Indie Festival: 30 Great Diwali Gifts By Local Labels
If you’re seeking gifting options with a difference this Diwali, consider shopping from the country’s growing tribe of indie designers and boutique stores. We’ve put together a list of 30 items by small scale labels and shops that span clothes, accessories, food and home decor products.
Angoni leather sling bag by Grain
This Mumbai-based brand run by designers Nainesh Saple and Avinash Bhalerao makes a range of leather bags like totes, backpacks and this nifty messenger bag.
How much: Rs4,000. Place an order via the Facebook page, call 98678 40439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bread and Butter denim laptop bag by Postbox
With front and back pockets, this denim and leather laptop bag by Chennai home decor and accessories e-tailer Postbox has enough space to carry documents and books. It’s so popular that the bag alone has sold out but it’s available in a special Diwali combination deal with one of their smart wooden notebooks.
How much: Rs3,829. Buy it here.
Camera bag by October
Made with leather and kilim dhurrie, this bag by Jaipur-based label October has a lens cover, quilted lining and pockets.
How much: Rs4,200. Buy it here.
Keralam clutch by Koelboli
This crochet clutch made from fabric and copper-coloured ribbon by Mumbai-based label Koelboli has been inspired by the Malyali mundu.
How much: Rs2,600. Place an order via the Facebook page.
Jamdani stole by Ssaha
This khadi stole has been made with the jamdani weave by Ssaha, a Kolkata-based organisation that works with traditional weavers.
How much: Rs1,050. Buy it here.
Kora red Deck of Cards sari by Queen of Hearts
Mumbai designer Deepa Mehta, who runs this label, makes saris, kurtas and dresses in handwoven material with traditional and modern motifs. This kora cotton sari is scattered with playing card symbols.
How much: Rs6,890. Buy it here.
Old rose cotton kurta by Tokree
A simple, elegant Anarkali by this Jaipur store that makes clothes and accessories in traditional fabric.
How much: Rs3,900. Buy it here.
FOOD & DRINK
Arabica coffee from Riverside
Among the lesser-known purveyors of single estate coffee is Rishwin Devaya’s Riverside. Devaya cultivates shade-grown coffee on his family’s plantation in Coorg and produces a terrifically flavourful Arabica. Those who find the 100 per cent Arabica too mild might enjoy the stronger 50-50 blend of Arabica and Robusta coffees.
How much: Rs450 for 250 grams of Arabica; Rs425 for 250 grams of the 50-50 blend. Place an order via the Facebook page.
Chocolate by Earth Loaf
Of all the artisanal chocolates we’ve noshed on this year, Earth Loaf, which is handmade in Mysore by British nationals, gets our vote for their umami-rich, unsweetened organic bars. The bean-to-bar brand sources cocoa from a single plantation in Karnataka for their selection of six flavours that include cacao nib and palmyra sugar; smoked salt and almond; and gondhoraj and apricot.
How much: The Chocolate Lovers collection with all six flavours is priced at Rs1,445 and individual bars at Rs270 each. Buy them here.
Ice cream by Yogisattva
Dairy-free, raw organic cacao ice cream is surprisingly delicious. Khar-based health food catering service Yogisattva’s ice creams made using cacao powder from Bali, cashews, cashew milk, coconut oil, honey and salt are as luscious and satisfying as full-fat, dairy-rich varieties (without as much of the accompanying guilt). The raw chocolate chilli is our pick of their three flavours, which include the plain raw chocolate and the raw chocolate and orange.
How much: The 200ml jar is priced at Rs450 and 300ml at Rs650. Buy it here and here.
Jams by The Gourmet Jar
The sweet and savoury preservatives-free jams, spreads and marmalades produced by Delhi-residing food blogger Apeksha Jain make great gifts for people looking for shortcuts to cooking. The spicy onion relish and smoked aubergine relish can elevate sandwiches and their best-selling banana rum jam and orange whisky marmalade pair perfectly with toast, breakfast bowls, tea cakes and cheese.
How much: Prices range from Rs249 to Rs375 for 240 gram jars. Buy them here and here.
Jute round toe shoes by Janota
Made of jute and leather, these shoes for men have been designed by Angela and Edwin Pinto, who run the clothing and footwear label Janota in Goa.
How much: Rs4,000. To place an order, call 90499 09930 or email email@example.com.
Leather brogues for women by Hats Off Accessories
If you prefer this style of shoe without the slight customary heel, then get this red leather pair by the Delhi brand, which specialises in brogues and loafers for men and women.
How much: Rs1,540. Buy it here.
Vegan kolhapuris by The Sole Sisters
Chondamma Cariappa, the Mumbai-based designer who runs this shoe label, recently introduced a collection of vegan or faux leather kolhapuris. They come with white, brown and brick-coloured straps made of fabric.
How much: Rs1,800 per pair. The Sole Sisters shoes are available at outlets of Good Earth. For locations, see here. Orders can also be placed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Facebook page.
