Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SHP Feature: Forty Red Bangles

 {Warning: Fairly long post ahead}

For a North Indian bride, 40 red and white bangles are a mark of her newly-wed status and a symbol of good luck (And all these years, I wondered what they stood for!). For Ramona Saboo, an Australian of Indian origin, it represented a connection between her past and her future when she married and moved to India. She founded 40 Red Bangles as a way to connect with, celebrate and discover her roots.

Forty Red Bangles is a socially conscious company with a product line of handcrafted and ecological  items.What I found unique about 40 Red Bangles was that apart from their own product lines, they also support several NGOs that they have partnered with. I was quite delighted to discover so many NGOs that are not internet savvy and are now getting the exposure and accolades they deserve thanks to 40 Red Bangles.

Due to image format compatibility issues, I'm unable to showcase all the NGO products that Kavita Kumar from 40 Red Bangles sent me. My apologies Kavita! But here is a list with links to make up for that...

The Kishinda Trust
An NGO nestled in the village of Annegudi, near the ruins of Hampi, they make absolutely gorgeous stuff from banana fibers. You can download their catalogue here. The NGO also helps the communtiy in various other ways from education to eco-farming. Please do take a look at the site. Coincidentally, I visited Annegudi as a young girl and bought a banana fiber bag. I was delighted to see that the talent of the women is now being recognized and showcased to the world.

Kilmora is an NGO located in Kumaon valley in the foothills of the Himalayas. They have some lovely knitted toys and other products from handspun vegetable-dyed wool.

Sambhali Trust
Sambhali is an NGO in Jodhpur, Rajasthan set up to help the women of the region. The trust now has multiple SHG and centers and has even started a scholarship program. Do check out their site and take a look at their handcrafted products on 40 Red Bangles.

Kuprakabi is a ceramic design studio started by Vanmala Jain. The design studio has conducted several educational training programs for the poor in several states in India and also has some wonderful designs in ceramic.

Noah's Ark 
Established in 1986, Noah's Ark has provided educational, artisnal and medical support to the villagers near Moradabad. They also train and assist these artisans in converting industrial waste items like bicycle chains, tins and tires into quirky decor items. Those lovely lanterns you see in the photo above is by these lovely artisans of Moradabad.

Crawford Market Candles 
The lovely candle and candle holder with engravings in the devanagri script are by the Dharavi slum dwellers of Mumbai. The candles are made by them and the proceeds go towards helping them. So, go ahead and shop with a conscience!

I've been a HUGE fan of Kadam for a while now and even featured one of their product lines on SHP a while ago. Go download their product catalogue here. 'Nuff said. And those lovely black candle holders with copper detail- Kadam again! Regular readers- remember my gushing over banana leaf as a platter a while ago? Well, Kadam has one in stone! I know, I know, a rejoinder after ''Nuff said' is in bad taste, so I'll stop now..

Apart from partnering with the NGOs, 40 Red Bangles also make some amazingly fun quirky products under its children's label, Four Red Bangles. With their Aamchi Mumbai collection, find clothes and bags with steaming cups of chai, mangoes and Mumbai ubiquitous black and yellow taxi cabs printed on them.

 You can follow the Forty Red Bangles story on their blog, or follow Ramona Saboo's exploits with 40 Red Bangles on twitter and if you like the glimpse that you got of 40 Red Bangles today, like them on their Facebook page.

Stay tuned for the contest winners to be announced tomorrow!


purplehomes said...

wow..the name itself sounds so interesting. Thanks for posting this..i am off to read more about them...I work with an organization like this as well where we support NGO groups by imparting business knowledge and its always so nice to come across people who believe in supporting the rural artisans.

Sudha said...

great find divya..loved their concept..will check their blog too!

Rajee Sood said...

Wow! I loved so many of these products... I sure will be ordering a few of them ... loved your post ... and love the spirit of these entrepreneurs ... kudos to you too.

Neha@ All things beautiful said...

Very nice post, Divya!
I'm with Prachi...such an unique name! Will check out their products...

Sans! said...

Divya this post is so useful with all the links! It is not easy to find them all in one place . Thank you for the effort!

Kala said...

Wow what great finds, thanks for sharing:) The products are gorgeous.

Kavita said...

Hey Divya! Thanks for the wonderful post and for shining a light on the brilliant NGOs we work with!

Ambika said...

Love the name and the initiative! I wish them the best! And thanks for sharing Divya, am off to check the links.

Chandan said...

Lovely blog you have here.. have seen some of the stuff by the designers mentioned... truly outstanding stuff. Making note of stuff I have not checked out yet. :) said...

such a adorable post...enjoyed the writeups and shots...