Reliance Retail Limited, the subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) – the holding company of all the retail companies under the Reliance Industries Limited, is set to launch stores that would be built on a dedicated artisan-only format to showcase artisanal products. This would include agriculture and food products, handlooms, clothing, textiles, handicrafts, and handmade natural products.
Reliance Retail announced on April 21 that it is embarking on several new initiatives aimed at showcasing authentic handcrafted products and promoting the rich Indian art forms globally, which will not only help revive various traditional Indian art and craft forms, but also provide sustainable livelihood for hundreds and thousands of artisans and craftsmen in the ecosystem while presenting a new platform to take Indian crafts to consumers across the world.
The plan to launch the artisan-centric stores across the country is expected to provide a strong impetus to the company’s ‘Handmade in India' programme. The programme is being spearheaded by Reliance Retail’s handicrafts brand ‘Swadesh’, which envisages an artisan-only dedicated store format for handcrafted products from across the country.
The first such Swadesh store is expected to open in the second half of the current year and will house a wide range of products including handmade textiles, handicrafts, agriculture products and other artisanal merchandise sourced directly from artisans, RRL said in a statement.
The statement added: “Swadesh will also build a global marketplace to connect Indian artisans and sellers of authentic handmade products to consumers across the world.”
RRVL Director Isha Ambani said: “The future of Indian arts and crafts is poised at an exciting stage. Our past efforts towards development of a robust infrastructure towards reviving dying art forms and building and enabling ecosystem for local artisans, weavers and craftsmen have yielded encouraging results. Our standalone handicrafts destination store format, Swadesh is now on the anvil and will present India through its Art and Crafts and it will showcase everything from apparel, home textiles, home décor, furniture, jewellery, wellness products, and more.”
“We see a great opportunity for the artisans of our country in co-creating and co-curating handcrafted Indian products for the world. To realise this opportunity Reliance Retail is partnering with various government organisations to help popularise various local art forms, both nationally and globally. Reliance Retail and Reliance Foundation have also aligned to identify core epicentres for various indigenous crafts and will set up RiSE centres, a robust network of skill development centres to ensure reach at grassroots level and to contribute in sustaining artisan communities and art forms,” she added.
According to a statement released by RRL, “Swadesh aims to create a unique eco-system for reviving languishing crafts, enhancing skills of the creative communities by providing skill enhancement /design trainings, capacity building workshops that will ensure sustainable livelihoods for artisan communities.”
It has already partnered with several government undertakings and state governments and has also signed an MoU with the Ministry of Textiles which enables the sourcing of 100 percent authentically crafted products, directly from artisan communities.Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.