~Hosts ‘Catalyzing Sustainable Fashion’ dialogue on NE India region in collaboration with the United Nations in India~

~NE designers to be supported by the British Council’s Global Crafting Futures programme in association with IMG Reliance and Fashion Revolution~


Mumbai 27th January 2018: At this season’s Lakme Fashion Week, IMG Reliance in collaboration with the United Nations in India will host an action-oriented dialogue on the Northeast Region (NER). This dialogue will be followed by a curated show featuring six sustainable fashion designers from six northeast states on Sustainable Fashion Day, 1 February 2018.

The collaboration with the United Nations in India aims to boost the local sustainable economy of the NER. It is an attempt to showcase the exciting potential of the region to mainstream stakeholders, including brands and designers. The lens of fashion presents an unparalleled opportunity to highlight the mutual benefits of doing business in the northeast; at the show, the six featured designers will tap into an evocative tradition of weaves to propel movement towards creating supply chain frameworks that can provide sustainable livelihoods for artisans and bridge the gap between NER and industry stakeholders.

Several leading champions doing transformational work in sustainability will be part of this dialogue that will be led by Yuri Afanasiev, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in India.

Mr Afanasiev said: “At the United Nations, we see the Northeast as not only an abundant source of natural resources, but also a powerhouse of economic opportunity. The Lakme Fashion Week is a great showcase for the rich cultural heritage of this remarkable region. We are proud to support creative young designers from the Northeast and hopeful that this dialogue will provide a framework for sustainable production and consumption practices that promote livelihoods through creation of modern and stable supply chains.”


The panelists include:

  1. Orsola De Castro: Ms. Castro is the founder and creative director of Fashion Revolution in UK, a global movement that works towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry, campaigning for a systemic reform with a special focus on the need for transparency in the fashion supply chain. She will speak about the launch of a special initiative focused on the NER in collaboration with the British Council and IMG Reliance.
  2. Osama Manzar: Mr. Manzar is the founder of Digital Empowerment Foundation, which aims to eradicate information poverty from India and the global south using digital tools. He will speak about a digital cluster development programme focused on the NER led by the foundation in the coming year.
  3. Siva DeviReddy: Mr. Reddy is the founder of Gocoop, India’s first online global marketplace which enables handloom cooperatives and artisans to connect directly with consumers. He will speak about the Gocoop’s planned initiatives to spur development of handloom clusters in the NER.
  4. Sonnie Kath: Ms. Kath is the founder of Exotic Echo Society in Nagaland. The society represents northeast artisans who will be showcasing their textiles in collaboration with fashion designer Jenjum Gadi at LFW.
  5. Designers from six northeast states (Manipur, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh) who are championing their work with artisans and are part of the curated showcase by IMG Reliance.

Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Fashion Head, IMG Reliance said, “We are glad that we have developed a platform to engage key stakeholders and work towards building the economy of the North East. To create a call to action for structuring collaboration models between the north-east and the industry has greatly excited all of us. We are happy to initiate these meaningful dialogues and interventions and to highlight the real and solid actions taken by industry leaders as well as build conviction on the need to invest in the long-term sustainable development of the northeast.”

He added, “We thank the United Nations in India for their support and are also excited about IMG Reliance’s collaboration with the British Council and Fashion Revolution to support a designer and her craft from the Northeast.”

The British Council’s global Crafting Futures programme will be coming to India in collaboration with IMG Reliance and Fashion Revolution, 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.

This collaboration brings British 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 NER. 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.

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.

Alan Gemmell OBE, Director India, British Council, commented, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Lakmé Fashion Week and IMG Reliance – two of India’s world-leading brands – and to work together to support the development of a sustainable fashion industry in India.
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the British Council in India. We’ve been inspired every day of the last 70 years by India’s young people, its artists and by the design traditions of communities across the country. Through our partnership with IMG Reliance and Fashion Revolution we’re particularly pleased to support female makers from the Northeast – part of our continued focus on working with artists, young people and teachers from this part of India.”

The Sustainable Day at Lakme Fashion Week will host a showcase of handwoven textile crafts from six of the northeast states. Six designers, each representing a state, will create capsule collections that emphasise the contemporary relevance of traditional fabrics and weaving techniques from each region. The show will see these designers repurpose age-old techniques for urban fashion consumers.


The six designers are:

  1. Daniel Syiem – Ryndia Silk textiles from Meghalaya
  2. Kuzu – Lepcha Weaves from Sikkim
  3. Jenjum Gadi x Exotic Echo Society – Loinloom Weaves from Nagaland
  4. Khumantem – Cotton and silk handlooms made by Meitei community in Manipur
  5. Tilla by Aratrik – Riahs textiles made by Reang tribes from Tripura
  6. Sonam Dubal – Muga and eri silk handlooms from Assam


Jenjum Gadi X Exotic Echo Society – Loinloom Weave from Nagaland
Daniel Siyem – Ryndia from Meghalaya
Tilla by Aratrik – Riahs from Tripura
Sonam Dubal – Muga and Eri Silk from Assam
Kuzu – Lepcha Weave from Sikkim
Khumantem – Wangkhei Phee from Manipur