E-commerce major, ebay have stepped into the Indian weaver's market after campaigns like a Banarasi sari campaign which ran for a couple of months received huge response from across the world. They are working with close to 250 weavers and their acquisition team visits weavers market regularly to procure products. The best part of this is that weavers can make their products available to any part of the world, said Navin Mistry, head, retail experts, ebay India.
Ebay has a tie-up with the Gujarat and Odisha government, supplying them with the state's handcrafted products and is also in talks with the Ministry of Textiles for similar ventures with other states.
Indigenously produced fabric has caught the fancy of people and the growing popularity of such textile indicates a huge potential yet to be tapped. While designers too have been attracted to the handloom revolution, they decided to get people these products straight from the weaver's yarn, said Nitin Pamnani, co-founder of Gwalior-based itokri.
The site stocks products from weavers across Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and the Kutch area of Gujarat alongside a couple of other states. Working directly with 20 weavers, the site even sells fabrics like khun from Maharashtra.
Though they sell the products at a margin of 8%-10%, sometimes there's a mark-up of 70% to 80% and even then they are inexpensive compared to similar products premium brands would sell.
While in 2012-2013, itokri sold products worth Rs 5 crore, they sold Rs 12 crore in the last fiscal. Thanks to Modi's make in India campaign, people have started taking weavers seriously , Pamnani said.
While weavers' cooperatives have always depended on state emporiums and private distributors, few like Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society have chosen the smart path by launching their own e-commerce portals.
Weavers from different parts of India are warming up to the idea of e-tailers, much in line with PM Narendra Modi's growth and development plan for the textile industry. Some portals like Jaypore that stocks premium designer wear is also keeping the weaver's line, few like Gaatha, heart2hand are selling products right out of the weaver's yarn.
Sensing an opportunity, Ahmadabad-based Gatha started by three National Institute of Design students has a story to tell with every product they sell.
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