Home / Knowledge / News / Fashion / Fashion icons promote India's women embroidery workers
Fashion icons promote India's women embroidery workers
Mar '14
On International Women's Day - 8th March, 2014, designer Umair Zafar and actress Rituparna Sengupta announced their association to promote women embroidery workers in India.The Bengali beauty has pledged her support to women artisans and crafts persons across the country and will support fashion shows and events that provide employment initiatives and allied media interaction on the subject to create awareness about the plight of women embroiders and the sorry state of affairs. 
Says Umair Zafar, "Women are exploited in most walks of life or professions, but when it comes to artisans and craftsmen and particularly embroidery workers,  the plight of women embroiders is really pathetic. They are not only monetarily and sometimes sexually exploited by their employers or mukhiyas or middlemen, they are paid much lower than male workers, though they work more diligently and honestly than their male counterparts. 
Some big names in the fashion industry including designers and brands are notorious for exploiting women embroidery workers. They will buy embroidery patches and work for a few hundred rupees by underpaying and bargaining with the near-starving workers who are forced to sell their crafts at less than half the market rate to save their kids and themselves from starvation.  
The designers then sell the same product after embellishing it, at 1000 times the  raw material purchase cost. For example, a chikankari or other embroidery work produced in Lucknow is bought for Rs 500 per piece and then re-branded and sold in Mumbai and Delhi for Rs 15000. This is sheer exploitation of the poor workers and must be exposed by the media.  
At times, a few designers who are known to be close to some A-category Bollywood actresses will buy or order raw art work in bulk worth lakhs of rupees, and not pay the artisans for months on end. 
The artisans who take soft loans to fund the purchase of fabric, etc end up paying huge amounts in interest, which causes them great loss and hardships. Artisans have lost their homes and belongings due to such rogue (but well-connected) designers who fleece them of everything." 
Designer Umair Zafar comes from a traditional family of craftsmen and embroiders and both his parents - mother and father are involved in the trade. 
"My mother used to save money from her embroidery earnings to pay my school fees and ensured that I finished my diploma in fashion designing. I have a great attachment and affinity to traditional craftsmen and artisans. 
“At a recent event at Lucknow where I presented my Chikankari collection, Rituparna and I were discussing the plight of chikankari and embroidery workers in general when I causally mentioned to her how women workers were exploited. She immediately agreed to be part of a joint effort to spread awareness about this issue and support the cause of women crafts persons and artisans.”
On 1st March 2014, Sigma Rock presented Umair Zafar's Chikankari Summer Collection 2014 at a glittering ceremony at the M B Club in Lucknow to promote the craft and enhance and encourage the craftsmen and karigar community which has suffered greatly due to neglect and lack of promotion. Bollywood diva Rituparna Sen walked the ramp for Umair Zafar and also distributed prizes and awards to achievers of Sigma Rock.

Umair Zafar

Interviews View All

Textile industry, Head honchos

Textile industry
Head honchos

Athleisure is the current buzzword in fashion

C. Dhandayuthapani, Mag Solvics Pvt. Ltd

C. Dhandayuthapani
Mag Solvics Pvt. Ltd

ITME 2016 exploited our full strength like never before

Headhonchos, Indian fashion industry

Indian fashion industry

Cotton consumption will keep growing in the Indian fashion industry

Madhu Sudhan Bhageria,

Madhu Sudhan Bhageria

Incorporated in August 1990, Filatex India Ltd manufactures manmade...

Ritu Ajbani & Neha Agarwal,

Ritu Ajbani & Neha Agarwal

Petit Royal, co-founded by entrepreneurs <b>Ritu Ajbani and Neha...

Jash Choraria,

Jash Choraria

Established in 2015 by <b>Jash Choraria</b>, Unifynd is a Mumbai-based...

Dave Rousse, INDA

Dave Rousse

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of ...

Suresh Patel, Sidwin Fabric

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Sachin Pendharkar, Dieffenbacher India Pvt Ltd

Sachin Pendharkar
Dieffenbacher India Pvt Ltd

Germany-based Dieffenbacher Group is a producer of high-quality composites ...

Sandeep and Sarah Shaikh Gonsalves, SS Homme

Sandeep and Sarah Shaikh Gonsalves
SS Homme

SS Homme celebrates the craft of traditional tailoring through the bespoke ...

Sonam & Paras Modi, SVA

Sonam & Paras Modi

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Mike Hoffman, Gildan Activewear SRL

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

November 2019

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category

Related Categories:

Follow us on instagram


Follow Fibre2Fashion On

Advanced Search