IMG Reliance, British Council sign agreement to support female textile artisans

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New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) IMG Reliance and the British Council have signed an agreement to bring global ‘Crafting Futures’ programme to India to support the country’s female textile artisans.

The British Council, The UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations and IMG Reliance Ltd, which develops, markets and manages Fashion, Sports and Entertainment in India including Lakme Fashion Week, signed an operational alliance agreement for a project to support female artisan textiles in India.

Under the agreement, The British Council’s global programme will be coming to India, said a statement.

The project, named ‘A Telegram from Tripura’, brings UK designer Bethany Williams and Indian designer Aratrik Dev Varman of the label Tilla together to explore new fashion systems and approaches with female textile artisans in the northeastern region.

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The aim is to grow their livelihoods and economic opportunities through responding to a creative brief set by Fashion Revolution, an organisation that celebrates fashion as a positive influence, while also scrutinising industry practices and raising awareness of the most pressing issues facing the fashion industry.

“We are delighted to be working with IMG Reliance on the Crafting Futures programme in India. Crafting Futures is a global British Council programme which looks at how promoting a sustainable craft industry can support women’s economic opportunities, responsible production and engagement in cultural heritage in contemporary design.

“This year, the British Council celebrates its 70th anniversary in India. In those 70 years, we have been greatly inspired by Indian artists, designers and textile producers and I know that we will be inspired further by the results of this exciting Crafting Futures project with IMG Reliance,” Helen Silvester, Director (West India) at the British Council, said in a statement.

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Aratrik Dev Varman and Bethany Williams recently did a creative residency in Tripura where they researched the various tribes and textiles of the region.

The Designers were joined on the residency by filmmakers Storyloom Films who have explored how through visual media the personal stories of the female weavers can be shared more globally. Works in progress will be presented at the August 2018 edition of Lakmé Fashion Week, and final work will be presented at the February 2019 edition of the fashion gala before appearing in Fashion Revolution’s biannual fanzine.

The work will showcase female textile artisans in India and demonstrate how design innovation can promote a fairer, more inclusive fashion industry.

The creative brief toolkit will become available publicly and for schools, allowing young activists, designers, students and practitioners to experiment with new design-based interventions to create innovation themselves.

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Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Fashion Head, IMG Reliance said: “We are glad to partner with British Council and work towards building the economy of the North East. To create a call to action for structuring collaboration models between the Northeast and the industry has greatly excited all of us.”

–IANS

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