The first Swadesh store located in Hyderabad was inaugurated by Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation
Bengaluru: Reliance Retail has launched Swadesh, a new format of stores that will showcase Indian arts and crafts and serve as a platform to promote traditional artists and artisans, the retail giant said in a press release on Thursday.
The first Swadesh store, located at Alcazar Mall, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad was inaugurated by Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Ltd.
The 20,000 sq. ft. store will house a collection of carefully curated products made entirely by hand by India’s skilled artisans.
“Swadesh is an ode to India’s traditional arts and artisans. It highlights the spirit of ‘Make in India’ and offers respect and sustenance to our skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. They are truly the pride of our country, and through Swadesh we hope to give them the global recognition that they richly deserve. That is why we are excited to expand Swadesh not just across India, but internationally too in the US and Europe,” said the chairperson.
The brand offers over 400 products of handmade textiles, handicrafts, and agricultural products that are listed with geographical indications. It has facilitated the sourcing of 100% authentic crafted products, directly from artisan communities having signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Textiles.
The product assortment at Swadesh will include handicrafts and art objects, furniture, masks, toys and puppets, jewellery, homeware for dining and kitchen, paintings and wall murals, apparel and accessories, home linen and wellness products among others.
The store also houses a café based on the farm-to-table concept with epicurean creations.
It features ‘scan and know’ technology that allows customers to trace the story behind a product and its maker, while a special service at the store will enable them to customize products by collaborating with the Swadesh team.
The new brand is a member of the All India Artisans & Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA), hence all products sourced by it come with a craft mark certification. Membership of DC (handloom), Government of India and textile committee authorizes the brand to use the ‘handloom mark’ on all its handloom products.
Recently, a Swadesh experience zone was created at the arts and culture space, Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) in Mumbai. Originally scheduled as a three-day event, the exhibition in May had to be extended due to public demand, visible in the extensive number of footfalls and daily orders placed with the artisans, the entire proceeds of which went to the artisans.
In addition, as a part of the Swadesh initiative, 18 Reliance Foundation Artisan Initiative for Skill Enhancement (RAISE) centres are in the process of being set up across India to ensure reach at the grassroots level and contribute to sustaining regional artisan communities and art forms. This is expected to enable the sourcing of over 600 craft forms.
Reliance Retail is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), the holding company of all the retail companies under the Reliance Industries group. The company operates an integrated omnichannel network of over 18,650 stores and digital commerce platforms across various categories.