With their all-natural ingredients and conscious manufacturing and packaging processes, these indie platforms are offering to colour your Holi festivities with clean, mindful hues
If, like us, your earliest memories of Holi are synonymous with stubborn colours that sting your eyes and leave lasting stains on your skin that resist hours of sudsy scrubbing, it’s time to revisit the festival of colours with new eyes. A number of homegrown platforms are promising to transform your festive experience with herbal, organic colours, some of which are also infused with skin and wellness benefits.
“We decided to bring back traditional gulaal, and revisited the creative process of creating these colours from scratch, using traditional recipes — be it the powders we use and the stories behind them, which are so intricately intertwined with Holi traditions or even the essences and fragrances, which makes using these gulaals a multi-sensory experience,” shares Himanshu Verma, founder of Red Earth, a Jaipur-based arts organisation.
Traditional colour bombs
In keeping with Verma’s vision, Red Earth’s gulaals are made of fresh, all-natural and locally sourced ingredients. These blends are made at home, in Jaipur, and use components such as multi-grain flour, camphor, arrowroot and multani-mitti. They’re also offering traditional gulaal gotas (Rs 400 for six), which are lac balls filled with pastel-hued gulaal. “The practice of using gulaal gotas is centuries-old, and was popular in Jaipur. In the Indo-Gangetic belt, these are also referred to as kumkuma, and find mention in Vaishnava Holi songs,” Verma adds.
Log on to: redearthindia.com
Supporting traditional craftsmanship
Rose petals, beetroot, alfalfa, lemongrass, and turmeric — the ingredients used by this platform to create their Holi colours (Rs 425 for a box of four colours) sound quite similar to a pantry list. It’s no wonder then that they claim to create colours that are safe enough to consume, which should come as a relief for parents, especially. These colours are handcrafted by Bhils from Rajasthan, using traditional processes.
Log on to: monksbouffe.com
No bad skin days
If you have sensitive skin and avoid stepping out during Holi for fear of being accosted with chemical-laced artificial colours, switch to herbal gulaal by Green Practices (Rs 450 for 700 gm). These colours are made using herbs, flowers, edible materials such as cornstarch, organic turmeric, food-grade colours, and fruit and vegetable extracts, and can be used both wet and dry. As a bonus, the makers claim that this gulaal requires 50 per cent less water to wash off, as compared to conventional colours.
Log on to: greenpractices.in
Your festive celebrations can also be infused with concern for the environment, with this platform’s eco-conscious gulaals. Their ingredients list includes marigold flowers, orchids, and essential oils, while their packaging is made from 100 per cent recycled paper and cotton scrap. Their Holi art kit (Rs 595) also comes with a set of postcards made from recycled paper and seeds of various plants — the postcards can be coloured and sent to your loved ones, who can then plant them.
Log on to: plantables.store
Say it with flowers
Infused with the freshness and vibrancy of temple flowers, Phool’s gulaal varieties are lightly fragranced and wash off easily. Their light and fine texture ensures they feel soft when applied to the skin, and the gulaal is 100 per cent plant derived. This year, the platform is offering a curated box (Rs 585) of four gulaals and a bottle of refreshing thandai from Varanasi.
Log on to: phool.co