While the world is running behind fast fashion, a NIFT graduate from Uttar Pradesh is busy weaving clothes in charkhas.
Abhishek Pathak says he was always interested in khadi clothes and wanted to take the material’s production to a large scale.
But the process of using charkhas can be fatiguing, so he decided to fuse it with the latest technology. The result of his brainchild is for all of us to see – over 500 women from villages in Lucknow have found livelihood with his enterprise using solar charkhas.
Through Solar Vastra, Abhishek aims to generate employment opportunities for rural women in mainstream fashion. He believes in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Khadi isn’t just a cloth but an ideology. Weaving Khadi is a symbol of self-respect, self-reliance and economic self-sufficiency for rural India.”
“The major drawback of traditional Khadi is the drudgery,” Abhishek notes. “A woman can barely earn Rs 50-60 in a day for the yarn production she does.” This prompted him to take up solar technology which increased productivity by 20 times and gave five times more money to the workers.
Solar Vastra is currently producing a variety of fabrics woven on solar-looms and hand-looms. Their price range starts from Rs 500 and goes up to Rs 3,000 based on the products.
This true Gandhian has already provided training to over 3,500 women. He says their carbon footprint has been reduced by 70 per cent, and that he hopes to employ 5,000 women by 2025.