'Better understanding of Indian textiles on a global level'
Designer Anita Dongre is happy to see that there has been a sense of urgency within the fashion industry to save the country’s dying crafts
Designer Anita Dongre, who has moved one step closer to her dream of empowering the women of India by opening the fourth tailoring unit in the village of Modgaon in Maharashtra, says there has been a sense of urgency within the industry to save the country's dying crafts. She feels there is a better understanding of Indian textiles and slow fashion on a global level today.
"There has been a sense of urgency within the industry to save India's dying crafts. It's great to see not just the industry but also the government taking steps towards reviving handloom and making it relevant to the current generation," said Dongre when asked about her take on how the scene of handloom has changed over the years.
"Handloom is finally getting its long due recognition but I still think we have a long way to go and a lot more to do," she added.
So where do you see handlooms and textiles moving from here on globally?
"There is a better understanding of Indian textiles, crafts and slow fashion, on a global level today. It's amazing to see the progress we are making towards this as an industry. Social media also has been a huge enabler for us to tell our stories of Indian handlooms and textiles.
Talking about the new tailoring unit, the designer said Anita Dongre Foundation works with the local governments and village gram panchayats to create local Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and bring livelihood or employment opportunities to their own villages.
"Empowering the people of these villages by giving them access to a dependable source of income, in their locality is critical to arrest the tide of migration to cities. Modgaon is the fourth location where we have setup a community garment tailoring unit (in addition to Charoti, Jawahar and Dhanevari) in the Palghar District of Maharashtra.
"There are no skilled artisans or weavers in these villages – the women from these villages are unskilled labour who we skill in garment tailoring on industrial sewing machines by setting up such training-cum-production centres, and this has been our key objective," she said.
Added Dongre: "During the three months of training period, we train the women in basic and advanced skills of cutting, sewing and finishing garments and during this period every trainee is paid a stipend."
"Once the training is complete, we supply the center with fabrics and pay the women for the tailored garments on fair per piece rate basis so as to provide them with regular livelihood opportunities."