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E-Commerce Boost: Weavers to directly sell garments online soon

Handloom weavers in the State are going to get the much-needed impetus as the Department of Handloom and Textiles is all set to launch three initiatives that directly connect weavers to customers via popular online and offline garment business platforms.
 
The initiatives are aimed at ending the middlemen system that has been depriving weavers of basic earnings and sustainability, and passing on the benefit from the sale of the product to the weaver, officials say.
 
According to Himanshu Shukla, Director, Department of Handlooms and Textiles (H&T), three major initiatives are going to be tentatively launched on November 15. “A weaver makes a Saree per day. While he earns only a couple of hundred rupees out of it, the saree is sold for thousands of rupees and no profit is shared with the weaver. The idea behind the new initiatives is to reduce the role of middlemen who enjoy a large share of the profits,” Mr. Shukla said.
 
“We have already tied up with e-commerce site Yes Poho which is currently selling Uppada and Kalamkari sarees. Yes Poho talks to weavers directly and middlemen and even the AP State Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society (APCO) have no role to play here. However, an officer has been designated to oversee and facilitate this process of talks between weavers and the site in every district,” Mr. Shukla said.
 
Entrepreneurship
 
For sale of sarees and fabric through showrooms other than APCO’s stores, the H&T Department is going to tie up with Fab India which through another agency procures cloth as per its requirement from weavers directly and sells the garments made out of it in their stores across the country and abroad, he added.
 
“The sample material has been already sent and the pact will be signed soon. By November-end weavers who are working for a daily wage will start supplying cloth to Fab India and turn entrepreneurs,” Mr. Shukla added.
 
Under yet another initiative, the APCO has entered into an agreement with e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for sale of 400 types of handloom products like saris, towels and blankets on their platforms.
 
“The produce from the weavers will be procured and stocked at the warehouse of Amazon in Vijayawada by APCO, which will pass on the profits from online sales to weavers,” he added.
 
APCO has 115 showrooms across the State with an annual turnover of around ₹200 crore and the department plans to increase the business manifold with these initiatives. “In all the initiatives, the focus will be on making products that are affordable for a large section of consumers,” he said.

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