Khadi, the symbol of sustainability and purity, has taken a big stride in the global fashion arena. US-based world’s leading fashion brand, Patagonia, is now using handcrafted Khadi Denim fabric for making Denim apparel. Patagonia, through textile major Arvind Mills, has purchased nearly 30,000 meters of Khadi Denim Fabric worth Rs 1.08 crore from Gujarat.
In July 2017, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) signed an agreement with Arvind mills Limited, Ahmadabad, to trade Khadi Denim products around the world. Since then, Arvind Mills has been purchasing a large quantity of Khadi Denim fabric every year from KVIC-certified Khadi institutions of Gujarat.
This new initiative of KVIC is not only creating extra man-hours for Khadi artisans of Gujarat but is also fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of “Local to Global.” The purchase of Khadi Denim by Patagonia has created additional 1.80 lakh man-hours, i.e. 27,720 man-days of work for Khadi artisans. The order was placed in October 2020 and the same was executed in 12 months’ time as per the schedule, i.e. in October 2021.
KVIC, Chairman, Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said Khadi has evolved into the most fashionable and trendsetting wearable even as it retains its original values of being the most sustainable and eco-friendly fabric in the world. “Khadi Denim is the only handcrafted Denim fabric in the world which has gained wide popularity in the country and abroad. Khadi Denim is increasingly being used by leading fashion brands owing to the superior quality, comfort, organic and eco-friendly qualities of the fabric. Khadi Denim is an apt example of ‘Local to Global’ as envisaged by the PM,” Saxena said.
Last year, a team from Patagonia visited Udyog Bharti, a Khadi Institution based in Gondal, Rajkot (Gujarat) to see the manufacturing process of Khadi Denim. Impressed by the manufacturing process and quality of the handcrafted Khadi Denim fabric, Patagonia, through Arvind Mills, placed the purchase orders for different quantities of Khadi Denim fabric.
Before finalizing the purchases, Patagonia appointed NEST, a US-based global third-party assessor, to assess the complete process of Denim production at Gondal, i.e. spinning, weaving, carding, dyeing, wage payments, age-verification of workers, etc. involved in a production line. The NEST, after a thorough assessment of all parameters at Udyog Bharti, stated in the certificate that “The spinning and handloom weaving operations are now eligible for the NEST Seal of Ethical Handcraft”. This is for the first time that a Khadi Institution in the country has been assessed and certified by an international independent assessor for meeting ethical standards in its operations.
The order is for four types of Denim fabric which are made of 100% cotton having a width from 28-inch to 34-inch.