Tuesday 29 December 2020

Premium Indian Handicrafts Shopping ft. Exclusivelane.com

Tis' the season of gifting and treating your loved ones by gifting them right during festive season is sheer joy for most of us. But how about gifting yourself something nice and making yourself feel 'loved'. I genuinely believe in the theory of self-love and don't mind indulging in small things that bring me happiness, shopping being one of them.πŸ˜‰
So today, I'm excitedly sharing my recent shopping experience from an online portal Exclusivelane.com that caught my eye mainly because of its diverse collection of traditional handicraft items as I always feel authentic handicrafts are not-so-easy to find online. 
Know Little More About Exclusivelane.com:
ExclusiveLane is an online craft company extensively born in 2012 out of pure love for handicraft products. The company handpicks exclusive handicraft products from rural artisans from different parts of India & exhibits diversity and heritage of India in the form of authentic products to urban consumers at an affordable price.  
My Shopping Experience:
ExclusiveLane retails items from varied categories viz. Tableware, Kitchen Storage, Showpieces, Wall Decor,  Pots & Planters, Candle Holders, Lamps, Jewellery and much more. So when I had to choose a few items for my first order with them, I literally had to spend many hours exploring their collections and finalize what to order. Keeping in mind certain budget amount, I had planned to buy one item. But due to discounted prices currently being offered, I decided to go for more than one. With loads of discussions with my family members, we finally agreed on ordering a couple of decor items for our sweet home i.e. a table lamp and a wall planter pot.

While placing the order, I chose Online Payment mode, as the company offers FREE SHIPPING on order placed via online payments. If you choose to go for Cash on Delivery, flat 99 INR is charged for shipping for India. (ExclusiveLane also delivers outside India and shipping charges are INR 999 per item in that case.)

I received the confirmation mail of my order as soon as I paid for it and the order was dispatched in less than 24 hours. The parcel containing well-packed cardboard boxes in multiple layers of bubble wrap was delivered at my doorstep on the third day itself, which was decently quick. πŸ‘

As I opened the packaging, I really liked the fine finish and material quality of both the items that I had ordered. I'm keen to show you guys what I bought..
The first item is an elegant Pyramid shaped square tappered table lamp with artistically crafted Sheesham Wood on its base and Cotton Cloth wrapped over polyvinyl on its shade. I chose this lamp as it nicely compliments the color of my furniture and is perfect to lit an otherwise dull corner. The 14 inch size was also one of the consideration while selecting it.
The second item is a cute decorative owl-shaped wall planter pot.  This planter is from 'The Ferric Wonders' collection that is a set of garden dΓ©cor comprising of 2 classic bucket-shaped detachable planter pots with a unique owl-shaped holder both made in galvanized iron which is rust-proof. I loved how the glossy finish of light-golden coloured planters highlights over the matte finished black coloured holder. πŸ‘Œ This cute planter is an ideal decor piece to not just to fix on the wall, but can also be placed on the table or floor with/without holder.
I'm quite happy with both the items I bought as these are apt to enhance the look of any nook of my home or office, wherever I place them. 

To sum up, I would say ExclusiveLane.com is doing great job to provide economic upliftment to the artisans who are involved in preserving the heritage of the handicrafts industry in India. The company deserves an applause for being a supporter of #VocalForLocal. I highly recommend their services if you're looking for authentic handicrafts for yourselves or to gift to your loved ones. 🎁


Tuesday 1 December 2020

Unmasking The Myths Around Palm Oil & The Industry

With a global pandemic taking the world by storm and forcing people to work from home, most of us have resorted to internet services to manage all sort of professional communication. That's the reason why webinars have become a staple for a seamless interaction with potential audience. 

Last week, I got an opportunity to attend a webinar organised by #MPOC (Malaysian Palm Oil Council) with around 40 renowned bloggers from different regions of India, where the key speaker Ms. Bhavna Shah (Country Representative, India and Sri Lanka, MPOC) dispelled some myths about #PalmOil and addressed the issue of incorrect information dissemination around whole Palm Oil sector. 
As someone who always advocate 'facts' over 'fallacies', I took up today to apprise my readers about so-called myths that were unmasked during this awareness webinar-

Myth #1 Large scale Palm tree plantation is primary cause of deforestation.
Fact - Palm trees grow naturally in tropical rainforest areas, but they are also being planted and farmed to produce more palm oil to meet the increasing demand of this versatile edible oil. With novel farming techniques followed by the industry, sustainably grown palm establishments have proven to be equally good for the environment like many other vegetable oil crops. 
Infact, there are regulatory bodies like MPOCC (Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council) that are actively working with supply chains to eliminate outdated, unsustainable farming practices for palm oil production in Malaysian region. On the lines of these practices, it has been mandatory for all Malaysian palm oil industry to be MSPO certified to ensure positive social, environmental and economic impacts. Moreover, palm oil trees may not necessarily be produced on large plantations causing deforestation, but can also be grown on smaller family farms called 'smallholders'.
Myth #2 Palm tree plantations threaten biodiversity.
Fact - Tropical forests, where palm oil is primarily produced, are home to several rare and endangered species like Orangutans, Sumatran tigers, elephants and rhinos. To secure lives of these animals in tropical habitat, the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) has set up stricter standards to allow palm oil expansion in a 'sustainable' way that doesn’t deprive vulnerable wildlife of its natural habitat in the wild and the palm oil industry is putting best practices into place to abide by the set standards.

MPOC has also set up Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF), a scheme focused to fund conservation research program undertaken by experts from the academia, government agencies and NGOs who provide concrete assurances that oil palm cultivation does not cause deforestation or loss of wildlife and their habitat.
Myth #3 Palm oil harms your health and environment & should be avoided.
Fact: Palm oil is a versatile edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit grown on the oil palm trees. For consumers, it's almost an impossible task to avoid palm oil because it’s used in almost everything from ice cream to instant noodles, toothpaste to lipstick and much more. Be aware that palm oil is an ideal substitute for partially hydrogenated oils and is also a good source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E that may help to protect you from certain chronic diseases, while delaying the body’s ageing process.

Also, from an environmental perspective, if you decide to boycott the stuff, that might not be so wise. Because no other crop can yield even one third of palm oil per acre planted. And along with using less land, the oil palm gorges on fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizers than any other vegetable oil source. So if you think oil palm destructive is to the environment, it may still be better than its alternatives.
Take home message:
Malaysian palm oil industry is a highly regulated industry currently adhering to more than 15 laws and regulations related to land acquisition, protection of wildlife, environmental impacts etc. 

I hope this awareness write-up will help put a check on careless sharing of un-researched views. We should take time to fact-check and understand the complexity of issues – palm oil or otherwise, before we propagate anything.