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UNESCO signatures Seal of Excellence on Avani products
03
Jan '09
Avani, nestled in the alcove of Himalayas, has been working extensively with the preservation and revival of the traditional craft of weaving, spinning and natural dyeing in the Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts of Kumaon.

Avani has been working in this path for past seven years now. For two of its products, the naturally dyed silk stole and muffler, Avani has been awarded the UNESCO Seal of Excellence in 2007, for quality, uniqueness and eco friendliness.

While speaking exclusively to Fibre2fashion.com, regarding the special features of these products, Ms Rashmi Bharati Co-Founder of Avani stated, “The product uses natural fibres and natural dyes only. The blend of wool and silk has been used very simply and the range of products is classic and stays beyond the current fashion. It is hand made and allows the artisan to earn a fair wage in their village. It is also very high quality and the designs and colors are very contemporary. In fact, our products were displayed at the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris in collaboration with another group from India this year.

”Our products have used traditional skill of weaving and spinning to create contemporary products in wool as well as silk. There was no tradition of spinning or weaving of silk in the area where we are working. We have introduced the cultivation of wild silks like eri and muga as well as the spinning and weaving of this fibre into finished products. The entire chain of production involves difference members of the family to earn a supplementary income in their homes.”

Avani uses only eco friendly methods of production that do not pollute the soil and water of the area where they are produced. Artisans use only clean energy like solar energy for all textile processing; even rainwater is being used for washing and dyeing. What is worth noticing is all the water used in the textile processing is recycled and used for irrigation to grow vegetables.

Ms Rashmi Bharati proudly said that these contemporary products stand for itself in the open market and brings back economic support for the artisan thereby strengthening the village economy.

Talking about ecstatic feeling on receiving this award, Ms Rashmi Bharati smilingly said, “Being a rural group, working in remote Himalayan villages, we feel honored that the artisans have been acknowledged and their work has received international acclaim. It also gives us a lot of strength to continue our work as this program is entirely managed by a rural team who were trained at Avani to handle all the managerial functions. It also gives a big boost to idea of a locally managed rural enterprise.”

She continues by saying, “We feel that the credibility of our product definitely increases when we tell customers that our product has won international awards like UNESCO SEAL. It has increased the credibility of our product and we feel that it will have an impact on our sales over time.”

Fibre2fashion news Desk - India

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