KVIC launches khadi footwear, eyes 2 pc share of Indian industry


PTI, Oct 21, 2020, 7:38 PM IST

New Delhi: Khadi and Village Industries Commission on Wednesday launched khadi fabric footwear and said it aims to capture 2 per cent of the Rs 50,000-crore Indian footwear market.

Speaking at the launch event of footwear via video conferencing, Union MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Minister Nitin Gadkari said each pair of shoes and sandals is priced between Rs 1,100 to Rs 3,300.

Initially, 15 designs for female footwear and 10 designs for male footwear have been introduced.

Gadkari also launched online sale of khadi footwear through KVIC’s e-portal. He said khadi fabric footwear would create additional employment and higher income for 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 footwear are cost-effective,” Gadkari said.

He also urged KVIC to develop alternatives to leather accessories like ladies’ handbags, purse, 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 5,000 crore,” the MSME minister said.

Gadkari said he will request actor-turned-politician Hema Malini to endorse khadi footwear on a pro bono basis and become its brand ambassador.

KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena said the idea behind launching khadi fabric footwear is to tap the international market. As a large section of international consumers is increasingly going vegan, 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 an increase in its consumption. This will ultimately create additional employment and higher income for Khadi artisans,” Saxena was quoted as saying in a statement.

The size of the Indian footwear industry is approximately Rs 50,000 crore, which includes exports worth nearly Rs 18,000 crore.

Saxena said KVIC’s initial target is to capture at least 2 per cent of this industry which is estimated to be around Rs 1,000 crore.

According to KVIC, 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 footwear unique and trendy.

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