Embroidered magnets and meditation pillows: eco gifts for the season

For the gifting season ahead, ditch that run-of-the-mill perfume or voucher and pick something handcrafted instead 

Published - December 22, 2023 04:12 pm IST

Crochet toys at Chhoti si Asha

Crochet toys at Chhoti si Asha | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Whether you are playing Secret Santa this year, or have forgotten a New Year gift for your friend, fret not. Here are some last-minute gifting ideas — from curated hampers to embroidered decor. The icing on the cake? They are all eco-friendly and handmade with love by artisans across India.

Chhoti Si Asha, Chandigarh

Celebrating all things craft, this enterprise led by women artisans transforms pre-consumer textile waste into handcrafted products such as books, tote bags, toys, and more. This season, founder Liza Chawla Tandon says their embroidered charms featuring golden zari work and festive motifs are popular. “These handcrafted charms with motifs like the Christmas tree, snowman, deer; embroidered phulkari charms; torans etc can be added to a gift, or as a decor artefact.” Other new launches include sling bags, and embroidered fridge magnets featuring emoticons, and deer with Indian motifs.

Upwards of 200 on chhotisiasha.org

A hamper curated at Verthbox

A hamper curated at Verthbox | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Verthbox, Rajasthan

Aimed at putting an end to mindless corporate gifts that end up under our beds or worse, the landfills, Renata Millett and Shreya Kothari founded Verthbox in 2020 to make gifting fun and sustainable. “We’re aware that gifts should be practical and useful, which is why we focus on utility-driven gifts that can be used long after the occasion is over,” says Renata about their initiative that encourages companies to ‘build their own gift box’. The duo partner with like-minded brands such as Eat Better, Tea lab, Sow and Grow, Blue Pottery Artisans, Cupable, Minus, Rad Routine, Keitha, Beco, among others. As for products, the catalogue comprises body care, planters, organic edibles, stationery, and more. 

Details on verthbox.com

A gift hamper at Wild Ideas

A gift hamper at Wild Ideas | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Wild Ideas, Tiruvannamalai

Srimathi Subramanian, who helms the community based, women-run, rural enterprise Wild Ideas, says making the artisans “financially independent, and elping them live a life of dignity” is the brand’s goal. Known for their organic household cleaners, personal care products, organic food offerings, and traditional craft, Wild Ideas has a range of eco hampers to choose from this year. The Pamper Hamper comprises hand-woven palm baskets with chemical-free personal care products or organic certified food items. The Tranquillity Hamper includes a palm box containing a cosy meditation pillow, an ankle/neck pillow, and a selection of all-natural incense sticks; among others. 

Custom hampers upwards of 300. To order, call 97861 45465

Handmade coasters at Diya Innovations

Handmade coasters at Diya Innovations | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Diya Innovations, Bengaluru

At this for-profit social enterprise founded in 2013, handcrafted gifts, by men and women with intellectual disabilities, are the highlight of their offerings. “Over the past decade, we have collaborated with over 400 companies throughout India, producing more than 3.5 lakh handcrafted gifts. Their combined efforts have provided 38,000 days of livelihood for our artisans,” says founder Suman John. Their festive catalogue this year comprises earthenware lamps, wooden tea light holders, candles in coconut shells, cloth photo frames, wooden calendars, among others.

Upwards of 75 on diyainnovations.com

Decor by Vaibhavam

Decor by Vaibhavam | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Vaibhavam, Chennai

Earlier this year, sisters-in-law Anu Balaji and Rajashree Ashok took their love for traditional Indian motifs up a notch by launching a brand that celebrates them. From kolampatterns and betel leaves to lotus and mango motifs, you will find them on all things decor: bedspreads, curtains, cushions, dining towels, mats, and even candleholders. “We are committed to showcasing the beauty of traditional ethnic designs in soft furnishings. These designs hold a special place in our cultural heritage and deserve to be celebrated,” says Rajashree. Now gearing up for their next collection comprising curtains with floral prints, Anu explains it will highlight “native flowers like pavalamalli, sengaanthal, vetchi poo, among others”.

Upwards of ₹250. @vaibhavamhome on Instagram

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.