The government is looking at creating design centres for promoting Khadi at five places in the country. The move was today discussed among stakeholders including ministries of textile, micro, small and medium enterprises, Khadi Gramudyog and established fashion designers.
These design centres will be set up in the northern, southern, eastern, western and north-eastern parts of the country. “These could be on a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model or on an outsourcing basis. However, these issues would be worked out in further meetings and discussions," the ministry said.
“There is a need to make its designs more trendy and modern, without compromising with tradition. We want to ensure khadi competes with global brands, improves branding, quality, marketing. We want to make Khadi a success story on a large scale. We will form a policy to support and promote Khadi. Ministries of textile and MSME will work in coordination for Khadi promotion," MSME minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters at the event.
The proposed design houses will facilitate Khadi institutions in developing products according to market demand. The primary role of a design house will be to identify the latest design trends, adopt them as per customer needs and undertake various testing and review activities for translating them into production.
These National Design and Product Development Centres have been proposed to be set up under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which is within the ambit of MSME ministry.
Gadkari said the government wants to increase the turnover of Khadi to Rs 10,000 crore from Rs 3,200 crore in five years, "We will support designers who have been doing good work, are renowned. We are looking at a rating mechanism whereby we will do their (designers/design centres) performance audit and based on the outcome, we will provide greater support and more incentives to those which perform well."
The discussion was also attended by established designers including Ritu Beri and Rohit Bal. Both advocated for greater distribution network and aggressive global and national branding of Khadi.
“Khadi has so much potential in terms of employment. We should create Khadi design centres in institutions like National Institute of Design (NID) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Designers need to use a lot of Khadi, they can create interesting collections..incentives from the government will give the extra push," Beri said.
Bal said Khadi should be promoted on the global platform and it is fabric even better than linen. He also added that designer clothes in Khadi should be allowed to be sold in the government outlets of Khadi Gramudyog for better sales but first and foremost, the image of Khadi needs a makeover.
"We need to make Khadi fabric of India, world..we should do festivals, shows of Khadi in India, world. We also discussed the sustainability of Khadi fashion...looking at using government Khadi outlets to sell designer Khadi clothes. Need to make Khadi much younger, need to change its image,” Bal added.Further discussions will take place once the designers send their ideas and suggestions in this regard to KVIC and ministry of MSME.