Fashion’s way forward
After the Union Budget was announced, many felt a relief due to its inclination towards Make in India concept and Vocal for Local, two buzz words that have been trending since last year. With many new campaigns and initiatives working in their favour, the Budget also supported the cause. “On the whole, this pumps up the production locally. We can re-look at what can be done locally and invent a strategy of how fashion can be diverse and newer fabrics can be made,” says designer Nachiket Barve.
Agreeing to this, designer Gautam Gupta, who is reviving many Indian textiles, says, “So [the announcements in Union Budget] will increase domestic sales of yarn, as only customs duty is increased on cotton and silk yarn. This will support locally made stuff more than the ones imported.”
The push to the textile industry is expected to help the grassroot level workers of India. But will a hike in customs duty on cotton and raw silk and duties on leather be beneficial for Indian designers as well? “The purpose is to promote home market which is a great step ahead. When it comes for export, there will be a problem. In export, designers will face a hit, but not domestically. I believe it shouldn’t have been done in cotton as it’s already expensive. However we will continue to work with cotton,” says designer Rina Dhaka, who has been working with khadi and cotton for years. Will the Union Budget impact the pret and couture scene in India? “This will make few things expensive as in pret or corporate. It won’t have much impact on couture, I think,” shares Gupta.
Meanwhile, designer Shruti Sancheti, whose collections are dominated by cotton, states, “Textile and fashion has been badly hit since last year, people are looking for cotton options. Fashion has to be price-friendly and affordable for a customer to purchase at a time like this. The increasing price points would also affect us as the supply and demand will also be affected.”