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Blooming from Waste: How Phool is Turning Temple Flowers into Sustainable Incense Sticks

Driven by the concerning environmental and health impacts of flower waste, founders Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar embarked on a journey to find a solution and upcycle temple flowers!

Blooming from Waste: How Phool is Turning Temple Flowers into Sustainable Incense Sticks

Sunday March 03, 2024 , 3 min Read

Amidst the vibrant chaos of India's Makara Sankranti festival, two friends witnessed a troubling sight - devotees polluting the sacred Ganges River with discarded flowers. This encounter in 2015 sparked the birth of Phool Co., a social enterprise on a mission to transform waste into beautiful and sustainable products.

Driven by the concerning environmental and health impacts of flower waste, founders Ankit Agarwal and Prateek Kumar embarked on a journey to find a solution. Their initial idea of upcycling temple flowers was met with skepticism, but their determination prevailed.

Through extensive research and experimentation, they discovered that these discarded flowers, often laden with chemicals, were not only polluting waterways but also harming aquatic life. Phool Co. was born from the need to address this dual challenge: environmental protection and empowering local communities.

From Waste to Wonder: The Phool Co. Process

Phool Co. collects floral waste from temples across India, diverting tons of flowers from polluting rivers. These flowers are then meticulously hand-processed by self-help women's groups, transforming them into unique and sustainable products.

Woman recycing flower

Phool Co.'s Product Portfolio:

  • Charcoal-free, organic incense sticks: Crafted using their innovative "flowercycling" technology, these incense sticks offer a fragrant and sustainable alternative.
  • Essential oils: Extracted from upcycled flowers, these essential oils offer natural aromatherapy benefits.
  • Organic Gulaal: Made from flower waste, Phool Co.'s gulaal offers a vibrant and eco-friendly option for Holi celebrations.
  • Festival Special Products: Phool offers festival products like Holi, Rakhi and Diwali hampers, offered keeping in mind the customers' needs in an eco-friendly manner.
Gulaal

Beyond Products: A Vision for a Sustainable Future

Phool Co. is constantly innovating and expanding its product range, always prioritising sustainability and social impact. Their commitment extends beyond product development:

  • Empowering local communities: Phool Co. provides employment opportunities, particularly for women, and fosters sustainable practices within the communities they work with.
  • Sustainable practices: The company prioritises ethical sourcing, minimises waste, and uses eco-friendly packaging throughout its operations.

Recognition and Growth

Phool Co.'s dedication to sustainability and social impact has garnered recognition from various organisations, including the World Changing Ideas Award and the Unilever Young Entrepreneur Award.

The company has also secured funding from prominent investors like Alia Bhatt and Sixth Sense Ventures.

As Phool Co. continues to grow, its core values remain constant: environmental responsibility, empowering communities, and creating beautiful products from waste. The company's journey serves as a powerful example of how innovation and social consciousness can blossom into a sustainable future.


Edited by Roshni Manghnani