Fashion first aider

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Because the country is uncomfortably closed, retail businesses, whose workers and wage earners rely on the ability to make ends meet, are sometimes worst affected, sometimes daily. The fashion industry – a small but significant part of the textile and clothing sector – is currently dealing with serious economic impacts that would affect their impact Kaarigare, Artisans and tailors. Given this dilemma, however, it is encouraging to know that designers from across the country are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees, both in terms of their health and their financial security. On Saturday, March 21, Kolkata-based couturier Sabyasachi Mukherjee made a statement on his official Instagram handle, announcing that he had indefinitely leave all of his employees and that they would continue to receive their salaries for as long as possible would affect their ability to work from home ”.

The WFH option

“It’s the least we can do,” says Delhi-based designer Rahul Mishra, who paid all of his factory workers an advance on their monthly salary. He plans to transfer the next month’s salary by the first week of April. “My main concern is not that we cannot pay, but that people who need financial support should receive it immediately.” He also tries to make sure that his stickers, which work from home, have enough raw materials to continue working. “This is to everyone’s advantage Kaarigare Those who can will stay and work with them at home, and if we get out of this situation, we will have the most beautiful collections to revitalize the market. “Mishra had his tailor masks sewn that his entire workforce could take home, ten per person.

Rahul Mishra in his studio

Rahul Mishra in his studio

In Bengaluru, the Angadi textile brand also considered making masks on a larger scale. The company’s director, K Radharaman, contacted the Karnataka MPs last week and offered to sew as many as needed for free in the coming days. “While these masks are not surgical or N95 masks,” says Radharaman, “documented research shows that normal tissue masks are 79% effective and are intended for non-media personnel, so the right masks can reach the right people.” Angadi has also pledged to donate to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and will continue to provide full wage support to all employees, regardless of whether they can work from home or not. “It’s only logical; our people do it us to what we are, ”he says.

Anita Dongre is on the phone from Mumbai and confirms this feeling. On Sunday 22 March, it announced the creation of a £ 1.5m corporate fund to help smaller vendors, self-employed artisans and partners without health or insurance coverage. “It was the only decision we could make because people at the lowest level will be hardest hit.” Her brother and business partner Mukesh Sawlani has set up an internal committee to monitor the proper payment of this fund. “The business will survive. We may be hit hard, but we won’t be on the street. We just have to take care of our people, ”she adds. Your brand is the only one in India that has allocated a specific amount to its relief efforts.

No time to judge

It must be borne in mind that not all brands are the same, and Palak Shah from Benaras-based textile label Ekaya emphasizes this. “This is not a competition,” she says. “There is also no time to feel bad, which cannot be done sustainably. Every designer and company is unique and must look inside to decide what to best manage. “On March 21, Ekaya also posted a post on Instagram detailing that paid vacation was announced and advances extended, in addition to an emergency fund set up to support the brand’s weavers. “It is an uncertain time and we know that we will be hit hard,” added Shah, “so every designer or brand has to find their own way.”

From the collection of Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The Kolkata-based couturier made a statement on his official Instagram handle, announcing that he had sent all employees indefinitely and that they would receive their salaries as long as possible,

From the collection of Sabyasachi Mukherjee. The Kolkata-based couturier made a statement on his official Instagram handle, announcing that he had sent all employees indefinitely and that they would receive their salaries as long as possible, “regardless of their ability to work from home to work “.

In Delhi, the up-and-coming fashion designer Karan Torani agrees. On Friday March 20, the official Instagram handle of his label issued a warm message that gave his followers an insight into the struggles of a young brand and courageously asked for donations – not for charity, as the money was for future purchases would be counted – so that they can continue to pay their craftsmen, tailors and employees. “I am aware of the dichotomy of a luxury fashion label that has to charge fans and customers,” says Torani. “However, I am willing to take the risk of temporarily affecting the brand image if I can support it Kaarigare That made my brand what it is in just a year and a half. “He reports that customers, friends and even fashion students have made contributions ranging from 500 to almost a lakh.

Behind the scenes

It must be remembered that the textile and clothing industry is the second largest employer in India after agriculture. It supports around 45 million people directly and 65 million indirectly. While the textile minister Smriti Irani has seriously asked clothing and textile buyers not to cancel orders, a collective of over 60 fashion designers – brought together by the Calcutta-based label Dev r Nil – sent a letter (via the deputy Mahua from West Bengal to Moitra) to Irani, who asks for specific solutions such as a moratorium on upcoming statutory fees, delays in paying utility bills, temporary suspension of EMI payments and interest, coverage of unemployment benefits, and a freeze on rental fees.

The same letter was sent to the Minister of Finance, Trade and Industry in West Bengal, Amit Moitra, and to the Minister of the Union for Small, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME), Nitin Gadkari. At the time of writing, the designers were waiting for a response from one of the three recipients while more designers signed up for the petition.

Until the government announces concrete initiatives or allocates actual budgets specifically to protect this sector, India’s fashion industry seems to have to rely on its greatest strength: creativity.

The author is a fashion commentator and communications director at Angadi House, which is mentioned in this article.

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