Promoted as Swadeshi fabric by Mahatma Gandhi, India’s humble khadi has innovated itself as the favourite of fashion designers and fashionistas alike. It is now the most preferred choice on the global and Indian fashion ramps. The khadi collection by Fabindia, for instance has witnessed growth in khadi business by almost three times in the last five years. Numerous designers are already endorsing the fabric. While designer Gaurang Shah showcased his khadi line at the Berlin Fashion Week and the New York Fashion Week in 2012, one set of designers including Neeru Kumar, Ritu Kumar, Pranavi Kapur and Madhu Jain has always worked with khadi. On the other hand, rising awareness and liking towards these natural weaves have also led to increase in sales across the country.
- Designers awestruck with humble fabric: Infused with a strong touch of politics, khadi was and continues to be the Indian and sometimes South Asian politicians’ sartorial statement. Of course, it’s a far finer cloth with a higher thread count today. It enjoys another political distinction: the Indian flag is allowed to be made only of khadi. However, now handspun weaves have made an aggressive entry into the world of fashion. The khadi collection by Fabindia, for instance, a brand that retails handcrafted clothing and home furnishings, flies off the shelves. The chain has seen khadi business grow almost three times in the last five years. Designers are heralding in this change and as well known designer Gaurang Shah points out, people's perception towards the humble fabric has changed. With new weaving techniques and embellishments, the cloth has come a long way. It’s no more flaunted by elderly even youngsters love to don kurtas , kurtis , saris and even accessories made out of it. Designers are makinganarkali , ghagras , gowns et al from khadi. Everything from tie-and-dye to embroidery, block printing, indigo prints is possible on khadi. Designer Rohit Bal believes khadi is India’s answer to linen and designers are trying to lead the fabric into the big league. Khadi’s international connect has always been strong, given that John and William Bissel’s Fabindia, and Faith and John Singh’s Anokhi were early promoters of the fabric.
- Sales zoom on popularity: Sale of khadi, registered a six per cent growth in 2013-14 across the country, while gain in production during this period was by about 6.45 percent. The success of this eco-friendly fabric has been attributed to khadi’s introduction in the field of fashion and rise in demand for khadi ensembles among the youth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has appealed to the people to buy khadi products. Data provided by Saurashtra Rachanatmak Samiti (SRS) reveals that total production of khadi in India increased by 6.45 percent. In value terms, it touched Rs 811.08 crores during 2013-14. Sales gained by 5.82 percent and rose to Rs 1,081.04 crores from previous fiscal's Rs 1,021.56 crores. Employment in khadi industry improved by 2.52 percent in 2013-14. Khadi and village industries generated about 535,000 new jobs last year. Khadi and Village Industries Trust, a unit of Gandhigram Trust plans to undertake a major structural change to take khadi products to the younger generation and to compete with commercial institutions in the highly potential branded shirt market this festive season. The aim is also to promote organic and natural dyed clothes and readymade items, for which there is a very high demand in the market. Source: Article