India completes 70 years of Independence this August 15th and we shall now be entering a new decade, marking free India’s 71st birthday!
Have you thought of a birthday gift for Mother India? A cake with a map of India on it or that of a flag? Nahhh. Let’s not restrict our patriotism to having the tricolor flag on our car’s dashboard or to attending the flag hoisting being organized by our building society. Let’s do something better. Let’s pledge to serve our country with products and brands that are Made in India and reflect India in the true sense. Let’s celebrate with a change in the way we shop and consume things.
We’ve shortlisted a few Independence day shopping ideas that you can carry through the year, with brands that are desi and those that are very very Indian!
Table of Contents
- Desi Tadka
- Happy Roots
- Bakeys, Hyderabad
- Eco Femme
- Home Ecoware
- Last Forest
- Now that was about bringing in sustainable changes in the way you shop and use things in your everyday routine. For a dose of fun, we’ve also put together stores that have products that remind us of how Indian we are and do that with pride! Lets give the glitzy glamoury international stores a pass this Independence day...
- The Bombay Store
- Fab India
- India Circus
- The Quirk Box
If you would have got a chance to sit with your great grandma, you would have heard her talk about all things desi during her good old days? It would have intrigued you to hear how they would cook delicious meals in their earthen cookware, use virgin oil as a cure for a lot many skin infections and for their beauty regime.
Things have changed drastically in the last few decades with international brands and international influence spreading in the country like wild fire and replacing things that really needed no replacement. Consumerism grew and easy means of production came into being. Urban India and rural India saw a gap that was wider than that of those between India and another countries. Farmers who toiled day and night saw themselves going backwards.
But like they say everything comes a full circle. Today, we have a few desi minds who have taken it on them to walk down the good old days and ways and bring back things that were so Indian through their brands. This Independence Day lets bring these brands home, and relive the good old days with pride.
They welcome you to their portal with a tagline – Socially Conscious Food. Happy Roots is a young company on a bold social mission to combine rural development and food innovation. They began working closely with rural communities in Gujarat and Maharashtra for a couple of years and identified a few grim issues being faced by the farmers in our country.
Would it surprise you to hear that the farmers who endlessly work to grow the best food for us fail to earn even Rs. 120 a day for their families? Oops.. did you just order your Rs. 250 Latte at one of those international coffee chains while browsing through this story on your iPhone? Anyways, coming back to the point, lower market rates for farm produce and lack of modern processing skills, lead to lower incomes and never-ending debt cycles for these farmers.
The team at Happy Roots decided to bring in a change. In 2015 they started building a food value chain that gave 50 per cent ownership to marginal farmers and rural women. The farmers associated with them do not just produce the best quality food, but process it to manufacture premium snack food products that are yummy to say the least! How did it help them?
The farmers saw their income rising by about 150 per cent! The team today partners with 15,000 farmers and 2,000 rural women across Maharashtra; growing 200 different varieties of indigenous crops on a cultivable land of 30,000 acres. All of these are then supplied to institutional buyers. The team has also developed its own range of snack food that is a must try for all of us. More than that they are open to taking up outsourcing of your manufacturing requirements in case you plan to launch your own label.
Apart form having retail store tie-ups, Happy Roots also has its own e-shop on its portal www.happyroots.in. It’s a good idea to order some delicious snacks this Independence Day to munch on while you are in front of your television screen watching the favourite Sunny Deol starrer Border or out partying with a tricolour bandana tied around your head!
Pick up some yummy cookies here
What if we were to tell you that your guests enjoyed the meal at your place so much so that they even ate the spoon? Sounds like we are out of our mind, right? Bakeys, a Hyderabad based home grown company is doing the impossible and making us go crazy with their invention. They have gone ahead and invented edible spoons in different flavours! So after you finish you meal, just munch on the yummy spoons to complete the meal. You heard that absolutely right. An excellent alternative to disposable plastic/wood cutlery and bamboo chopsticks that are polluting our country.
To make these fantastic edible cutlery, Bakeys uses sorghum+rice+wheat flour with hot water and bakes it. Currently, they have 3 types of cutlery for your tingling taste buds. The first one is plain with the original ingredients, second is sweet made by adding a little sugar, and third is Savoury made by adding-rock salt, black pepper, carom seeds and cumin seeds. There are no preservatives, chemicals, additives, colouring agents, raising agents, fats, trans fats, artificial chemicals or animal ingredients, milk or milk products. The spoons are 100 per cent vegan, vegetarian and purely Halal. They are baked at high temperature to make the spoons crisp, hard and moisture free.
Try their range here (bulk order accepted as of now)
Join the cloth pad revolution with Eco Femme. Much before those winged pads came into being, our grandmothers and mothers used to trust the good old raw cloth during their menstrual cycle. These were not only environmentally safe but also extremely comfortable and skin friendly. Don’t believe us? Ask them.
To share what Eco Femme is all about, it is a women-led social enterprise to create environmental and social change through revitalizing menstrual practices that are healthy, environmentally sustainable, culturally responsive and empowering. They produce and sell washable cloth pads, provide menstrual health education to adolescents, and open dialogues on menstruation all along the way. So you see it is not just selling a pad with a tagline ‘Change It’. They literally walk the talk!
You can shop for cloth pads that come in exciting colours and stitched to perfection. Choose what suits your need. From panty liners to day pads, night pads and even menstruation cups, you will find it all here. And incase the generosity bug sweetly bites you, when you are filling your shopping cart, you can even opt to gift a pad to a girl from rural India who basically isn’t having enough clothes to wear so you can well imagine if she would have spare cloth pieces to save her from the stains during her periods.
