Khadi fabric footwear and unique products have high potential of capturing the international market, believes Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for MSME. He said the footwear would create additional employment and higher income for the artisans.
“Khadi footwear is a unique product. International quality and use of fine fabric like Patola, Silk, Banarasi Silk, Cotton, Denim would attract the youngsters who can purchase it online,” Gadkari said through video conference, and launched the online sale of the handcrafted footwear through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) e-portal. The minister urged the KVIC to also develop alternatives to leather accessories like ladies’ handbags, purses, wallets in handcrafted fabric that has a huge potential in foreign markets. “By developing and marketing such products overseas, Khadi India can capture a market worth Rs 5,000 crore.”
The footwear have been launched in 15 designs for ladies and 10 designs for men. Exquisite products like Patola Silk of Gujarat, Banarasi Silk, Madhubani-printed Silk of Bihar, Denim, Tussar Silk, Matka – Katia Silk, a variety of Cotton fabric, Tweed Wool and Poly Vastra have been used to make these footwear unique and trendy. Its available in a wide range of designs, colors and prints. Moreover, these products have been designed to suit clothing for all purposes, formal, casual and festive occassion, with the price ranging from Rs 1,100 to Rs 3,300 per pair.
Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State for MSME, said the footwear is not only environment-friendly and skin-friendly, it reflects the hardwork of the artisans that has been put in to make the fabric for these footwear. Vinai Kumar Saxena, KVIC chairman, pointed out that venturing into new segments, tapping new markets and diversifying the product range, have been the mantra for Khadi’s stupendous success in the last six years. Saxena shared that the idea behind the launch of the fabric footwear was to tap the international market where a large section of international consumers are increasingly going vegan. “Fabric footwear is a small step for people, but it will be a giant leap for our artisans. Using fine fabric like Cotton, Silk and Wool in footwear will lead to higher production of fabric by artisans as well as increase in its consumption.” He said this will ultimately create additional employment and higher income for the artisans.