The textile ministry during the 35th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF 2015) held at Pragati Maidan, on November 14, launched brand made its market debut with handloom products from registered sellers. Eleven handloom organisations and cooperative societies displayed sarees, stoles, shawls and fabrics tagged with the brand’s logo and a label certifying their authenticity and quality.
The exhibit at IITF is being used as the brand’s pilot to build consumer trust and garner market response before launching India Handloom’s countrywide campaign. Sellers at the exhibit were approved after a production site test and sample tests to ensure they produced colour-fast, eco-friendly fabric that met international standards.
Development Commissioner (Handlooms) Alok Kumar said that they have taken some time to register the producers in this scheme because it is a stringent process. About 140 samples were tested and only about 40 to 45 could pass.
Each brand tag has a registration number that can be used online to verify the seller as a member of India Handloom and certify their product’s authenticity. If they are selling a Kullu shawl, the consumer can know whether this registration number holder is authorised to sell the Kullu shawl or not, Kumar said.
So far, 35 sellers have been approved to sell under the ‘India Handloom’ brand. The Office of the development commissioner expects to register 200 to 300 more in the next six months.
They want to transform the handloom sector so that they are not dependent on marketing incentives from them – they can produce a good quality, branded product and command a better price for it. The products on display at Pragati Maidan’s handloom pavillion may be diverse, but they share a common thread – the “India Handloom” brand.