khadi: Ready for international fashion debut: Khadi on the Patagonia trail

Khadi, considered by many to be the national fabric of India, is about to make her international debut in fashion.

US outdoor clothing and equipment retailer Patagonia Inc has purchased 30,000 meters of khadi denim fabric from India, Vinai Kumar Saxena, president of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), told ET.

The Californian company, which has hundreds of stores around the world, purchased the fabric worth 1.08 crore of Gujarat through the Arvind Mills-KVIC bond after a third party certified that all “ethical standards” “have been respected in production.

The order was executed in 12 months, until October 2021.

KVIC signed an agreement with Arvind Mills in July 2017 to trade khadi denim products worldwide. Afterwards, Arvind Mills purchased khadi denim fabric every year from KVIC-certified khadi institutions in Gujarat, KVIC officials said.

The deal was initiated when a Patagonian team visited Udyog Bharti, a Khadi institution in Gondal in Rajkot to see the khadi denim manufacturing process. Satisfied with the quality of the denim, the team ordered four types of denim fabric, made from 100% cotton and with a width ranging from 28 inches to 34 inches.

The purchase order was placed, however, only after Patagonia performed a third-party “ethical standards” check via the US inspector NEST.

The NEST seal is a guarantee for consumers that the item purchased has been “ethically handcrafted in a home or small workshop”.

This is the first time that a khadi institution in the country has been assessed and certified by an international independent assessor for compliance with the ethical standards of its operations.

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