British Council and IMG Reliance signed an operational alliance agreement for a project to support female artisan textiles in India.

Under the agreement, British Council’s global ‘Crafting Futures’ programme will be coming to India in collaboration with IMG Reliance.

The project named as ‘A Telegram from Tripura’ will bring UK designer Bethany Williams and Indian designer Aratrik Dev Varman of the label Tilla together to explore new fashion systems and approaches with female textile artisans in the Northeast region.

“The aim is to grow their livelihoods and economic opportunities through responding to a creative brief set by fashion revolution. Works in progress will be presented at the August 2018 Lakmé Fashion Week, and final work will be presented at the February 2019 Lakmé Fashion Week before appearing in Fashion Revolution’s biannual fanzine. Fashion Revolution is an organisation that celebrates fashion as a positive influence, while also scrutinising industry practices and raising awareness of the most pressing issues facing the fashion industry,” a statement said.

The work will showcase female textile artisans in India and demonstrate how design innovation can promote a fairer, more inclusive fashion industry. The creative brief toolkit will become available publicly and for schools, allowing young activists, designers, students and practitioners to experiment with new design-based interventions to create innovation themselves.

Jaspreet Chandok, vice president and fashion head, IMG Reliance said, “We are glad to partner with British Council and work towards building the economy of the Northeast. To create a call to action for structuring collaboration models between the Northeast and the industry has greatly excited all of us.”

Helen Silvester, director West India, British Council, commented, “We are delighted to be working with IMG Reliance on the Crafting Futures programme in India. Crafting Futures is a global British Council programme which looks at how promoting a sustainable craft industry can support women’s economic opportunities, responsible production and engagement in cultural heritage in contemporary design. This year, the British Council celebrates its 70th anniversary in India. In those 70 years, we have been greatly inspired by Indian artists, designers and textile producers and I know that we will be inspired further by the results of this exciting Crafting Futures project with IMG Reliance.”

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