Khadi needs marketing, tech to play larger role in Indian textile arena

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-03-10 17:30:00 – New Delhi

Moral Fibre Fabrics, manufactures eco-friendly fabric, clothing including khadi in India and who has supplied khadi to Hollywood as well feel that Made in India’s fabric Khadi is slowly but steadily generating interest in the West. To widen its appeal, there are certain issues which the sector needs to address, said Shailini Sheth Amin, the creative mind behind the Ahmedabad based company.

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. Right now they have some focus on this most valued but dying legacy of khadi, Amin said.

Amin aims to reinvent khadi as a socially and environmentally sustainable fabric while maintaining high-quality standards. But lack of marketing orientation and technological obsolescence are the major obstacles for khadi to play a larger role in the Indian textile arena.

Amin further said that the khadi fabric needs to be seen as much more than heritage and a fashion statement as today’s youth will not wear khadi for its symbolism or under any emotional pressure. Hence, 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”.

Amin feels proud that the “rustic fabric made by spinners and weavers from small villages in Gujarat is now recognised the world over”. Her brand has more international than domestic buyers, some 85 percent of sales comes from abroad.

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