With huge stocks accumulated during the lockdown, 25 organizations working with handicrafts, especially clothing, home furnishings, masks, bags and stoles, came together to form the India Handmade collective. Since offline sales have not yet returned to normal levels, they have now started to promote products online through the India Hand Made Collective (IHMC).
Suresh Lakshmipathy, co-founder of Tula and one of the brains behind the effort, said the idea was to help farmers, weavers, spinners and dyers, all of whom are part of the cotton value chain. and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. .
“A lot of people continued to produce during the pandemic without knowing what to do, but they couldn’t sell their stocks. So instead of individually launching websites, where visibility wouldn’t be great, we launched this common platform for some 25 brands. And as the people who run the backend operations, we don’t make a profit, we only take salaries from sales, ”he said.
It’s only been a short time since www.indiahandmadecollective.com started off smoothly, but is doing quite well in terms of the sale of kurthis, saris and home furnishings. Malini Kumar, one of the IHMC partners, said that individual brands or companies only handle the delivery part.
“We are not in the logistics. However, from the customer’s perspective, they will receive delivery updates and at the moment the deliveries are between two and five days, ”she said.
Biome Conscious Fashion, Blue Lotus, Cotton Racks, Gandhigram Khadi and VIPC Trust, Magan Khadi, MG Gramodyog Sewa Sansthan, MoralFibre, Nature Alley, Porgai Artisans Association, Soot, Trinjan and WeaverBird are some of the brands supported by the platform. -form at the moment. .
Uma Prajapathy from Upasana from Auroville, who is also part of the IHMC, said that before June they believed Upasana would shut down despite the production of masks. “We couldn’t even pay our employees half of their contributions in the form of salary. However, online sales are helping now and we are seeing our market revive, ”she said.
Swaminathan Vaithyalingam is the founder of Kaskom brand which produces mundu, thorthu, stoles, honeycomb cotton napkins and plain Kora fabric made by farmers in Kurinjipadi, Batlagundu and Kannur. He said that during the pandemic, many weavers did not even have food. “More than work, we had to make arrangements for food. We reached out to friends and donated small amounts to families to support themselves. Now we are contacting friends who are buying and the situation has improved. We have learned that numbers are strength and this IHMC effort is part of it, ”he said.
The IHMC, which currently has 25 brands, is still expanding and more and more people are being recruited, said Ananthu, co-founder of Tula.