Reliance Retail ties up with over 30,000 artisans in three years

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 23, 2020

Consumers are increasingly accepting craft products marketed through initiatives of Indie by AJIO and Swadesh

Reliance Retail has tied up with over 30,000 artisans who sell over 40,000 products on its portals within three years.

These initiatives, - Indie by AJIO and Swadesh started to provide avenues for sales and employment to local craftsmen, the programmes now engage with more than 30,000 artisans, representing over 600 art forms across a broad spectrum of clothing, textiles, handicrafts and handmade natural goods.

Akhilesh Prasad, President – Reliance Fashion & Lifestyle said that their efforts have now started to fructify in two segments: "in our ability to engage with an increasing number of craftsmen as well as our ability to co-create and cocurate products that are being increasingly accepted by today’s consumers."

The attempt is to make artisans self-reliant and give them exposure, according to Reliance Retail. For Devchand, from a remote village of Bikaner, works as a link between Reliance and artisans of that region who are incredibly talented in hand embroideries. Pintoo Lal Chhipa, an artisan who practices natural dye hand block printing in Akola, Udaipur is associated with Reliance Retail for the last four years and is committed to sustaining this Indian traditional craft. The growth wouldn't have been possible if a helping hand wasn't given to them.

Through regular orders from Reliance Retail, Pintoo can support a group of 30 artisans who work with him and practise different hand block printing processes like, printing, washing, dyeing, drying etc. Devchand generates livelihoods for over 25 women in the arid region of Thar, and these women look forward to orders from Reliance Retail as they use this additional income for their family.

Swadesh, a unique brand

Swadesh is a unique brand of Reliance Retail that brings alive India’s rich handcrafted traditions and offers over 400 types of handmade textiles, handicrafts and agricultural products that are listed with Geographical Indications. Swadesh has an MoU with the Ministry of Textiles which enables the sourcing of 100 per cent authentically crafted products, directly from artisan communities. Swadesh brand is available across multiple formats, including AJIO and Trends.

Further, as a member of the AIACA (All India Artisans & Craftworkers Welfare Association), all of Swadesh’s products come with a craft mark certification such as Dabu, Chanderi weaving, Single Ikat weaving, Kutch leatherwork, Chikankari embroidery, Kashida kari, Ajrakh, Applique, Bagru block printing, Hand block printing, Block printed kalamkari, Mangalgiri handloom weaving, etc. Added to this is the membership of DC (Handloom), Govt of India & textile committee that authorises Swadesh to use the “Handloom Mark” on all its handloom products ensuring authenticity and commitment to the products.

“The future of Swadesh is poised at an exciting stage. It is emerging not only as the preferred brand of artisanal and handicraft products for consumers but is also aiding the revival and growth of artisans and weavers across apparel, home textiles, home décor, furniture, accessories, and more”, added Prasad.

Published on November 23, 2020

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