Reliance Retail's 'vocal for local' mission expands to 30,000 artisans

Reliance Retail's flagship initiatives, 'Indie by AJIO' and 'Swadesh' 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.
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Reliance Retail on Monday said it showcased more than 40,000 artisan-crafted products from over 50 GI clusters to its customers this festive season in a strong push to locally-made artisanal products.

"A direct result of its three-year-old flagship initiatives - 'Indie by AJIO' and 'Swadesh' - started to provide avenues for sales and employment to local craftsmen, 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.

Indie by AJIO is an online marketplace for local artisans and handcrafted products. It features this distinctive idiom beautifully in the wide lifestyle products ranging from apparel to home furnishing and accessories such as jewellery and footwear, it said.

The craft repertoire includes Ikat, Shibori, Banarasi, Bagh, Ajrakh, 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.

Representational image | Pixabay

Swadesh is a special brand of Reliance Retail that brings alive India's rich handcrafted traditions and offers over 400 types of handmade textiles, handicrafts and agricultural products that are listed with GI.

Swadesh has an MoU with the Ministry of Textiles, which enables the sourcing of 100 percent authentic crafted products, directly from artisan communities. Swadesh brand is available across multiple formats including AJIO and Trends.

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."

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 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," Prasad said.

Further, as a member of the AIACA (All India Artisans & Craftworkers Welfare Association), all of Swadesh's products come with a craftmark certification such as Dabu, Chanderi weaving, Single Ikat weaving, Kutch leatherwork, Chikankari embroidery, Kashida Kari, Ajrakh, Applique, Bagru block printing, hand block printing, block printed kalamkari, Mangalgiri handloom weaving, among others.

Reliance Retail is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL). RRVL, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, is the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL Group.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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