Fabindia: a Brand of Bharat nurturing artisans across India
Fabindia is a consumer lifestyle platform with an established 62-year legacy focused on authentic, sustainable andIndian traditional lifestyle products. Fabindia has empowered over 50,000 artisans with approximately 64% of women artisans who are demonstrating a pathway to empowerment to others in their communities.The company also works with over 2,200 farmers directly and over 10,300 farmers through associates to create sustainable agricultural practices.
Fabindia was recently conferred with Best of Bharat Award at the inaugural edition of e4m ‘Pride of India Brands – The Best of Bharat’ Conference and Awards 2022. The inaugural edition of the awards was held in Mumbai, to celebrate and honour entrepreneurs who built brands in Bharat for Bharat.
The brands were recognized and celebrated for setting new standards of innovation and excellence in their products, processes and marketing practices
Fabindia has a long history of being closely involved with artisan families and becoming proud stewards of their nurture and growth. For over 62 years, the company has worked to create markets and sustained livelihood opportunities for artisan communities across India.
In 2011, Fabindia started a micro-entrepreneurial project for women in Khurrampur, Sharanpur, and Karonda, the three villages in the state of Uttar Pradesh. As part of the project, women artisans were trained to earn a better livelihood using traditional craft skills. The program eventually created livelihoods for 152 women directly and approximately 760 women indirectly. Over time, the upskilled women artisans transitioned from weaving, to stitching and developing other products and broadened their income streams.
The success of this project spurred Fabindia to start the Craft Cluster Development and Livelihood Impact (CDLI) program as a more intensive form of capacity building and livelihood creation for artisans in 2016. Clusters are typically a group of artisans in a particular village and, sometimes, even include handloom weaver cooperatives.
The CDLI program focuses on enhancing artisans’ knowledge and skill base to produce at scale without impacting quality. Today, CDLI works with 17 clusters across Northern India, which include 345 artisans, of whom 80 percent are women. The company aims to employ at least 200 artisans in each cluster over the next two years.
One such example is ofPrahalad, whose family ran a fabric printing business in Jagh, a small village near Jaipur, with three to four printing tables, employed two women from the village to help him.
Today he has 18 tables, employing between seven to eleven women and five male artisans producing 12,000 to 15,000 meters of fabric per month.Prahalad’s business has grown multifold, thanks to Fabindia’s Cluster Development and Livelihood Initiative (CDLI) program that led to the availability of the newly trained artisans to help him expand operations.
Some of the other successfully run cluster products include Saris from West Bengal and Assam specialized in Saris, Natural fiber products developed in East clusters, Kantha cushion covers developed in Burdwan Cluster.
CDLI has trained and nurtured numerous artisans and identified and supported new craft regions over the years. Since its inception, four clusters have been integrated into Fabindia’s supply chains, and many of the artisans have grown to become “Master Artisans”/ “Senior Artisans” setting up their own clusters.