Peter D’Ascoli, TALIANNA STUDIO:With the concerns revolving around sustainable fashion, the prospects for handloom silk in the export market are very strong if the proper marketing efforts are made.
How do you perceive the current state of Handloom industry in India given its share in economic activities?
I have long believed that India’s Handloom Industry can be a gift to the world if recognized and promoted by the global fashion business for its low carbon attributes. The largest in the world, Indian Handloom is a clean supply chain for one of the planet’s most polluting industries and should be heralded for its value beyond the mere cost of the cloth. But without the proper marketing this sector is bound to suffer loss and grow smaller in the face of mass produced, machine made textiles.
How the counterfeiting has impacted the earnings of weavers and artisans handlooms specially in silk garments ?
All fabrics and fibers have a place in the marketplace and synthetics are no exception. The problem is when false claims are made regarding fibers and production methods, and this is true for manmade fibers, natural fibers, handloom and mill made fabrics. The problem is fraud and this becomes a labelling and law enforcement issue.
What are the prospective foreign markets for handloom silk in the upcoming future?
The prospects for handloom silk in the export market are very strong if the proper marketing efforts are made, with messaging revolving around the sustainable attributes of handloom cloth. The quality of the textiles must meet international requirements, and the fabric suppliers and those makers buying the cloth and adding value through finished product manufacturing – whether for home furnishings or garments – must endeavor to educate the consumer about the environmental and human benefits of this form of production.
How important is it to make people aware about the sources and provenance of the natural fabric?
Educating the consumer about the manifold benefits of handloom production is of the utmost importance in preserving and growing handloom production in india. The fact that India has such a large handloom sector means that the potential exists to offer global markets a supply of sustainable cloth at scale, to compete with mill made fabrics to positively impact the environment while enriching the artisans who make handmade textiles.