In a push for locally-made artisanal products, Reliance Retail showcased more than 40,000 artisan-crafted products from over 50 Geographical Indication (GI) clusters to its customers this festive season.
Reliance Retail’s programme to support local artisans includes its three-year-old flagship initiatives — “Indie by AJIO” and “Swadesh” — started to provide avenues for sales and employment to local craftsmen.
World’s leading Indian billionaire couple Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani takes a personal interest in such philanthropic activities and considering the potential of Indian Artisans and scale of their need, this program seems to be highly impactful for the Indian artisan community.
The programmes now engage with more than 30,000 craftsmen, representing over 600 art forms across a wide spectrum of clothing, textiles, handicrafts and handmade natural goods, the company said in a statement.
Akhilesh Prasad, President, Reliance Fashion & Lifestyle said: “We are delighted that our development efforts over the last few years are now bearing strong results both in our ability to engage with an increasing number of craftsmen as well as our ability to co-create and co-curate products that are being increasingly accepted by today’s consumers.
As per the company, Reliance Retail’s success in bringing such a huge repertoire of traditional handcrafted products to its modern retail formats is also an indication of the existence of demand for such products, as long as consumers’ expectations of quality, style and convenience of modern retail buying can be met.
‘Indie by AJIO’ is an online marketplace for local artisans and handcrafted products and celebrates the brilliant textile and handloom traditions of India with a careful curation and contemporary interpretation.
The AJIO platform features this distinctive idiom beautifully in the wide lifestyle products ranging from apparel to home furnishing and accessories such as jewellery and footwear.
The craft repertoire includes “Ikat, Shibori, Banarasi, Bagh, Ajrakh to Jamdani, Tangail, Chanderi and many more”. The Indie range is sourced from over 50 GI crafts clusters from across India – including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
The Geographical Indication (GI) tag identifies natural produce, handicrafts or manufactured goods as products native to a territory, region or locality for their unique characteristics by attributing them to their geographical origin.
With a rapidly expanding portfolio, Indie by AJIO helps customers discover the best of Indian fashion and crafts and offers the convenience of delivering them right at customers doorsteps, the company said.
“The diversity of sourcing from across the length and breadth of India has resulted not only in the creation of a stunning portfolio that is every handcraft connoisseur’s dream but also in the direct employment for over 30,000 skilled artisans across the country. We will continue to grow this segment with time,” said Prasad.
Pintoo Lal Chhipa, an artisan who practises natural dye hand block printing in Akola, Udaipur is associated with Reliance Retail for last 4 years and is committed to sustain this Indian traditional craft. Through regular orders from Reliance Retail, he is able to support a group of 30 artisans who work with him and practise different hand block printing processes like, printing, washing, dyeing, drying among others.
Devchand, from a remote village of Bikaner, works as a link between Reliance and woman artisans of that region who are extremely talented in hand embroideries.
He 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.