Fabindia accelerates its decade-long journey to take Odisha’s handicrafts to the world

The company aims to deepen its engagement with artisans, and continue to develop and procure a rising range of handicrafts from the state

Bhubaneswar: Fabindia Limited, the 62-year old consumer lifestyle platform focused on authentic, sustainable and Indian traditional lifestyle products, has strengthened its regional footprint across Odisha and boasts a network of ~3600 artisans in the state. This community demonstrates how a common purpose and aligned values can bring about equitable and inclusive growth and impact.

Fabindia Group has set up community-owned companies through an MOU with the Government of Odisha (Handloom, Textiles & Handicraft Dept.) and constituted Orissa Artisans and Weavers Limited (OAWL) – a public-private partnership company. From the first cluster which was formed in Gopalpur in 2011, it has now grown to 16 clusters in Bargarh, Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Keonjhar, Boudh, Sonepur, Gopalpur, Nuapatna, among others. The development process of each cluster can take 2-3 years to (a) identify crafts in the state, (b) upskill artisans on design, quality, business financials, digital literacy, (c) create market avenues, (d) map development through a 12-step ladder Craft Cluster Development and Livelihood Impact (CDLI) programme.

Mr KP Rajendran, Market Regions Head, Fabindia Limited, said, “We dedicate the success and growth of Fabindia to the thousands of artisans, weavers, and communities who have been a part of our mission to keep Odisha’s handicrafts and traditions alive and relevant. Fabindia is committed to ensure that as it grows, all of its stakeholders grow and prosper.”

Some distinct handicrafts procured from Odisha include Ikat Sari, Ikat Dupatta, Ikat Stole, Tussar, Tussar Ghicha, Korea China, Cotton Ikat fabric, Cotton Woven Fabric, Paper Mache & Sawai Grass/Date Palm & Golden Grass, Palm leaf with Pattachitra, Wood Pattachitra/ Wood Stone Pattachitra, Stone Products, Saura Painting, Dokra Casting/Dokra Jewellery, Filigree Jewellery.

Sharing his experience, Mr. Makardhwaj Meher, an artisan associated with Fabindia from Borgorh stated that, “Since 2011, I have been selling Handloom Cotton Saree, Dupatta, and Fabric to customers across India through Orissa Artisans & Weavers Ltd. Earlier, I had to travel to nearby states to sell my products, but ever since OAWL (Fabindia) was established in Odisha, me and many other artisans were enabled to showcase our talent and sell products at large to more customers. The platform also reduced the amount of time and energy we use to invest in traveling and finding buyers for our goods. Today, I feel grateful of the opportunities as it has helped to upgrade the lifestyle, and ensure a better living for my family. I look forward for a long and fruitful association with OAWL (Fabindia).

Adding to the experience, Mr. Chaturbhuj Das, another artisan associated with Fabindia stated that, “Earlier, I use to sell Saree, Dupatta, and Fabric within Odisha. In 2011, I got to know about Orissa Artisans & Weavers Ltd, an organisation based in Odisha that empower local skilled artisans by offering an online platform to bring an ethnic experience to consumers across India. I use to travel miles to find customers, sell and find the best price for my products. Ever since, I got associated with OAWL (Fabindia), life has completely changed both, professionally and personally. The platform enabled and encouraged me make more goods and take home increased share of earnings. I am thankful to OAWL (Fabindia) as today, I am able to meet the requirements of my family with ease.

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