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The Business of Fashion on Instagram

The Business of Fashion on Instagram

An essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs all over the world.

Do luxury brands have a  respect deficit  with Indian artisans? Brand leaders who claim that craft is the lifeblood of #luxury should see worker welfare as a moral duty that aligns with their strategic business interests. But protecting the valuable skills of Indian artisans is not the same as valuing the #artisans themselves. It is telling that in India, even while craft is venerated as a symbol of national pride, Indian artisans remain socially marginalised and poorly paid. Karishma Swali, managing director of family-run company Chanakya, which produces for brands including Christian Dior, Gucci and Valentino, reminds us why artisans at her Mumbai-based export house are working for western brands in the first place.  Europe has high degrees of creativity, but these days fewer and fewer possess craftsmanship knowledge,  she said.

Of course, the fact that labour costs in India are so much lower than those in Europe also helps keep luxury brands motivated to produce here. It is estimated that luxury #embroidery done in India would cost 10-15 times more to produce in Europe. Given their increasing reliance upon India for surface ornamentation like embroidery and other embellishments, it would make good business sense for brands to safeguard this essential industry so that it will continue to attract new generations of artisans.  There are three motivating factors [for luxury brands],  said Ashok Som, Professor and Global Strategy Director of the EMILUX programme at France s ESSEC Business School.  Diversifying their supply chain, global sustainability issues haunting the luxury brands vis-à-vis high ethical considerations that the brands [aim to] represent, and a shortage of highly-skilled craftsmen globally,  he explained.

Whatever their motivations   enlightened self-interest, pressure from consumers and shareholders or an emotionless cost-benefit analysis   luxury industry leaders have endeavoured to make some progress supporting artisans in India. Whether their initiatives are sufficiently fair and effective, however, is another matter.

Read the full story on our digital Special Edition  Can Fashion Clean Up Its Act?  on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]
Do luxury brands have a respect deficit with Indian artisans? Brand leaders who claim that craft is the lifeblood of #luxury should see worker welfare as a moral duty that aligns with their strategic business interests. But protecting the valuable skills of Indian artisans is not the same as valuing the #artisans themselves. It is telling that in India, even while craft is venerated as a symbol of national pride, Indian artisans remain socially marginalised and poorly paid. Karishma Swali, managing director of family-run company Chanakya, which produces for brands including Christian Dior, Gucci and Valentino, reminds us why artisans at her Mumbai-based export house are working for western brands in the first place. Europe has high degrees of creativity, but these days fewer and fewer possess craftsmanship knowledge, she said. Of course, the fact that labour costs in India are so much lower than those in Europe also helps keep luxury brands motivated to produce here. It is estimated that luxury #embroidery done in India would cost 10-15 times more to produce in Europe. Given their increasing reliance upon India for surface ornamentation like embroidery and other embellishments, it would make good business sense for brands to safeguard this essential industry so that it will continue to attract new generations of artisans. There are three motivating factors [for luxury brands], said Ashok Som, Professor and Global Strategy Director of the EMILUX programme at France s ESSEC Business School. Diversifying their supply chain, global sustainability issues haunting the luxury brands vis-à-vis high ethical considerations that the brands [aim to] represent, and a shortage of highly-skilled craftsmen globally, he explained. Whatever their motivations enlightened self-interest, pressure from consumers and shareholders or an emotionless cost-benefit analysis luxury industry leaders have endeavoured to make some progress supporting artisans in India. Whether their initiatives are sufficiently fair and effective, however, is another matter. Read the full story on our digital Special Edition Can Fashion Clean Up Its Act? on businessoffashion.com [Link in bio]

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