HasthaKatha embraces online market to promote handloom
Sustainable fashion brand HasthaKatha believes that harnessing modern technology for e-commerce is the way to preserve and promote traditional handloom crafts, and is working to create jobs in the sector.
One of the barriers to promoting handloom garments is its high cost, compared to garments made from machine-woven textiles. Promoting handloom clothing to encourage widespread consumption will help prices to decrease automatically, womenswear brand HasthaKatha’s co-founder Ekta Jaiswal told Indian Express.
“If we promote our handloom and handicraft and help create more demand for these products, the production cost will decrease automatically, which will in turn reduce the final cost of the product,” Jaiswal told Indian Express.
“Indian textile and handicrafts industry including silk and khadi constitute an important segment of the Indian economy as it is one of the largest employment generators after agriculture. This is because they are the root of our fashion and lifestyle industry,” said Jaiswal, sharing that she plans to use her brand to continue to create jobs in the sector.
During lockdown, the brand continued to give its tailors work to complete at home. The brand has now increased its social media marketing and also begun retailing from its Facebook page to boost its e-commerce presence.
“As the craftsmen are not well-versed with marketing techniques, they need someone to market their products and due to this dependency, the middlemen pocket all the profits and the products become much more expensive than they should be,” said Jaiswal.
For this reason, Jaiswal is promoting her artisans’ work online and ensuring they are paid a fair wage.
National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad graduate Ekta Jaiswal initially launched HasthaKatha on Etsy in 2016 as an initiative to promote Indian handloom. The brand’s aesthetic combines traditional folk art and textiles with modern tailoring, retailing garments including maxi-skirts, jumpsuits, and loose tunics.
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