For the record: I don’t particularly like New Delhi. Maybe it’s because the bustling city is always my first and last stop in India, which means I’m either homesick, just plain sick, nervous, anxious, terrified, or downright ready to leave the country. However, there is one thing I do like about the place: People Tree.
People Tree – the tree that grew into a shop. In New Delhi. In India. A shop that is not just a shop, but also a great place to be at. It’s a meeting ground – and of course, breeding ground too – of art, commerce and madness. People come to this tree from everywhere. To share. To buy and sell. To laugh, draw, search, read, speak out, locate, relocate.
A small group of artists and designers opened the independent business in 1990, which aims to “combine a sense of social purpose and ecological responsibility with the spirit of collective creativity.” Tucked just around the corner from Connaught Place’s outer circle, People Tree features a variety of quality handmade goods, as well as a wall-to-wall selection of books hidden away in a back room.
People Tree’s items are hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind, eco-friendly, and socially conscious. They sell hand-dyed clothing and bags for men and women, recycled jewelry, laptop cases, postcards, books, notebooks, and more, using non-toxic and biodegradable materials whenever possible. However, it’s much more than just a storefront; they promote self-expression and quality workmanship, offer arts workshops and trainings, strive for higher wages and better conditions for workers, connect artists and activists, and support social action.