Sustainable Fashion | About Paramparik Karigar
Did you know that India is the only country that has an entire day dedicated to Sustainable Fashion during their fashion week !!
I was recently introduced to the team at IMG Reliance & Lakme Fashion Week who are working around the clock to promote Sustainable Fashion, through an entire day dedicated to the promotion of Sustainable Fashion Day during the Lakme Fashion Week in August 2017. Their teams are working on ensuring that slow and sustainable fashion become more mainstream. Since I’ve also been working on this through the ACL community, I am really excited to be associated with these wonderful, hardworking people. Young Indians and millennials think that sustainable fashion leaves them with little choice with dull colours and basic garments and accessories to pick from.
Come on, admit it, at some point you have also thought of Sustainable Fashion as unexciting fashion….
However, that’s really not the case. Organisations like Paramparik Karigar, LFW, IMG Reliance as well as few, very talented designers have been working around the clock to bring to us fabulous cuts, styles and silhouettes using traditional techniques, sustainable and breathable fabrics and materials. Once you start looking for designers who bring you a range of sustainable designs, you’ll be surprised at just how many wonderful sustainable fashion brands are out there and there so many things to choose from to build your sustainable wardrobe with.
This post is not about those brands or their designs, this is about something bigger, about an institution and a movement. Paramparik Karigar was founded by Roshan Kalapesi, former president of the Crafts Council of India. For over three decades, Roshan and her team of master artisans have adopted generations of craftsmen, preventing them from a poverty stricken life and ensuring their craft lives on.
When I was a young child, my parents (who appreciate art and culture deeply), always made it a point to take me along for shows, concerts and exhibitions. I have so many fond memories of evenings spent at exhibitions or at Jehangir art gallery followed by chai and pakoras at Resham Bhavan. I owe my love for Indian culture, art and tradition to them. I’ve also had the good fortune to meet and know some of India’s leading artists in the space of Music, Art and Handicrafts. While fame and fortune was a by product of their work( for a handful of them), I always felt that these artisans and artists were so deeply engrossed in their art that some of them didn’t even care about the financial aspect of their work. It is truly wonderful when you meet these artisans, they work so hard to keep our heritage and culture relevant in today’s day and age.
Through her work, Roshan realised that fixing a price was crucial to ensure sustainability of their crafts because most of these craftsmen are usually unaware of the value of their work and the others who are maybe doubling it for their benefit. Paramparik Karigar represents these selfless and extremely gifted artisans who work with diverse techniques and materials like clay, wood, metal and cloth. Now at a strength of 1000 plus craftsmen, Paramparik Karigar is a community that works to ensure that our tradition lives on.
Craftsmen use traditional skills and techniques passed down through generations. This organisation helps them get the recognition they deserve and also aims to sculpt a significant place for Indian craft. In a day and age when the younger generation wants to move to cities and urban areas for lucrative and fast paced lifestyles, the members of this organisation work on keeping their craft alive, constantly experimenting with new concepts and developing innovative designs that appeal to the modern, urban consumer while still retaining the essence of the original tradition.
In this new era of technology, industrialization and liberalization, we tend to overlook our rich heritage of traditional arts and crafts, which are our nation’s pride and our valued assets. Paramparik Karigar was formed to selflessly preserve and promote the traditional art and craft of our country, as well as to strive to create an environment conducive for the craftsmen to create their exquisite pieces of art without really bothering too much of the commercial viability of doing so.
Paramparik Karigar encourages the craftsmen to constantly innovate new techniques, designs and styles by providing them resources to do detailed research in their respective field of craft, assisting them to write and document information about their crafts and making their trade more relevant for Modern India. All these activities also help generate interest across the younger generations, to absorb the Paramparik skills and further excel in their creativity. They conduct workshops for the craftsmen’s children, where their talents are constantly cultivated and nurtured. Paramparik Karigar has also been attempting to incorporate craft as part of the education process for children in schools, which I think is a fabulous way to encourage vocational skill development across the country.
They organise exhibitions, seminars and fairs, where craftsmen from every corner of the country can express and display their skills, to people who appreciate and acknowledge their creative efforts and inherent talents. Paramparik Karigar has had exhibitions in Mumbai, Kolkata, Jamshedpur and workshops in Bangalore, Orissa, Chennai, Munnar and Kutch. They mobilise lakhs through these endeavours to ensure that our Indian art and culture lives on…
IMG Reliance, Lakme Fashion Week and Paramparik Karigar are working together to give these master craftsmen an opportunity to bring their unique art and craft to the forefront and make sure we all believe that #craftiscool
To know more about these organisations and the work they do you may follow them on-
Wondering what’s in store ? Stay tuned for the big reveal tomorrow, on 10th of August 2017 (which also happens to be my birthday !!!)