The All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA) and the Flipkart Foundation, a division of the Flipkart Group, have joined forces to establish a project dubbed Greening the Way towards Success – Creating Sustainable Enterprises.
The goal is to create a sustainable and reproducible strategy that will support the growth and promotion of green businesses in India that are based on textiles and handicrafts.
An entrepreneurial programme will be established in the West Bengal district of Birbhum to launch this endeavour. This initiative aims to provide two textile and handicraft-based businesses with the skills they need to compete in the fast developing conscious markets by implementing eco-friendly methods.
It also attempts to safeguard the social welfare of the craftsmen employed by these businesses, with a focus on empowering women artisans from underserved regions.
The primary goals of AIACA are the creation of viable livelihood models and the promotion of market-driven business expansion in India’s handicraft and weaving industry.
This partnership with the Flipkart Foundation intends to increase the commercial potential of two businesses in Birbhum, Tarasankar Panchagram Seva Samity and Chowhatta Kantha Stitch Cooperative Society Ltd., enabling them to compete in expanding markets.
Out of 200 craftswomen in Tarasankar, 77 per cent of them are from SC/ST and OBC communities, working with banana fibre to create their crafts. This effort will benefit 1,265 people in total, including 265 direct beneficiaries and 1000 indirect beneficiaries.
This partnership promotes the application of green principles in social business models, providing income to artists and craftspeople. In order to construct a network of smaller companies connected to a main hub in Delhi termed the “National Resource Facility Network (NRFN),” the programme also aims to establish a Hub & Spoke Model for Green Businesses in India.
The businesses will be evaluated for Craftmark certification, and advocacy work will be done with clients and government agencies to build a positive ecosystem, with an emphasis on scalability and replicability. The goal of this programme is to develop a sustainable growth model that will change the sector and open doors for the success of craft-based businesses.
Commenting on the partnership, Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart and Board of Director, Flipkart Foundation, said, “At the Flipkart Foundation, we aspire to create a bright future for all through an inclusive approach and actively seek opportunities to make a positive social impact. Our partnership with AIACA is a reflection of this very commitment. By promoting eco-friendly means and technologies, we hope to create an environmentally viable growth model that will also empower skilled workers from marginalised communities in the textile handicrafts sector.”
Commenting on this association, Meenu Chopra, Executive Director, AIACA, said, “Partnering with the Flipkart Foundation is a step in the right direction for us at AIACA, as we work towards creating a significant advancement for Craft communities, across India. With this programme, our aim is to generate sustainable livelihoods for women artisans working with the two enterprises while introducing a regenerative and sustainable Green model for Textile based enterprises, that can be replicated widely to promote sustainability in all aspects.”