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All-women apparel cluster making waves in India's Hubli
22
Mar '12
Hubli, a major city in the state of Karnataka in India, is known for growing cotton, but until recently the commercial hub lacked presence of any major textile or apparel manufacturing unit.

However, an all-women apparel cluster set up recently under the public-private partnership (PPP) model has changed it all.

The new apparel cluster has been launched under the Small and Medium Enterprises Cluster Development Scheme (SME-CDS) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India.

Speaking to fibre2fashion, Ms. Devaki Yoganand, President of Women Entrepreneurs Karnataka Association (WEKAS), said, “The apparel cluster is fully managed by women only. We have 117 members, out of which 39 are cooperative units. All members are provided with a common facility centre (CFC) where they are given access to specialized machines like sewing machines, and machines used for button stitch, button holes, batik, etc.”

Explaining the utility of CFC, she says, “We have 155 machines and employ around 300 women for producing apparels. In addition, there are a lot of women who would like to do some work by having 2-3 sewing machines at home. But, they will not be able to do good finishing. Such women can come to the CFC for the finishing work on an hourly basis.”

Informing about branding the apparels produced in the cluster, she says, “We have started a common branding for bulk purchase under Dave Export Garment and Apparel Manufacturers nearly 16 months ago. Under this brand, we are currently producing T-shirts and export quality shirts for Government of Karnataka's Handloom Development Corporation (KHDC). We are also producing casual shirts and formals for Priyadarshini Handlooms, which is again a Government of Karnataka initiative.”

Seeing the size of growth and the volume of orders received, WEKAS is planning to expand the cluster. “We are planning for a Rs. 100 million second phase expansion project, where we can give employment to another 1000 women. We would also like to purchase and install many high-end machines to ensure better product quality,” she concludes.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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