Drilling fluid is considered the backbone of drilling operations in the oil and gas industry to unlock hydrocarbon from subterranean formations. Maintaining the drilling fluid properties, for example, flow properties such as rheology, plastic viscosity (PV), yield point (YP), gel strength (GS), and circulation loss, is the challenge for fluid/mud engineers to carry out successful drilling operations. A variety of chemicals have been added to improve the drilling fluid properties by introducing new chemicals or optimizing the existing chemicals without affecting the other essential fluid properties. The present study for the first time employs the eco-innovation concept to explore the utilization of steelmaking industry waste, i.e., silicomanganese fume (SMF), as a bridging material. The objective of this article is to design an eco-friendly framework that comprehensively explains and utilizes SMF as a bridging material in water-based fluid (WBF). The eco-innovation/eco-friendly framework includes the steps required for processing and understanding the new material and evaluating its effects on flow and the bridging properties of WBF. A scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and particle size distribution (PSD) were used to understand the physicochemical properties of SMF. The flow properties were studied using a Fann rheometer before and after hot rolling at 120 °F. A high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) filter press equipment was used to investigate the bridging capability of seepage losses following conditions of 190 °F and 300 psi differential pressure. Minimal cleaning and disintegration with a mortar and pestle are enough to prepare SMF to be incorporated in drilling fluid. The SEM and XRF results showed that SMF contains oxides of manganese, silicon, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, while the PSD revealed a natural bimodal distribution with an average grain size of D50 of around 29 μm. SMF showed a noticeable and measurable enhancement of flow properties and bridging capability in WBF. The SMF-based WBF showed improved rheological properties, plastic viscosity, and yield point compared with marble-based WBF. Adding SMF to WBF with and without marble showed a ten-fold superior plugging performance compared with marble-based WBF using 20-μm ceramic discs. The findings revealed the successful utilization of SMF in WBF by improving the rheology, plastic viscosity, yield point, and bridging capability.