Textiles and Garments hold a major market share in developing the Indian Economy. With contributing 14 percent to industrial production and 4 percent to the GDP, and also employing 45 million people, this industry undoubtedly has a lot to offer to the people. Handcrafted fabrics have always been the talk of the country, and lately, with the support of the Ministry of Textiles, closer bonds between the artisans and fashion designers, artisanal support schemes by the government, and increasing awareness about sustainable fashion, has led to a scenario where handcrafted fabrics are ruling the fashion industry:
Support from the Ministry of Textiles:
Ministry of textiles is consistently working in tandem with the Indian Fashion industry to help in the growth and awareness of handcrafted fabrics. Textiles India 2017 – India’s first textile and handloom event, is one of the major milestones achieved in the domain of Handloom Fashion by the government. Moreover, with numerous government schemes weaved around artisanal support and social media campaign initiatives taken up by SmritiIrani, like #CottonIsCool and #IWearHandloom, are few instances where the government has been successful in making the handcrafted fabrics lead the show.
Cementing the Business connect between Rural and Modern India:
Keeping in line with the government, there are now many designers who are working at the grassroots level with the artisans, and encouraging them to bring their skills to the fore. Designers like Anita Dongre, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar, Rahul Mishra, Gaurang Shah and many more, are weaving their collections around such fabrics and crafts highly celebrated across the country. They connect with rural communities of different states of India, and work on heritage crafts like Ikat, Kalamkari, Chikan, done on a select variety of fabrics, creating trending collections that reflect their close bonds with the artisans.
New Age Consumers are moving towards Sustainable Fashion:
Consumers nowadays look for everything that is sustainable, be it gadgets or fashion. The New Age consumer is a much more informed and conscious buyer. One can no more lure them with just cuts and flairs until they are not woven in sync with the environment. They would preferably choose hand-woven fabrics, and Indian crafts dipped in natural color dyes, over synthetic, factory-made and chemically dyed fabrics.
Wave of Customisation and Fusion:
Today, consumers wish to be more in-line with the fashion industry. Be it a casual or a festive outfit, a lot of people have started designing their own clothes for better comfort and style. Shaping Indian Crafts like Ajrak, Kalamkari, Ikat, Mughal, Bagh and more, into boho-fusion ensembles has become a major trendsetter in the fashion industry. People are opting for Mughal Palazzos and Kurtas over conventional salwar suits, and ankle-length flared dresses over conventional anarkalis.
Role of Bollywood and Socialite Trendsetters:
Another major contributor, in making handcrafted fabrics the show stopper within the fashion industry, is our Bollywood celebs and influencers. A lot of Bollywood stars pull off heritage designs with the utmost grace and elegance. Leading actors like Vidya Balan, Deepika Padukone, Kriti Sanon, Kareena Kapoor, Rekha, are often seen flaunting rich Indian Handloom Crafts, like Banarasi, Ajrak, Kalamkari, Mughal, Shibori & more. Not only Bollywood, a lot of fashion influencers and mom bloggers are creating a niche in the Handloom sector by continuously contributing in the form of blogs and conceptualized shoots, woven around the rich Indian Handloom market.
All-in-all, Handcrafted fashion is the way ahead, giving the rawness of hand-weaving, the connection to Indian roots and artisans, the sustainability quotient, and of course, the quality of making you and your outfit one-of-a-kind.
Author: Mr. Sandeep Sharma