Vocal for Local: Taking Indian consumers back to their roots
As the country struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still a handful of things that could be acknowledged as the 'brighter side' of the lockdown. The direction of 'Vocal for Local' for one, has provided a great push to MSME's in India. Be it lifestyle, apparels or handicrafts - consumers are now actively choosing local brands over established brands.
The movement also comes as good news for Indian biggies such as Amul, Dabur, ITC, Godrej, amongst others, who have now also begun advertising on similar lines.
One such local segment is that of homegrown beauty products. Been around for a while, these brands generally thrive on exhibitions, digital medium and word of mouth publicity. But the push provided by the 'Vocal for Local' movement has helped give impetus to awareness about these brands.
Additionally, India's strongest card is the knowledge of Vedas. The abundantly available resources and the proven benefits of Ayurveda work to benefit the Indian beauty industry. Traditions, too, hold a strong place for Indian consumers, and hence, a shift towards choosing more organic and clean brands has now been noticed in the market.
Talking about the effect of the lockdown, Amrita Alexander, Founder of Auravedic, said, "Auravedic was already transforming towards a greater digital play before COVID-19 pandemic but the lockdown has accelerated this shift significantly. For a country as diverse as India, brands have to change their language and communication to stay relevant in local markets. As a price-sensitive market, customers look at more value for their money and are happy to part with their irrespective of where the product is made," she said.
Founded in the year 2013, Auravedic is a natural beauty brand that uses traditional knowledge and brews recipes inspired by the Vedas to harness their products. It was one of the first brands in the country to introduce face oils which are today a global trend.
The Bridge Chronicle also spoke to the founders of Juicy Chemistry - Megha and Pritish Asher. "Because of COVID-19 the market has been shaken and has given drastic sale patterns, which has left the Beauty Industry confused. Having said that, for Juicy Chemistry in May and June, we experienced a 150 per cent jump and 350 per cent jump in orders respectively," said Megha.
Juicy Chemistry as a brand relies heavily on ingredients and product efficacy. "With 20 per cent of our ingredients coming from different parts of the world, there have been challenges but we have been able to overcome them," Pritish was quoted saying.
Founded in 2014 by husband-wife duo, Megha and Pritesh Asher, Juicy Chemistry was established to provide simplified skincare.
The Bridge Chronicle spoke to Mayura Rao an aspiring beauty blogger about the vocal for local movement. She said, "Indian beauty brands promote the use of authentic indian ingredients and traditional recipes. I personally prefer using such products because they are not harmful for your skin and often give lasting result."
"Through vocal for local, I see an increase in awareness about these brands and consumers have actively started looking for local option, which I think is a great opportunity for homegrown brands," she added.
Our Top picks
Auravedic: Packaged in an eco-friendly and reusable bag, the first thing that strikes you about the brand is its simplicity. The products are brewed from authentic ayurvedic recipes that pack in itself natural ingredients.
Products to try: Known as the 'Bye Bye Dark Spots Collection' Auravedics Skin Lightening Oil and Body Polish is the combo to beat dark spots and fight dull skin. An aromatic bliss, the combo delivers on its promise. The Skin Lightening Oil is packed with natural ingredients such as kesar, haldi, Ashwagandha and jojoba. The oil seeps deep into your skin to make it soft and supple. Effective in treating dull, uneven and tanned skin - the oil helps heal the skin from within.
If exfoliating leaves your skin dry and itchy, here is a solution. Auravedic's
Skin Lightening Body Polish deeply moisturises the skin while exfoliating, leaving you with healthy glowing skin. Packed with naturally powerful ingredients such as red sandal, turmeric, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil, the moisturising scrub results in polished-looking skin.
All of the Auravedic products are free from harmful chemicals such as parabens and paraffin.
Pricepoint: Fairly pocket-friendly products in the price range starting at Rs 250 for 100 grams.
Biotique: Another homegrown brand that delivers on its promises. Born out of the combination of biotechnology and Ayurveda, Biotique has effective solutions for skin, hair and body issues.
Products to try: If hair fall is your problem then Biotiques Bhringraj Therapeutic Hair oil is the solution. Packed with the essence of Bhringraj Plant, Amla Fruit, Tesu Flower, Mulethi Stem, Brahmi Plant, Cow Milk, Goat Milk, the result is a rick thick turbid oil that is easy to apply. The effects of the oil are visible in the first wash as it leaves your hair feeling nourished and healthy.
Biotique also has a line of natural makeup and one of the best product to try is the Starburst matte mousse. Available in Indian skin tones, the mousse is a lightweight vegan, paraben-free and preservative-free formula, that makes it look natural.
Price point: Biotique is one of the most affordable brands with effective results. The make-up is priced at a slightly higher price point.
A luxurious treat to the skin, Kama Ayurveda is a well-known name in the organic and ayurvedic beauty sector. Their products are developed in partnership with the 100-year-old Arya Vaidya Pharmacy in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Extremely potent remedies, delivery on their promise and are effective in treating issues related to skin and hair. Cruelty-free and vegan, these products are made from traditional herbs, flowers and oils extracted from nature.
Products to try: If acne plagues your life then you are sure to find a solution at the Kama Ayurveda. Nimrah an anti-acne face pack is one of the most potent product, sure to deliver effective results. The brown coloured powder is packed with the goodness of vetiver, ashwagandha, red sandalwood, coriander, that immediately dries the zit and reduces inflammation, without drying the skin around it.
Price point: The products rely more on the luxury price point.
The benefits of using homegrown brands
One of the most important things about Indian, homegrown brands is that they are mostly organic in nature and chemical-free. The recipes have been brewed from the Ayurvedic kitty and are safe for you as well as the environment.
Homegrown cosmetic brands also understand Indian skin tones better and as a result, are a better choice for the darker-skinned people (like me!) who often find it hard to find a match for their tone.