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‘Khadi’ needs marketing, tech push to widen appeal in Indian textile arena

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Khadi
Image source: stitchwallah.com

New Delhi: The ‘Made in India’ fabric Khadi is slowly but steadily generating interest in the West. However, if it is to widen its appeal, there are certain issues which the sector should address, said the creative head of Moral Fibre Fabrics, who has supplied khadi to Hollywood as well.

“With encouragement to the khadi movement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, khadi is generating a lot of interest. This is the time to go deeper and evaluate the sector and its impact from all angles,” Shailini Sheth Amin, the creative mind behind the Ahmedabad-based company, told reporters in an email interview.

“Right now we have some focus on this most valued but dying legacy of khadi,” he said.

Noting that today’s youth will not wear khadi for its symbolism or under any emotional pressure, Amin said the fabric needs to be seen as “much more than ‘heritage’ and a ‘fashion statement’. It should reach beyond ‘bhandars’ and fashion shows”.

Moral Fibre Fabrics is a web-based social enterprise set up in 2008, and works locally with a few khadi cooperatives around Ahmedabad, creating work opportunities in production, processing, dyeing, printing and tailoring.

With the business-to-business wholesale marketplace model, the brand has an international buyer base in Britain, the US, Australia and some European countries.

The company’s fabric has also been used in Hollywood films like “Pan”, and it regularly supplies Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran, who has designed costumes for movies like “Pride and Prejudice”, “Atonement” and “Anna Karenina”.

When Amin set up her brand, her aim was to reinvent khadi as a socially and environmentally sustainable fabric while maintaining high-quality standards. But the journey has not been easy.

“I could see that there was a need to upgrade and reinvent khadi as the most environmentally-sustainable fabric and expand its varied uses. I realised that the lack of marketing orientation and technological obsolescence are the major obstacles for khadi to play a larger role in the Indian textile arena,” she said.

“When I started, almost no one believed in what we did. In fact, most of the people I came across in the field… themselves did not believe in the hand-crafted fabric. No one was interested in taking it forward.”

“Khadi fabric was considered to be badly made, badly sold and cheap-looking. This fabric had, and still has, big identity issues and it was considered an attire of corrupt politicians,” said Amin.

Of late, several fashion designers have been doing their bit to popularise the fabric, famously used by Mahatma Gandhi as a symbol of protest against the British Raj, in creative ways.

When she started out, Amin found that her brand had more international than domestic buyers, some 85 percent of sales came from abroad.

The milestone moment for the brand, she said, came when they supplied fabric to Hollywood projects.

“Our fabrics were seen by a sourcing agent for a film in a London shop and she got in touch with us. She was very pleased when she heard about the social and environmental sustainability credentials of these fabrics.”

Amin feels proud that the “rustic fabric made by spinners and weavers from small villages in Gujarat is now recognised the world over”. (Nivedita, IANS)

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Vivo Launches New ‘Y81’ In India

As part of the offers, the company is bringing cashbacks, no cost EMI options and Jio vouchers and offers both, online and offline.

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Vivo
The smartphone has 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio

Chinese player Vivo on Thursday launched the 4BG vartiant of its “Y81” smartphone with fingerprint unlocking and “FullView” display 2.0 in India at Rs 13,490.

The 3GB variant of Vivo “Y81” was launched in June for Rs 11,390 with a 6.22-inch screen and fueled by MediaTek OctaCore (Helio P22) processor along with 3260 mAh battery, the company said in a statement.

“Y81” sports a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera with modes including HDR, portrait bokeh, Artificial Intelligent (AI)-face beauty, palm capture and group selfie.

Vivo
Representational image.

Vivo has also announced festive offers on its other Y-Series smartphones including Y71i, Y83Pro, Y81 and the newly launched Y81 4GB variant.

“We want to continue the momentum and further enhance the customer experience by kick-starting the festive season with offers that add to the happiness to our consumers,” Jerome Chen, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivo India said in a statement.

Also Read: Suzuki launches Made in India Baleno in Japan

As part of the offers, the company is bringing cashbacks, no cost EMI options and Jio vouchers and offers both, online and offline.

As part of the “Make in India” initiative, all these devices have been manufactured at Vivo’s Greater Noida facility, the company added. (IANS)