Business As Usual coasters by Sheehij Kaul for Kulture Shop
Graphic design studio Kulture Shop’s art prints work as well on coasters as they do on T-shirts.
How much: Rs795 for a set of four. Buy them here.
Lily Pond tapas plates by Nicobar Design Studio
Good Earth’s sister brand of youthful fashion and home products Nicobar sells eye-catching tapas plates patterned with lilies. They come in two colours, charcoal and light green with a white chevron print.
How much: Rs1,450 for a set of four. Buy it here or at Nicobar Design Studio, above Kala Ghoda Cafe, 10 Ropewalk Lane, near Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda. Tel: 022 2263 3888.
Placemats by Folkloric
This set of fabric placemats, with the scallop pattern often found in Gond art, is an attractive foil for plain tableware.
How much: Rs980 for a set of four. Buy it here.
Slate platter by The Summer House
Bangalore clothing and home accessories brand The Summer House’s platters are available in slate stone and marble.
How much: Rs1,500. Buy it here.
Bidri earrings by Lai Designs
Designed by Puja Bhargava Kamath, who lives in California, these bold silver earrings have Bidri work of inlaid silver wire.
How much: Rs5,300. Buy it here.
Breastplate shaandi by Kichu
Crafted in brass, this neckpiece is the work of Kichu Dandiya, a jewellery designer living in Jaipur.
How much: Rs3,800. Get it here or place an order via the Facebook page.
Holy Cow hops by Dhora
These striking matte gold-finish hoop earrings with ox faces, by Jaipur store Dhora, are made in brass.
How much: Rs3,000. Place an order via the Facebook page or email email@example.com.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SAMPLE BOXES
Fragrances by Bombay Perfumery
The new boutique perfumery produces India-inspired scents in France, bottles them in Mumbai and retails them online. Their catalogue features eight perfumes, three for women, three for men and two unisex ones that highlight traditional Indian aromatics such as pepper, tuberose, jasmine, cardamom and ginger.
How much: Sample boxes comprising five 2ml bottles are priced at Rs500, the 100ml bottles range from Rs3,900 to Rs4,100. But them here.
Bombay Shaving Company
Using an old-fashioned steel (as opposed to disposable plastic) razor is not only more environmentally friendly but, some people like the folks at Bombay Shaving Company believe, is the right way to shave. The company, which is based in Delhi, sells gift-appropriate kits with a shaving brush, 20 blades, shaving cream, pre-shave scrub and post-shave balm to help users make the switch. Converts can then sign up for a subscription and get refills. You can even get the razor monogrammed. For Diwali, they’re including a free travel kit.
How much: Rs2,995 for the six-part shaving system. Buy it here.
Socks by The Moja Club
Socks generally make boring presents. This is however not the case with the Moja Club’s printed pairs which come in such fun designs as beer mugs, space invaders and bacon. You can either buy a few pairs for Rs349 or Rs399 each or gift somebody a subscription through which they will receive a different set every month.
How much: Rs1,197 for three months; Rs2,334 for six months and Rs4,428 for a year. Buy it here.
Diwali special stationery box by Origin One
Stationery geeks are likely to love Delhi stationery subscription service Origin One’s line of writing paraphernalia. Their Diwali special box includes a stitched A6 notebook, a thank you card, a gift envelope and postcard along with assorted freebies such as a magnetic button and stickers.
How much: Rs1,000 for the small box; Rs2,000 for the big box. Buy it here.
THINGS FOR KIDS
Kimono in Cherry Blossom Hand Block Print by Love The World Today
Love The World Today was one of our Best of Shopping picks last year and for good reason. This half organic cotton dress from their Dear Japan collection comes in sizes suitable for ages one to six. They also make jumpsuits in the same print.
How much: Rs2,000. Buy it here.
Kurta Shirt by Polo Factory
Jaipur-based Polo Factory’s horse block-print kurta shirt is available in purple and yellow and sizes for infants through to ten year olds. They even throw in a toy horse with every purchase.
How much: Rs1,250. Buy it here.
Madhubani Mor quilt by Turaturi
Delhi brand Turaturi’s quilts, such as this vibrant design inspired by the Madhubani folk painting style from Bihar, are available in two sizes: baby (50 by 40 inches), which is for newborns to three-year-olds, and large (84 by 54 inches), which can be used by everyone form children over the age of four to adults.
How much: Rs2,660 for the small and Rs3,430 for the large. Buy them here.
Musical carousel by Shumee
This wooden carousel, made by Bangalore-based eco-friendly toy maker Shumee, is available is seven different colours and colour combinations and plays tunes for two-and-a-half minutes.
How much: Rs900. Buy it here.
The Wildlife Map of India by Green Humour
Nagpur-residing illustrator and Mid-Day cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty’s map depicting where to spot India’s rich variety of wildlife makes for both a great educational tool and wall art for children and adults.
How much: Rs2,035 approx (USD 30.41) for the art print. Buy it here.