. I ll go like this only. 2. Yes I will wear matchboxes. Yes…”

Ha-ha! How long does it take to create one jewellery piece?

So I’ve got a team of artisans who’re backed with a history of manufacturing metal jewellery. The work is solely done by hands and takes about three days to come up with one jewellery piece. This includes the mechanics like cutting, rolling, spraying, pasting, painting, drying, and polishing.

Share a little about your NGO Mother Courage and Her Children.

With ‘Mother Courage and Her Children,’ I tie up with institutions that help me get in touch with children, who are interested to learn art and craft. I teach them various creative skills, which they might consider pursuing as their career in the future. I don’t believe in college degrees. I, myself, am a college dropout who preferred to take up different 6-months courses instead. Trust me, craftsmanship can take you places.


Since you also run a fashion blog, tell me, which current trend would you like to get rid of from your wardrobe?

Off-shoulder, for God’s sake. It’s everywhere and I swear it hurts my eyes.

Lastly, do you have any sustainable-fashion-tips for us?

If you haven’t worn this tee for over a year, already, it’s time you bring your scissors game on. Cut off the sleeves and put elastic around the neck area. Tada…it can now be worn as a skirt or an off-shoulder (if you like it)!

Are you also on a mission of ‘best from waste?’ If yes, write to us at

This article was first published on October 27, 2017.

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