Phool Co.: Tera Tujhko Arpan

India is home to several religions, ethnicities, cults, and tribal minority groups. Every diaspora has its own ritual of significance and inadvertently uses flowers to adorn, offer, and place. Flowers have a prominent place in ceremonies and rituals and are treated with a lot of respect and are considered sacred. Nobody views flowers as waste. Once a sacred offering, it cannot be junked into a dustbin. Such floral waste finds itself floating in water bodies.

Although an ‘organic’ form of waste, the methods to cultivate these flowers are far from natural. These florae are sprayed with pesticides and enhancing chemicals to better their shape, size, and colour with quicker blooming properties. When such waste is dumped into a river, it leeches and contaminates the water body. (Source: Forbes India)

Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar dared to view things differently and “Phool Co.” was born. India’s first-ever startup that recycles flower waste, Phool Co turns them into eco-friendly products. Monikered ‘Flower-cycling’ by Ankit Agarwal, they use self-help women groups to create charcoal and chemical-free incense sticks to give back to temples. (Source: Phool Co.)

The product is made by collecting floral waste, separating it by colour, and drying it. Once dried it is powdered and kneaded into a doughlike texture that is rolled into incense sticks, dipping them into essential oils and packed into eco-friendly packaging.

The ideology of recycling floral ‘waste’ was met with initial hesitation but the founders beautifully rounded up by saying ‘Tera Tujhko Arpan– meaning What belongs to the Gods, goes back to the Gods.” This silenced the naysayers and made them come around. (Source: YouTube)