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Women Entrepreneurs

India's Famous Hand-woven Cloth is on the Global Map Courtesy These 5 Women Entrepreneurs

India's Famous Hand-woven Cloth is on the Global Map Courtesy These 5 Women Entrepreneurs
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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

“I was fed up of not being able to find clothes for my little one,” said Dipti, the founder of Love The World Today, one if its kind Khadi textiles website that specializes in Khadi for kids.  

Another women entrepreneur to have ventured into the lucrative cloth manufacturing and sale is Anaka Naryanan, the founder of Khadi online store, Brass Tacks.

“I've always loved the texture and variations on fabric that show up because it's handmade. That is probably the reason why I'm so partial towards the cloth,” says Anaka.

Like Dipti and Anaka, there are many other Indian entrepreneurs who have come a long way from Gandhi’s hand-spun fabric to a contemporary phase of Khadi with new business models.

The Indian government’s push to promote the textile industry has led to an increase in the rate of foreign direct investment (FDI). It is hence no surprise that Indian entrepreneurs are doing their bit to market Khadi aesthetics that are being produced by the hands of traditional Indian artisans.

Read about 5 Indian entrepreneurs who are involved in the bringing Indian contemporary designs and a dash of modernity of this eco-friendly fabric to the world.

Chennai-origin Anaka Naryanan, founder of ‘Brass Tacks’

This Chennai-based economist-turned-designer started Brass Tacks in 2007 says she used to think that all Khadi was thick and rough growing up when her mother used to take her to Khadi gram in Chennai.

Having been exposed to a variety of qualities over the last few years, she is big fan of the texture, drape and softness of Khadi.

Anaka says the market has changed so much in the last few years. Khadi no longer carries the tag of being frumpy and unfashionable. She also thinks there is a lot more interest and pride in handwoven textiles and Khadi holds a special place because of its origins and history.

“There are so many weights and textures of Khadi cotton now available, so the fabric lends itself to everything from jackets and pants to thin stoles.

“I'd say that Khadi cotton garments, if made well, have a market in the price range of Rs 2000-10,000. That's a wide range- just to show you the opportunity that exists.” said Anaka.

The company intends to ‘serve and verve’ the idea of selling modern silhouettes using Indian fabrics. Brass Tacks focus on Khadi textile as its crucial part of section to fetch higher growth and sales.

Ahmadabad-based Khushboo Agrawal, founder of 'Bunosilo'

A fashion-designer by education and an entrepreneur by profession, Khushboo is a textile design graduate from NID, Ahmadabad, who started Bunosilo with an imbued aim of giving a platform to dying Indian crafts.

Since the last few years of its incorporation, Bunosilo is promoting Khadi apparels on its website. And, now the e-commerce website, is gripping the large amount of Khadi textile sales with a robust consumer base of national and international markets.

On asking, how does she sees the business opportunities in Khadi textile selling, Khushboo told Entrepreneur.com that there is a growing focus and demand of Khadi in international as well as national markets because of its increasing awareness that it has all the ingredients to be the international fabric.

“Bunosilo has a pretty good consumer base for Khadi,” says Khushboo.

Mumbai’s Nanda Yadav – Co-founder of 'Red Sister Blue'

Nanda’s childhood fascination towards the hand-woven cloth ‘Khadi’ and the passion for designing led her to start ‘Red Sister Blue’.

Mumbai-based Nanda, her fiancé from Germany Michael Grobe and Kaveri Sharma embarked on a journey together to give Khadi a new identity on global markets. Nanda, who originally belongs to Varanasi, turned her family tradition of wearing hand woven clothes to a global business opportunity when she took her venture- ‘Red Sister Blue’ off the ground.

”Our aim is to bridge the gap to change perceptions. Up until now, Khadi fabric is seen in a very traditional look, associated with politicians, social workers or some kind of government employees. Another misconception that exists is that Khadi is a luxury, only for the elite class, inaccessible to everyone else”, Nanda says.  

Dipti & Dipna, founders of ‘Love The World Today’

To infuse the habit and love for Khadi at an early age in children from infancy, Dipti and Dipna’s “Love the World Today” was started to tap the untouched section of kid’s wear in the textile industry.

“It started with a simple question of ‘where does all the trash go’. That made us backtrack to think about what goes into creating something. Can we ever be more mindful about what we are consuming? What is the meaning of sustainability? Are we doing enough to make this world better? Are we caring for the environment and people while consuming what we are consuming on a day to day basis? That is when we realized something needed to change and our journey with Love The World Today started.” says Dipti.

With an eye on the international market, the company has also begun recycling the products once the child using the cloth outgrows it.

Chennai’s Anita Chandramohan & Jayashree Krishnan, founders of ‘Maati Crafts’

Grabbing the opportunity of indigenous textiles that are regionally famous for their grace and specialty, these two women entrepreneurs have created a platform to serve regional aesthetics to far-flung areas. Exclusively for sale, these SME entrepreneurs have added home-grown Khadi fabric in their extensive collection.

The Chennai-based Anita Chandramohan and Jayashree Krishnan have targeted pan-Indian clientele for these hand-woven Indian textiles. 

Edition: December 2016

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