Liva by Birla Cellulose: A Catalyst for Change in the Handloom Sector

By Admin | 19 July, 2023

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Hand-spun and woven handloom fabric have always been integral to India's rich cultural identity. Each state and region has unique handloom weaving designs and crafts passed down through generations.

The handloom industry is known for being less capital-intensive, using minimal power, and being eco-friendly. It also readily adapts to the needs of the market and embraces innovation. However, factors such as productivity, efficiency, and the younger generation's migration to other occupations due to lower income and unstable work have contributed to the industry's decline. Furthermore, the handloom weaving sector has faced challenges due to the rise of fast fashion and the growing influence of power looms.

To support the weaver community and increase productivity in the Handloom Sector, Aditya Birla Group's Birla Cellulose has introduced sustainable, eco-friendly, cost-effective, and durable materials. These innovative solutions empower weavers to produce high-quality products at better prices while preserving the art of handloom.

Birla Cellulose, in collaboration with 1500 weavers from 7 states and 18 districts, including Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Orissa, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh, has taken significant steps to preserve the handloom fabric and art.

Along with its regional partners, Birla Cellulose has created awareness about a natural, sustainable, and durable alternative by introducing fibers such as Viscose, Modal, and Excel under the Liva brand.

According to Ms. Priyanka Priyadarshini, AVP of Business Development at Birla Cellulose, their steps aim to inspire new artists and provide them with stable-priced raw materials, creating demand consistency

Birla Cellulose's dedication to supporting the handloom sector is unparalleled. Their robust research and development team enriches people's wardrobes with vibrant fabrics, promotes sustainable fashion, and preserves Indian culture and heritage. The company ensures the timely and consistent delivery of quality yarn at stable prices, thereby boosting the capabilities of weavers. This initiative helps revive the industry and supports its expansion, aligning with the vision of "Make in India" for the handloom sector.

At Birla Cellulose's advanced Textile Research and Development Centre (TRADC) in Gujarat, various designers and technologists have come together to develop innovative yarns and fabrics. To promote the "Vocal for Local" campaign, the Liva team has facilitated collaborations between printers and grey base manufacturers to ensure quality fabrics at the right prices.

The company has successfully replicated intricate fabrics using fibers extracted from wood pulp, resulting in innovative yarns and fabrics. For instance, they have developed Birla Cellulose blended Silk Fabric, which replicates the luxurious feel of pure silk by blending silk with modal, all at a competitive price. This breakthrough has increased the sellability of silk-like products and overcome the high price barrier.

The introduction of the saree brand "Navyasa" by Liva has further rejuvenated intricate weaves and traditional fabrics, preserving the magic of centuries-old culture from every corner of India. Birla Cellulose has already supplied 550 tons of yarn to weavers in the past year, ensuring timely delivery.

To create a seamless supply chain of Liva handloom products for consumers, Birla Cellulose has undertaken rural outreach programs, awareness campaigns, technical seminars, and offline and online marketing activities. They have extended their support beyond production, assisting with post-production requirements such as tagging, market connections, roadshows, and door-to-door promotions.

Birla Cellulose is actively working towards increasing business in the Handloom Sector, generating economic, cultural, and social opportunities for weavers while adding cultural value for consumers. They continue to explore innovative ways to support the weaver community, preserve India's cultural heritage, and contribute to sustainable and eco-friendly fashion.