“Now feel the fineness of handcrafted Khadi fabric in the footwear. Union Minister for MSME, Shri Nitin Gadkari today launched India’s first-ever high-quality Khadi Fabric Footwear, designed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) through Video Conference. These footwears are made of Khadi fabric like Silk, Cotton and Wool. Shri Gadkari also launched the online sale of Khadi footwear through KVIC’s e-portal www.khadiindia.gov.in.
Shri Gadkari heaped praises on Khadi fabric footwear saying such unique products had high potential of capturing the international market. At the same time, he said, Khadi fabric footwear would create additional employment and higher income for our artisans.
“Khadi footwear is a unique product. International quality and use of fine fabric like Patola Silk, Banarasi Silk, Cotton, Denim would attract the youngsters who can purchase it online. These footwears are cost-effective,” Shri Gadkari said while also urging the KVIC to develop alternatives to leather accessories like ladies’ handbags, purses, wallet in handcrafted Khadi fabric that has a huge potential in foreign markets. “By developing and marketing such products overseas, Khadi India can capture a market worth Rs. 5000 crore (US$ 680.68 million),” the MSME Minister said.
Minister of State for MSME, Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi said the Khadi fabric footwear is not only environment-friendly and skin-friendly, but it reflects the hard work of Khadi artisans that has been put in to make fabric for these footwears. “I congratulate KVIC for developing Khadi fabric footwear according to the global taste. I am sure by occupying a major share in the footwear industry, Khadi fabric footwear will help in reviving the country’s economy,” Shri Sarangi said.
To begin with, the footwear has been launched in 15 designs for ladies and 10 designs for men. Exquisite Khadi products like Patola Silk of Gujarat, Banarasi Silk, Madhubani-printed Silk of Bihar, Khadi Denim, Tussar Silk, Matka – Katia Silk, a variety of Cotton fabric, Tweed Wool and Khadi Poly Vastra have been used to make these footwears unique and trendy. Available in a wide range of designs, colours and prints, these footwears have been designed to suit clothing for all purposes – formal, casual and festive occasions. The Khadi footwear price ranges from Rs. 1100 (US$ 14.98) to Rs. 3300 (US$ 44.93) per pair.
KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said, venturing into new segments, tapping new markets and diversifying the product range, as envisaged by the Prime Minister, have been the mantra for Khadi’s stupendous success in the last six years.
“The idea behind launching Khadi Fabric Footwear was to tap the international market where a large section of international consumers is increasingly going vegan and hence, Khadi will become a preferred choice of this segment. “Khadi fabric footwear is a small step for people, but it will be a giant leap for our Khadi artisans. Using fine fabric like Cotton, Silk and Wool in footwear will lead to higher production of fabric by artisans as well as increase in its consumption. This will ultimately create additional employment and higher income for Khadi artisans,” Mr. Saxena said. The size of Indian footwear industry is approx. Rs. 50,000 crore (US$ 6.81 billion) which includes exports worth nearly Rs. 18,000 crore (US$ 2.45 billion). Mr. Saxena said our initial target is to capture at least 2% of this Industry that is estimated to be around Rs. 1000 crore (US$ 136.14 million).
Incidentally, the idea behind developing the Khadi fabric footwear also coincides with the Prime Minister’s vision of “Local to Global”. Earlier, KVIC had successfully launched its first-ever Khadi wrist watch in association with Titan which has been a trend-setter.”