In the recently held conference Creating Handloom 2.0 – “Realizing the potential of the Indian Handloom Industry” organized by ‘Confederation of Indian Industry’ in New Delhi today, Smriti Irani, Minister of Textiles, Government of India opined that the Handloom industry’s potential has to be well positioned not only in the domestic market but also globally.
The Minister also underlined the fact that every weaver has her/is unique design and craftsmanship which needs to be protected and acknowledged. It is important to ensure a framework where Intellectual protection rights can be introduced and ensured for handloom weavers.
She also emphasized in the need for the product development in the sector. She informed that under ‘India handloom brand’ launched by honorable Prime minister, 60 natural dyes and chemical free dyes have been registered so far.
Delivering his keynote address on ‘Realizing the potential of the Indian Handloom Industry’ Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner – Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles pointed out that with structured interventions in skills, technology, design and innovation, branding and marketing the sector the sector has potential to scale up to a market size to about Rs 4 lakh crore from estimated size of 1 lakh crore at present in next 6-7 years. This would further help in releasing a 5 to 7 times higher wages to the artisans, he added. With proper branding and publicity of the sector the exports can be scaled up at least 4 top 5 times in next 5 years, he stressed.
With the current devolution of power with 13th Finance commission, the states will have a greater role to play in realizing the potential of the sector. He urged the industry to support in bringing the market intelligence and strengthening marketing linkages in terms of reduced intermediation would immensely support the sector in realizing the potential.
Jaya Jaitly, Founder & President, Dastkari Haat Samiti, in her special address, said that a demonetization kind of step for the handloom sector is very much required if the handlooms sector is to be made global. Exploring endless possibilities of product innovation along with steps towards enhancing the quality and standards and effective Branding of the Handloom sector will be essential for taking handlooms global, she added.
Delivering her special address on the occasion Ms Sarada G Muraleedharan, Director General, National Institute of Fashion Technology said “today biggest change driver in the world is technology which is becoming more and more disruptive than years ago.’ Getting a global footprint in such a scenario would require an approach of ‘Co-creation’ to contemporize where the weaver and designer both come together to designer and innovate.
On the initiatives of NIFT to support to contemporize handloom and getting a global footprint, she informed that of the various collaborations and initiatives of NIFT such as crafts cluster initiative in association with the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts & Handlooms) for integrating the crafts sector of the country with the mainstream, an incubation center with handloom export promotion council for product and business development to help start up India initiative, setting up a design studio in a hub and spokes model that would help various crafts cluster in building the design ideas .
Ritu Beri, Advisor, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, hailed India as a ‘treasure trove ‘of design and innovation for fashion industry offering a gamut of unique varieties in jewels, textiles, handlooms, dyes etc for the fashion industry. Sharing her experiences in the fashion designing field, she said “I started doing fashion designing 25 years ago, my first collection was in Khadi’. Khadi is a national fabric, said Beri, the fabric is refreshing and eco-friendly and emphasized on taking it to the young generation.