Art was one of my most favourite subjects in school. Every Wednesday, one hour was dedicated to sketching, drawing and colouring—my school somehow knew that this break would refresh the students like nothing else. We would all open our blank sketchbooks, draw with pencils, and spend the rest of our time colouring the pencil drawings, with crayons.
As young students, we never realised that in this process, we were digging our nails in the crayons, which were made of wax and colour pigments, among other ingredients, and later, these flecks of wax would mix with our food and enter our bodies.
A similar observation and an effort to lower the carbon footprint have prompted some people in India to start manufacturing organic crayons.
Two companies in India, Avani EarthCraft in the Kumaon hills, and Azafran in Ahmedabad have taken up the initiative to make crayons from natural, plant-based ingredients. Avani Earthcraft is also indirectly empowering marginalised women.
If your young one has just started colouring and doesn’t worry too much about shading and hues, Avani’s crayons may be your perfect choice of crayons.
Their natural crayons are created using locally harvested beeswax and plant-based pigments, including indigo, marigold, eupatorium and myrobolan. These colourful crayons are completely non-toxic and safe for kids of all ages!
The organic beeswax is bought from a foundation in the Nilgiris that employs honey gatherers.
Speaking to The Hindu, Rashmi Bharti, the co-founder of the Kumaon-based company said, “It was my daughter who inspired me to create organic crayons. Most art supplies available in the market today are made with synthetic ingredients, and I wanted to develop something that wasn’t harmful for children.”
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The crayon sets are then procured in wholesale by a social enterprise in Mumbai called Sew Saw Handmade. According to Eazelly, a product curation website, “Sew Saw works with marginalised women artisans across Indian to promote economic empowerment of rural artisans. These women create Handmade and non-toxic essentials for children of all ages.”
Along with Avani Earthcraft, Azafran Organics, based in Ahmedabad also make crayons from organic raw products.
Aditi Vyas, the director of the company, said, “We use soy wax, palm wax, soy butter and food-grade colours in our Veggie Crayons. Wax and soy butter is melted and mixed with natural colour pigments and poured into moulds. The mixture is then allowed to cool and become solid.” Priced at Rs 350, Azafran offers eight colours in their crayon set, all organic and safe for your young ones.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)