In a one-of-its-kind fundraiser, more than 100 designers have come onboard to contribute to the cause of artisans, especially those who have suffered the loss of their livelihood because of Covid-19. Designers Manish Malhotra, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rimzim Dadu and Amit Aggarwal have given their creations for the fundraiser which started on August 7, and continues on ensemble.com till August 15. Named Baradari, it also has the unequivocal support of actor Kareena Kapoor Khan. “It is time we begin to think of responsible fashion. India is a country with some amazing textile traditions. We have to go back to the source of our clothing, to the real makers of the cloth, and appreciate what they do for our culture and also our wardrobe,” says Khan.
Baradari is the brainchild of fashion columnist Namrata Zakaria, who brought together all the designers, and is supported by Tina Tahiliani Parikh, owner and co-founder of Ensemble, and Pareina Thapar of Longform.
Tahiliani-Parikh says, “The craftsmen and artisans of our country are the people who translate our designer’s dreams into reality. Coming together in a sort of ‘brotherhood’ as an industry to support them is fundamental to the ethos of our company. The funds collected will be dispersed through our charity partner, Paramparik Karigar, to the identified cluster/trust/organisation working directly with the artisan communities who are in dire need of financial support. The chosen beneficiaries are artisans and clusters from Varanasi to Burdwan in Bengal to Chirala in Andhra Pradesh.”
The initiative aims to bring the artistic community into the spotlight and give them their due. “Many of these communities have been impacted by the pandemic as well as by other natural disasters such as Cyclone Amphan. However, I do believe that our efforts must not end once these immediate issues are addressed, as our artisans are the backbone of this industry, the preservers of our heritage and craft,” adds Tahiliani-Parikh.
Along with the rest of the country, the fashion industry was under complete lockdown for almost three months. “While this was an incredibly stressful time, especially for younger labels, it allowed those of us who had the privilege to get used to a new way of being, thinking and living. There is no doubt in my mind that this year, and maybe even next year, are going to be incredibly tough financially. However, I think the only way to come through this pandemic is to think out of the box to bring our products to the customer,” says Tahiliani-Parikh.
With many international clothing brands shutting, she feels the way forward is to be careful and thoughtful about how products are created. “We have to think about our overheads and come up with a more holistic and sustainable business model. The next generation of millennials are going to be interested in precisely these things and it’s time our businesses reoriented to the new realities,” she adds.
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