Reliance Retail to start artisan-only store format 'Swadesh'

NEW DELHI: Reliance Retail on Thursday said it will launch a dedicated artisan-only store format 'Swadesh', which will showcase agriculture & food products, handlooms, clothing, textiles, handicraft and handmade natural products.

This will boost its "handmade in India" programme and provide a global platform for artisans and sellers of handcrafted products, said a statement by Reliance Retail.

The first Swadesh store is expected to open in the second half of 2022, it said.

''The programme is being spearheaded by Reliance Retail's handicraft brand Swadesh, which envisages an artisan-only dedicated store format for handcrafted products from across the country,'' it said.

Besides, Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) is exploring new partnerships with state governments to create a strong, vigorous and sustainable ecosystem for local artisans, the statement added.

As part of that, an MoU was signed on Thursday at the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata with the state government.

The Swadesh store will house a wide range of products including handmade textiles, handicraft, agriculture products and other artisanal merchandise, which will be sourced directly from artisans.

''Swadesh will also build a global marketplace to connect Indian artisans and sellers of authentic handmade products to consumers across the world,'' it said.

Commenting on the development, RRVL Director Isha Ambani said the future of Indian arts and crafts is poised for an exciting stage.

''We see a great opportunity for the artisans of our country in co-creating and co-curating handcrafted Indian products for the world. To realise this opportunity, Reliance Retail is partnering with various government organizations to help popularise various local art forms, both nationally and globally,'' she said.

Swadesh will showcase everything from apparel, home textiles, home decor, furniture, jewellery, wellness products and more, Ambani added.

Reliance Retail will also explore new partnerships with state governments and create a sustainable ecosystem for local artisans.

It has already signed an MoU with Ministry of Textiles which enables the sourcing of authentic crafted products, directly from artisan communities.

''Another unique partnership has been finalized and an MoU has been signed with Department of MSME & Textiles, Government of West Bengal. The aim of this partnership is to build a healthy, dynamic ecosystem that will help both Government of West Bengal and Swadesh realise the vision of sustainable employment and an enriched standard of living for the artisan community,'' it added.

RRVL is the holding company of all the retail companies under the RIL Group. It had reported a consolidated turnover of Rs 1,57,629 crore for the year ended March 31, 2021.

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