Amazon India expanding its footprint in India’s Handloom Industry has now added pure handloom and handicraft items of Weavesmart – an online handloom store supported by the Government of India – on its platform.
One of the largest online retail firms said the move will facilitate more than 3,000 plus weavers, associated with Weavesmart, an ‘Emarketing Partner’ of the Ministry of Textiles, to expand their handloom produce. Weavesmart stores more than 20,000 products which will now be made available to millions of Amazon customers, as per the media statement.
On the partnership, Nishita Manne, CEO of Weavesmart said, “Indian weavers produce have always found resonance with shoppers across the country. Weavesmart brings together the weaving community and buyers, and provides access to authentic and beautifully handcrafted products created by weavers and artisans. We are delighted to partner with Amazon India as this launch helps to achieve this objective.”
Weavesmart, an online SME, stores handloom and handicraft items such as sarees, dress materials, dupattas, accessories for home and living products that are weaved by handloom makers who have chosen weaving as their main occupation. Often, these works highlight tradition, culture.
On the launch, Gopal Pillai, Director and GM (Seller Services) of Amazon India said, “Amazon India has been continuously working towards enabling more and more sellers, weavers and artisans to embrace online selling and scale greater heights. Our partnership with Weavesmart is another key step towards our constant endeavor which is aligned with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives. With our experience and deep understanding of customers across the country, this launch will help provide a wider reach for these products which in-turn will have a positive impact in the lives of the weavers associated with Weavesmart. We are happy to support Weavesmart and offer them the suite of seller services and requisite tools in this digital journey.”
Earlier, Amazon India partnered with SME’s from Telangana-based APCO (handloom) and Lepakshi (handicraft); Orissa and West Bengal-based Tantuja (handloom); Karnataka and Tamil Nadu-based Cauvery Handlooms; UP Khadi & Handlooms to enable the Khadi societies in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The ecommerce major has also partnered with central government agencies like TRIFED and Craft Cottage Industries Corporation.
Amazon India currently supports more than 1,100 cooperatives from 11 states across the country, it further said in a media statement.
At the same time, we have homegrown ecommerce giant Flipkart’s Myntra which has partnered with the Textile Ministry. Most recently Myntra launched ‘Navibhu’, a private label handloom brand, to provide a platform for more than 250 styles of traditional hand woven sarees, dupattas, and other handloom items for its customers. Flipkart with its brand ‘Billion’ has also been promoting Made in India campaign. It is providing a global stage to local sellers through its Flipkart Global platform.
India’s handloom industry is the second largest employment provider for the rural population after agriculture. According to Handloom Export Promotion Council, a statutory body constituted under the Ministry of Textiles, over 4.3 Mn people are directly involved in the handloom production. In FY 2016-2017, the export of handloom products from India stood at $ 357.53 Mn.
Meanwhile, India’s ecommerce market is expected to touch $200 Bn by 2026 from $ 38.5 Bn as of 2017, as per the report prepared by Morgan Stanley. The latest IBEF report suggests that the total online spending, inclusive of domestic and cross border shopping, is expected to increase by 31% year-on-year to $135.8 Bn (INR 8.76 Tr) by 2018.
While India’s ecommerce market is bulking up as the fastest growing market, and with the top online retailers like Amazon and Flipkart supporting country’s handloom industry, it becomes imperative for the government to avail sufficient and adequate supply of good quality yarn to weavers at a reasonable price.