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Reliance Retail boosts its ‘Handmade in India’ programme, launches dedicated artisan-only stores

Reliance Retail boosts its ‘Handmade in India’ programme, launches dedicated artisan-only stores

Reliance Retail boosts its ‘Handmade in India’ programme, launches dedicated artisan-only stores
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By CNBCTV18.com Apr 21, 2022 7:00:23 PM IST (Published)

In a strong boost to its ‘Handmade in India' programme, Reliance Retail today announced that it is embarking on several new initiatives aimed at showcasing authentic handcrafted products and promoting the rich Indian art forms globally. The initiatives are designed to help revive various traditional Indian art and craft forms, provide sustainable livelihood for hundreds and thousands of artisans and craftsmen in the ecosystem and present a new platform to take the timeless Indian crafts to consumer across the world.

Reliance Retail today unveiled various new initiatives aimed at presenting authentic handcrafted products and promoting the rich Indian art forms around the world, giving a big boost to its "Handmade in India" programme. The initiatives are intended to assist in the revival of various traditional Indian art and craft forms, provide a sustainable livelihood for hundreds of thousands of artisans and craftsmen in the ecosystem, and provide a new platform for bringing timeless Indian crafts to consumers around the world.

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Reliance Retail's handicrafts brand Swadesh is spearheading the initiative, which envisions an artisan-only dedicated store concept for handicrafts from throughout the country. The first Swadesh store is slated to open in the second part of this year, with a wide choice of products sourced directly from craftsmen, including handcrafted fabrics, handicrafts, agriculture products, and other artisanal merchandise. Swadesh will also create a global marketplace to connect Indian craftsmen and dealers of genuine handcrafted goods with buyers all over the world.
Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd Director Isha Ambani said, “The future of Indian arts and crafts is poised at an exciting stage. Our past efforts towards development of a robust infrastructure towards reviving dying art forms and building and enabling ecosystem for local artisans, weavers and craftsmen have yielded encouraging results. Our standalone handicrafts destination store format, Swadesh is now on the anvil and will present India through its Art and Crafts and it will showcase everything from Apparel, Home Textiles, Home décor, Furniture, Jewellery, Wellness products and more."
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“We see a great opportunity for the artisans of our country in co-creating and cocurating handcrafted Indian products for the world. To realise this opportunity Reliance Retail is partnering with various government organizations to help popularize various local art forms, both nationally and globally. Reliance Retail and Reliance Foundation have also aligned to identify core epicenters for the various indigenous crafts and will set up RiSE centres, a robust network of skill development centres to ensure reach at grassroots level and to contribute in sustaining artisan communities & art forms,” added Isha Ambani.
Swadesh aims to present India to the world through the lens of its rich arts, handicrafts and handlooms. It will be a carefully picked assortment of products that will come to life in the hands of their extremely skilled and trained craftspeople, as part of India's rich past. Swadesh aspires to develop a unique eco-system for reviving languishing crafts, enhancing abilities of creative groups, and ensuring sustainable livelihoods for artisan communities by providing skill enhancement/design trainings and capacity building workshops.
Swadesh is collaborating with a number of government agencies and state governments, and has already signed an MoU with the Ministry of Textiles to source 100 percent authentic handcrafted products directly from artisan communities. Another unique partnership has been established, and an MoU has been inked with the West Bengal Government's Department of MSME and Textiles. 
The goal of this collaboration is to create a healthy, dynamic ecosystem that will assist both the Government of West Bengal and Swadesh in realising their visions of sustained employment and an enriched standard of living for the artisan community,Reliance Retail Ltd said in a statement.
The MOU was signed today in Kolkata at the Bengal Global Business Summit. The artisan-only model will continue to forge new alliances in order to build a strong ecosystem for local craftsmen across states and clusters. Swadesh is also partnering with Reliance Foundation to promote India's irreplaceable heritage by establishing an enabling and sustainable ecosystem for artisans across the country by setting up RiSE (Reliance Foundation Initiative for Skill Enhancement) centres in different states. The RiSE centres will leverage the Handloom/Handicraft Ministry's existing network and initiatives to build synergies and deliver maximum benefit to artisan communities across India. 
This one-of-a-kind PPP approach will focus on providing artists with a sustainable income, growing local crafts, and leveraging existing networks to create synergies and maximise benefits to artisans and craftsmen across the country.
Reliance Retail has been actively engaged in working with and patronising craftsmen across India to source original, handcrafted products, thereby preserving Indian heritage and supporting the lives of artisans. With the creation of the new Swadesh platform in the leisure and fashion category, this attempt has become even more laser-focused, the statement said.
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