Making khadi the fabric of empowerment

Making khadi the fabric of empowerment
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Making khadi the fabric of empowerment

Highlights

The nationwide lockdown slumped demand in most sectors bringing the economy to a crashing halt. he most deeply impacted have been the daily wage workers.

The nationwide lockdown slumped demand in most sectors bringing the economy to a crashing halt. he most deeply impacted have been the daily wage workers. There is a large percentage of rural and semi-urban India that work in the handicraft and handloom sector which employs about 4.6 lakh artisans. This crisis has let to unemployment leaving the artisans struggling for their daily bread and butter.

A sustainable fashion social enterprise, Rewanta has launched the #PledgekhadiEmpowerWeavers initiative under the Reclaim Khadi Movement that aims to extend support to weavers and artisans by enabling them to earn a dignified living by creating a positive demand cycle for Khadi.

About the initiative

With Rewanta, we have been working with the khadi artisans of India to create contemporary fashion. With #PledgeKhadiEmpowerWeavers initiative, we aim to create an opportunity for artisans to earn a dignified livelihood to combat the setback of the lockdown and keep them from slipping back into the cycle of poverty. Our objective here is to create a positive demand cycle by addressing the nation to pledge one khadi garment in their wardrobes during this lockdown period.

Pledging one khadi garment will create multiple benefits-just one garment will support an artisan's livelihood for a week. It will also help build adoption of the sustainable khadi fabric revealing its comfort and style quotient to newer users. Alongside, users will enjoy the good energy of these hand spun and hand-woven swadeshi items.

How are you working towards it?

Our solution aims to create opportunity for 10,000 artisans to begin with, which will expand to include more artisans as the campaign helps demand soar. The financial impact of this campaign is to weave 10 lakh meter khadi fabric that will be further designed to create 250,000 garments for customers. The objective is to not look for a stop-gap arrangement this time, but truly create self-reliant and sustainable artisan clusters which provide value to the customer while building business models that generate respectful livelihood opportunities for weavers.

To what extent the community has been impacted by the pandemic?

Most of these 4.6 lakh weavers are associated with Khadi certified institutions who provide them work. 20 percent of these "A class" certified institutions could provide support to these artisans out of their surplus up until now which is now drying up. However the remaining 80 percent of them are struggling for survival already as the demand cycle has come to a halt.It is a crisis situation in the smaller weaver dependent villages as these people work like wage earners weaving fabric and getting paid for it everyday. With all of it gone they literally have no cash in hand and may die of pure hunger and disease.

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