Khadi was also taken up as the preferred uniform fabric across several establishments - both government and private.
The year 2018 adds many feathers to the national fabric's cap. Khadi has not just recorded a 32 percent growth in sales, but also made its presence felt in new avatars and avenues. From dressing up postmen in uniforms or Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika, stepping into the unexplored was on Khadi's agenda in the year just gone by.
"In the FY 2017-18, the sale of Khadi has grown to Rs 2,510 crore, i.e. 26 percent up with respect to Rs 2,007 crore in FY 2016-17. But if we consider the calendar year we have recorded 32 per cent sales in 2018," said Vinai Kumar Saxena, chairman at Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
In the year gone by, KVIC has distributed 50,000 new model charkhas, 4,000 solar Charkhas and 5,000 looms – to strengthen the artisan’s output and increase fabric production by at least 30 percent-40 per cent. Brand Khadi, which already works with biggies like Raymond, also experimented with new format stores to increase their retail reach. KVIC opened up in a mall in a shop-in-shop formats.
The First Khadi Korner was opened at the Great India Place Mall in Noida. Other stores in similar formats are planned in Chennai, Varanasi and Ahmedabad. Tie-ups were also done with Cotton Bazaar at Mumbai.
Brand Khadi also took baby steps to go global. Fashion designer Gavin Rajah choreographed a show in Johannesburg during the India-South Africa Business Summit to exhibit the textile. Nearly 60 other international exhibitions took place during the year.
"Khadi was also the theme-line during the National Day event of Montenegro. We did exclusive exhibitions in 10 different countries on 15th August of the year gone by displaying to the world the most niche products supplied by the KVIC," Saxena added.
Khadi was also taken up as the preferred uniform fabric across several establishments - both government and private. About 83,000 employees of postal services for instance are now dressed in Khadi uniform. The uniforms were supplied by 37 Khadi institutions, who gave 7,47,000 meters of the fabric.
Sponsored by KVIC, the costume line for Kangana Ranaut’s upcoming film Manikarnika was designed by Neeta Lulla. The designer picked up fabric – including silk, cotton and wool – costing around Rs 26 lakh from KVIC for costumes for Kangana.However, it is not just the fabric that has done good business in 2018. According to KVIC records, 5,500 electric potter wheeels were distributed to potter artists under the Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana. Similarly, the Honey Mission saw distribution of 55,000 bee-boxes among villagers across the country.