Globalisation in the early 1990s opened up the Indian economy to include mercantile activities from other countries. One of the first things that happened after this move was taken was that foreign brands flooded the Indian market.
Coca-Cola replaced Campa, Levis replaced a multitude of off-the-rack Indian “unbranded” jeans, Maybelline New York and L’Oreal gained popularity over Lakme and Halo, and Wella replaced plain ol’ Indian henna.
With the aid of advertising, we Indians began to lust after these western brands, adding them to our wishlists, and splurging on them because foreign brands are “worth it,” while simultaneously bargaining to the last paisa while purchasing products from Indian merchants. Hypocrisy much?
The Indian economy loses out on crores of rupees because of our obsession with foreign brands. Money gets paid to multinational corporations with their head offices in New York and London, and not much money ends up going to Indian entrepreneurs, who provide similar products and services of equally good quality at a much cheaper price.
Here are some examples of these local brands you can check out to replace the foreign brands you’re obsessed with, and also go comparatively easy on your pocket:
Ayesha & Chumbak
When it comes to quirky and cool accessories, check out Ayesha and Chumbak. Both have outlets in malls all over the country and provide jewellery, scarves, footwear, magnets, bags, phone covers, stationery, laptop sleeves, watches, and home decor items like photo frames and other decorative objects at a range of Rs 200 to Rs 2000.
While Ayesha has a more grungy, global aesthetic, Chumbak has a very Indian vibe, and uses plenty of Indian motifs in its products like autorickshaws, turbans, twirled moustaches, saris, etc. This is something one will not be able to find in foreign brands- it is always fun to sport a colourful, quirky version of your own culture!
For good quality, durable clothes hit up your local Big Bazaar for stylish and affordable Indian brands like DJ&C, Srishti, Biba, and a whole host of others for an interesting range of Indian and western outfits. These brands are also available online on Amazon and Myntra.
Not only do they last longer, but they cater to Indian sizes (unlike brands like Zara and H&M), and do not give the wearer the feeling that their measurements do not adhere to the “global standard.”
Ek Do Dhai & Fully Filmy
When it comes to quirky gift items like Bollywood-themed gifts and quirky quotes and posters related to other film industries in India as well as international fandoms too, one doesn’t need to look for the original Marvel and Warner Bros products to satisfy their inner fan.
These brands are unique because they also provide their products with prints in regional Indian languages, something international brands selling in India have failed to do.
Zaveri Pearls & Mia by Tanishq
When it comes to jewellery for formal occasions, why look only at the Swarovski tag? There are desi brands like Zaveri Pearls and Mia by Tanishq which provide precious and semi-precious jewellery for both Indian and western outfits at an affordable price.
These brands work for the Indian customer because they provide genuinely Indian designs alongside minimalistic western ones- you will never have to shop for an “eastern slave bracelet” for a haathphool or a “chain-link headgear” for a maang tikka, as international brands often attempt to market their insipid collection of Indian jewellery.
If you are into personalised mugs, badges, notebooks, and quirky, handmade pens, look no further than the Mumbai-based brand Mooch. They list their products on their Instagram handle @my.mooch, and take orders over Instagram direct messaging and WhatsApp.
They use khaki paper to make their notebooks, in a refreshing departure from international stationery brands, whose finished products tend to look similar to each other. Mooch always uses native Indian raw materials, and the finished product has a wonderfully desi vibe.
So my shopaholic friends, if you want to express your quirky side with pocket-friendly products, check out these Indian brands. You will also be helping the local market to flourish, rather than paying a foreign multinational company.
Image Credits: Google Images