With sustainability lately seeming like just a buzzword and sometimes a marketing tactic to attract the conscious consumer, the recurring concept of circularity may start to sometimes feel superficial. Can a brand really take something trashed away and make something actually practical, usable, and moreover, something that will last in wardrobes for longer than a month, a season or even a year? We found the answer in fashions newest find: Bandit. The brand is the winner of the recent and third edition of the Circular Design Challenge, which was held in a collaborative partnership between R|Elan and United Nations Environment Program.The Common And UncommonThe brand, launched back in 2018, recently unveiled its latest collection, Shourai, at FDCI X Lakme Fashion Weeks Sustainable Fashion Day. Shourai, an apt name for the collection, means the future in Japanese. The collection not only featured pieces made from the brands signature material, tarpaulin, but also billboard flex, a new addition to the list of materials the brand repurposes. Flex and tarpaulin were used together with used canvas and car seat belts for the collection.What noticeably makes Bandit stand out is its choice of materials and a common theme does shine through: unusual but regularly used and discarded materials. The Eureka moment came about four to five years ago. When you fly into Bombay during the monsoon you see a sea of blue tarpaulin which is covering all the shanties-basically protecting them from the rain. Its almost like making a statement by using a common material and designing some uncommon products with it, explains the man behind the brand, Satyajit Vetoskar. The tough tarpaulin made its way to Bandits fanny packs, backpacks and laptop sleeves in stylish yet practical silhouettes.Putting Pieces TogetherThe addition of flex to the brands products came from a similar ethos, which is making good use out of everyday materials that are discarded soon after use. Added to the mix in the new collection were used canvas and car seat belts. The belts, as Vetoskar explains, is transformed into touch bag straps, yet look modern and fashion-forward. Canvas helps add an interesting touch to bags and other accessories, helping them make a style statement. The bags are handmade by local women artisans- adding a sense of empowerment and an opportunity of employment amongst the local community. its a way of giving back to society, says Vetoskar. Bandit also works closely with SETHU, an NGO which works for the development of special needs children in Goa. 10 per cent of the brands profits go to SETHU. The brand also helps provide sleeping bags to the homeless.A sense of community is hard to miss as you go through products created by Bandit, and Vetoskars journey behind each one is equally clear. The brands fountain pens are made of artillery shells from a friend of Vetoskars, while another one helped with aluminium from airplanes he was repairing at the time. If theres anything Bandit represents, apart from a brilliantly executed theme of circularity, its the coming together of a community. Besides the fact that the brands identity of a conscious business lies in its sustainable practices, it also comes full circle with the way it gives back to society. Bandit has a way of taking just about any commonly found items and making something beautiful out of them.Its A ProcessRecycling and repurposing is often seen as a painstaking process by most. Being a brand that is based on much of the process of repurposing, we asked if it proves to be a roadblock. Its definitely a pain. Its not like places abroad where recycled and treated materials are easily available. Here you have to source for the materials, get them cleaned or treated and so on, explains Vetoskar. So is there a lack of organisation in the recycling market? Its just a part of the process and experience. So Im not complaining, he says. He goes on to explain how each process ends up giving an economic opportunity to many, which wouldnt be the case if not for the process of recycling.The Next Big ThingWhen quizzed about what he thinks is next in the realm of sustainability, Vetoskar says its not just the increasing awareness but also the involvement of bigger brands that can make a difference and set trends of sustainability.For Bandit, the next big thing was touched upon in its recent digital showcase. The virtual film, which follows skateboarders through the serene and quiet lanes of Goa, where the brand is based, ended with a glimpse of the brands upcoming jewellery collection. Made with repurposed metals like aluminium and copper, and combined with gold and diamonds, the sustainable jewellery line, made in collaboration with Mumbai-based jewellery brand Moksh, is going to be the brands next drop.Looking to buy from the brand? Bandits products are not only available online but also in various stores across Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and Europe.