KOCHI: Small-scale weavers who produce indigenous handloom products seldom experience the demand and love that urban markets have for them. Fabric Monde connects them with top brands and urban markets. They leverage technology and benefit small vendors to make their products accessible to mainstream fashion brands and bring inclusivity to the weaver communities.
Over the span of one-and-a-half-years, Fabric Monde has added 5000+ SKUs (Stock Keeping Unit) and their portfolio is growing at a rate of 50% month on month while 4,800 weaver organisations have been on-boarded onto their platform so far.
Jyothirmayi D, Co-founder, and CEO of Fabric Monde says, “I grew up in a place close to Mangalgiri where the society strives on a traditional art form called Kalamkari where over 20000 weavers work on handmade design textiles. Overall the handcrafted fabrics sector is growing at 20-25% each year but it lacks exposure. We are building an efficient and organised supply chain for these products adding value to all the parties.”
The team got started by collecting fabric samples from the weaver units and displaying them to the brands for them to select and buy.
They have digitized all their fabrics and also associated each one of them with a unique QR code which will fetch all the details about the product when scanned.
The technology by Fabric Monde uses a two-fold approach. An app is used by weavers to upload their swatches and then the use of 3D technology allows top brands to view the material in real time.
Sharing details on their target audience Jyothi says, “We intend to sell to the fashion brands of India and global who support sustainability and get inspired by the traditional and local art forms. We also sell to small designers and boutique owners for whom buying the right fabrics is a big issue.”
They have also introduced handloom and khadi products into the market and encourage traditional art forms like Ajrak from Jaipur, Ikat, Jamdhani, Dabu, and various other hand block prints.
“We source from more than 20 states and one can find the collection of all the best-handcrafted fabrics at one place with us,” adds Jyothi who holds a Post Graduation Diploma in Management from, IIM Lucknow.
In the beginning, stages to connect with weave cooperatives and people producing handloom products, the team reached out to all the DIC (District Industries Center) for the details about the cooperative societies and the weaver communities.
With the idea in mind and a background research done, the team reached out to IIMB’s incubation cell, NSRCEL. IIMB supported the team with the initial funds, to begin with, and later on entered the market and started selling products.
Asked about the challenges faced in working with weaver cooperatives Jyothi says, “Attracting talent was slightly difficult but once we started looking at fashion background graduates, the whole process became easy. Now we are hiring for our technology team to enable our business to scale and upgrade to help both our buyers and sellers in a better way.”
The team of Fabric Monde in future is looking to expand to 500 weaver units from the existing 180 whom they are dealing with as it helps them to increase their product portfolio and also support many more weaver units and the art forms.
They intend to increase their top line of 25 crores in one year by selling to 200+ global and domestic brands.
In a nutshell
- Fabric Monde is a Bengaluru-based startup founded by Jyothirmayi D
- They connect small-scale weavers with urban markets and premier brands
- With the background research and idea in hand, they were incubated by IIMB, NSRCEL and got funded
- The current top line is 25 crore in just the span of one year