Ellementry, a lifestyle brand launched in 2018, has already found many patrons for its handcrafted products that are rooted in indigenous culture and tradition. According to founder Ayush Baid, it is India’s cultural ethos that drives the brand’s design sensibilities, which brings forth the craftsmanship and skill of the rural Indian artisans

In Imperfection Lies Beauty

What is the USP of the Ellementry brand?
Ellementry epitomizes simple luxury through handcrafted lifestyle products. We draw inspiration from nature, season, colour, mood, culture, and life itself, to conceive products that are handcrafted with utmost attention to detail and are adapted to modern sensibilities. Breathing life into the mundane with exquisite design elements that seamlessly marry functionality is the essence of the brand.

Our product line-up — which combines utility and beauty — includes tableware, furniture, and lighting. What makes them even more special is the fact that all of them are handmade; each imperfectly perfect, and unique. As Ellementry employs rural artisans for their products, every product showcases traditional handcrafted techniques with modern sensibilities, and using materials that are natural, sustainable, and earthy.

How was the idea of Ellementry conceived?
In Imperfection Lies Beauty
Ellementry is the retail offshoot of Dileep Industries that has won many awards and accolades for exporting high-quality handcrafted products to international brands. Their creations are contemporary and borne out of responsible actions based on the six pillars: Handmade, Fusion of beauty and utility, Sustainable, Form & Function, Culture Revival, and Food Safe - of international standard materials and finishes.

While studying in the University College London (UCL), I got an insight into how the e-commerce world functions. One summer, while analyzing my father’s business data, I figured that the same products would be lapped up happily in India. After a thorough analysis of the market and the required groundwork, I devised a plan for e-retailing the products in India. This led to the birth of Ellementry. We have entered our second year of operations, and have already opened three stores across India, and the fourth will come up in Hyderabad.

What makes Ellementry an eco-conscious brand?
Our products are about living spaces that are in harmony with nature. What lies at the heart of every single product created by us are the materials — they are crafted from natural organic materials. The processes also ensure no harm to the environment. Moreover, every material used in the products is food safe.

We make terracotta products that evoke ancient traditions. Be it stoneware or earthenware, all are sourced from the earth, and when their use is over, they return to the earth. We even recycle newspaper in our papier-mache unit to make beautiful handcrafted products.
Ayush Baid
All our products are handmade in India by 4,000 artisans employed by us fulltime. Our in-house terracotta, papier-mâché and ceramic units are not just providing a means of livelihood to local Indian artists, but are also ensuring that the artisans pass on the art forms to the younger generations, thereby reviving the dying arts of India

Ayush Baid

We have created an eco-mix by combining waste generated from factories, like marble dust, wooden dust and old textiles with recycled newspapers and other sustainable materials. Our surplus production is utilized by us for our meals and guests. For our display, photo shoots and set-ups, we use all the waste and recycled wood that gets collected in the factories, giving them a new life. For example, we made Christmas trees made of recycled wood and displayed them in all our stores. For our furniture and kitchenware products, we mostly use mango wood, which is highly sustainable due to its cultivation as a fruit tree. Our wax filled jars are multi-purpose; once the wax is over the jars can be further used for different purposes. Moreover, we use recyclable cotton bags in our retail stores.

How is Ellementry empowering Indian artisans?
Ellementry has created a space that allows local artisans to flourish by bringing their talent and skill to light. We have given them a platform to showcase their talent in creating culturally rooted products with a modern outlook to suit the contemporary world. Today, Ellementry is providing full-time employment to more than 4,000 artisans, who were earlier unable to make a healthy living with the income that the art generated.

Ellementry is also reviving the dying art of India like papier-mache. Untouched by machines, it is most likely the only art that is purely handmade using sustainable materials like paper, glue, and chalk powder. We have opened an exclusive papier-mache unit in a small hamlet called Akoda near Jaipur. Here, expert artisans create products of everyday use like salad bowls, storage boxes, candle stands, and more. We are planning to revive the dying arts of every Indian state and provide means of survival to local Indian artists so they can pass the art forms to the younger generations.

We are giving respectable employment to an entire village of artisans and also providing them home-cooked lunch, free of cost. Our factories are safe and hygienic, and equipped with safety measures. We are in the process of getting more amenities for them like accommodation, schooling for their children, and more.

In Imperfection Lies Beauty

What are the eco-friendly design features in your office and workshops?
Our eco-friendly office is surrounded by trees, and we initiate plantation drives to reduce carbon footprints. About 70% of the power that we use in our office and workshops comes from solar panels; we do rainwater harvesting, and have built a greenhouse in the premises.

Passive Sustainable Design: The large window panels at our headquarters in Jaipur allow sunlight to pour in throughout the day; hence, lesser electricity is required during the daytime. We also use the earthen pots insulation system to reduce the heat.

Active Sustainable Design: We have implemented high-efficiency electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other systems, designed to have minimal environmental footprints while creating energy and comfort.

Renewable Energy System: In a hot climate like Jaipur, 80% of the energy requirement of ours is fulfilled with solar panels that are placed on the roof and on the car-parking shed.

Greener Building Materials: Use of eco-friendly and lightweight fly ash bricks and reclaimed industrial wood in the structure.

Native Landscaping: The large garden area with plants and greenery is maintained to keep the area naturally cool. Even the open space inside the building has plants and trees to reduce the solar heat gain inside the building even during the hottest time of the day.

Packaging: We are using eco-friendly honeycomb packaging material, and only recyclable, sturdy cotton bags that can also be used as a tote bag or a shopping bag.