Pick up all-natural cloth pads here
Home Ecoware is all about ecofriendly food packaging solutions that also includes irresistible eco friendly bowls and plates for every day use. Safe, stylish and sustainable, the products here are made from ingredients sourced from the earth and the ones that can again be well gelled with the earth leaving no traces behind! Isn’t that what India is all about?
Gelling without causing any destruction to anyone. The Ecoware™ range of 25+ compostable products spans tableware, cutlery, biodegradable garbage bags and takeaway packaging. The company has a vision to provide sustainable food packaging that is superior in quality and at an affordable price. So next time you have guests at your place or you plan to go for a picnic, opt for something that the earth we live in will thank you for!
You can check out the range here
Let the name be a reminder for you to realize that our growing dependency on everything unnatural is depleting the forests around us. Last Forest is a brand that represents organic and forest based products brought out in collaboration with the indigenous communities of the Nilgiris. The products boast of age old methods of gathering and preserving with modern cottage industry processes to provide the widest range of pure and authentic natural products. It runs a chain of three stores in Tamil Nadu. It procures produce from over 60 groups across the country and supplies to over 40 retailers.
From coffee to nutmeg to pickles, cinnamon powder to honey to millet cookies and lots more, Last Forest collaborates with indigenous communities helping them grow and churn out natural products for urban elites. Pick a bottle of authentic almond oil or some handmade soaps or let your lips gets covered with their natural olive beeswax balm and enjoy the authenticity of Indian ingredients in your daily life.
You can shop for their products here
Now that was about bringing in sustainable changes in the way you shop and use things in your everyday routine. For a dose of fun, we’ve also put together stores that have products that remind us of how Indian we are and do that with pride! Lets give the glitzy glamoury international stores a pass this Independence day...
The Bombay Store
Looking for an Indian souvenir for yourself or to gift a client/friend? We know a miniature Taj Mahal comes to rescue each time you have to gift something ‘Indian’ to someone. While we are absolutely not undermining the beauty and graciousness of The Taj Mahal but look around and you will see that there is so much more in our country that is worthy of your own or your friend’s/client’s showcase. A visit to The Bombay Store is sure to help you here.
From traditional miniature trunks to Bombay BEST buses and Indian autos, you are sure going to love everything on their shelves. The designs combine the old Indian sensibilities with the modern Indian taste, creating products that will be cherished be all. Each product on display is a temptation bomb, waiting to arouse your desi side!
Learn more about them here
Looking for something that represents the funk cult Indian? At Chumbak stores and on their portal, you will find a range of fun products that bring out the nuances of our ‘desi-ness’. A perfect gift for the Indian from the Indians. What started with souvenirs stocked in multi brand outlets soon transformed into a business spanning stores across the country in large format, full experience stores and pop up stores across popular malls and high streets. From quirky key chains to funky bed sheets, you will find it all here. A fun place to shop for things that make you smile! So next time anyone tells you that India is old and very very traditional, take them to Chumbak!
Check their mind boggling collection here
Download the GreatBuyz app here to avail of some fabulous deals from Chumbak including a flat Rs 400 off.
The name is apt and we really do not need to elaborate on it further. Fab India is all about fabulous India. Find an ethnic saree that makes you stand out of the crowd for the next evening dinner you have to attend or pick up a sheesham wood side table to adorn your home interiors reminding you the awesomeness of pure wood as against that of processed wooden furniture. You can find clothes made using pure Indian fabrics here and food that is organic to the core. From kurtas to dupattas to chic maternity and kids wear to even organic bathing essentials, soft furnishing and wooden furniture, get mesmerized with all that is fabulously India.
Fall in love with India all over again by shopping here
Dont worry, we aren’t asking you to visit the circus put up at the maidaan near Curchgate station in Mumbai. This retail store by the name India Circus by Krsnaa Mehta is your one stop destination to buy products that reflect the beauty of Indian handicrafts. It offers contemporary-chic, sophisticated and affordable products from home decor to personal accessories. The stuff you shall see here draws its inspiration from Mughal Royalty as well as road-side chai tapri. Everything that you find here represents India, and does so beautifully.
Check them out here
The Quirk Box
Don’t mistake them to be a fashion label. They clearly state that they aren’t so. India is about art and they wish to remain close to the roots. The Quirk Box is an Art Label as they proudly and rightly state so. Find shirts and sarees with quirky prints and cuts or shop to your hearts content for art prints that will force you to think how quirky art can be! Original Art is the hallmark of the label; that, in addition to rich colour, graphic art and playful sophistication define their essence. The Quirk Box is synonymous with all things fun, offbeat and quirky.
Check them out here
So now that we have shared all things that are so wonderfully Indian and available to you right at the click of a button on your phone/laptop, there is no reason that you should delay bringing in a change. Your decision to change your buying habits for a few things can have a huge impact on the lives of others. For e.g. each time you decide to use the baked spoons, you aren’t only amusing your taste buds but also contributing to the livelihood to the women who have been employed to make these spoons. Similarly, keeping away from exotic chocolate cookies is not just good for your waist but your decision to buy cookies made from grains grown in India helps the farmer to hold on to the decision to keep his land and not sell it away for some commercial factory to come up on his farmland. On this 71st Independence Day anniversary, try and do your bit! We shall do ours as well and together we are sure to make a long lasting difference.