Eco Tasar’s handwoven products are in tune with the latest trends
Believing in providing right economic opportunities to the poor in their own locale Khitish Pandya started Eco Tasar, a fair-trade enterprise after having worked with PRADAN, an NGO. Synonymous to social accountability, love for nature and respect for human traditions, Eco Tasar’s products are made of natural wild silk through a collaborative venture of tribal silkworm rearer, poor rural women yarn makers and handloom weavers in the hinterlands of India. Here, Khitish takes us through the oeuvre of Eco Tasar and Ecosareeclub and more. Excerpts:
What encouraged you to work independent of PRADAN and start Eco Tasar?
PRADAN is an NGO. they help build capacities of poor communities through training, supply of equipment etc and also help them with forward and backward linkages with suppliers and markets so that they may be able to use these interventions to have a sustainable livelihood. At the end of the project, PRADAN set up a Producer Co for the yarn makers which was to help sell their yarn in the market. The fabric division had become redundant. Hence it was hived off. I bought it out but continued to work with same yarns which helped create a demand for the PRADAN yarn groups.
What is Eco Tasar all about?
We believe that there is scope for a business to be profitable and also be beneficial to poor communities. Our business model engages with and helps create work for traditional textile supply chain producers who are otherwise becoming uncompetitive. We leverage our marketing outreach and knowledge to create demand for handmade items which are otherwise finding it difficult to be sustainable.
Our mission is to create large scale wage opportunity for tribal producers of silk cocoons, women yarn makers, weavers and other small producers, artisans and service providers in our textiles value chain using a sustainable and fair business model so that they do not have to migrate in search of work.
What can one find in Eco Tasar's repository?
The offerings include - Hand spun and woven tasar and Eri silks sarees, fabrics, stoles. scarves, shawls, throws and cushion covers etc.
In terms of design does the looms follow the traditional pattern or are contemporary as well?
We use the looms weaving capability to develop contemporary designs by leveraging innovative combinations in yarn, colours and weaves.
Where is the brand based in and which clusters of workers does it employ?
Though we are based in Delhi, our entire production happens in Bihar and Jharkhand.
Tell us more about EcoSareeClub?
EcoSareeClub is a division of Ecotasar which believes in bringing to modern consumers contemporary designs using Traditional artisan skills. The brand has a mission to create large scale wage opportunity for tribal producers of silk cocoons, women yarn makers, weavers and other small producers, artisans and service providers in the silk textiles value chain using a sustainable and fair business model. This endeavour helps such small producers to continue to live and work from their homesteads and avoid the scourge of migration in search of work.
EcoSareeClub guarantees superior quality in 100% Silk, & Linen and always are at pace with contemporary trends. The Sarees & suits are designed in-house by a team of professional designers who understand the design aesthetics and market trends which a modern lndian lady wants. The designs are developed are exclusive and match their tastes.
Once the designs are made, the manufacturing is done by master artisans in different clusters who have lots of experience and skill which is used to transform into exquisite products.
Limited editions are made and are being offered to club members only which ensures exclusivity.
What are the future plans?
We wish to continue to bring contemporary, innovative and stylish products made by small producers using traditional tech o the urban consumers both in India and abroad. Currently we are creating work for 1954 persons through our business and we want to scale it up to 5000 persons by 2024. For this we are focussing on Sarees and Suit sets market in India and Home textiles exports.
Recently we have come up with our latest initiative, EcoSareeClub. A sister concern of Eco Tasar , EcoSareeClub is an exclusive sarees store of natural silk, Linen & cotton for connoisseurs.