posted 13 Sept 2019
Its become really difficult to differentiate between authentic and non-authentic handcrafted traditional products. Even when you touch feel and physically observe the garments and look for the slight imperfections which are signs of an authentic handloom product, it can still be extremely difficult to differentiate the authentic from the imitation handloom. There are many reasons for this, some of which are the advancement of printing and yarn spinning and weaving technologies which can mimic handicrafts so accurately, including all the imperfections typically associated with handloom products.
This is something we should all be concerned with as the handloom/handicraft sector is the second largest source of employment in India after agriculture, and the sector is already feeling immense pressure from the rise of the powerloom.
In addition to that there are many smaller boutiques and instagram retailers claiming to have pure silk, pure khadi products. Sometimes these online stores do provide more information about all the activities which go on behind the label e.g the natural dyeing processes or the hand weaving process. And these stories may restore your confidence in the fact that you are getting an authentic item. But in case you are still unable to verify the authenticity of the item you are purchasing, there are various certificates that you can request for to help verify that your saree is authentic.
Luckily, the government of India has implemented various certification schemes which are meant to distinguish authentic from non-authentic products. Schemes such as the silkmark, khadimark, and handloom marks are all examples of marks which can be used on handloom products once the supply chain has been verified through an audit process. The audit will involve physically visiting the site to verify that they are made of genuine silk and khadi. Once these marks are affixed to garments via tags or signboards the consumer can rest assured that they are purchasing aan authentic item.
Want proof your product is handmade?
Ask for a Craftmark certificate. This scheme certifies products where the “hand skills of the practicioner are the most significant part of the production process”
Want proof your product is authentic khadi?
Ask for a khadi mark certificate. This certificate is issued by the KVIC
Want proof your product is made from authentic handloom?
The Ministry of textiles introduced the Handloom Mark scheme in 2006 for weavers, weaver cooperatives, and other handloom material suppliers, similar to the silk mark scheme.
Want proof your product is made from authentic silk:
Ask for a silk mark certificate. The silk mark scheme was launched for weavers, handloom cooperatives and other silk material suppliers. Brands which purchase from authentic manufacturers can also claim the silk mark on their products.
If you want proof your product is sustainable:
AsK for an ecomark certificate. The Eco Mark was launched in 1991 by the government of india and serves to certify textiles and other products which are “ made or disposed in a way that significant reduces the harm it would cause to the environment”
Want proof your product is made with Organic cotton?
The GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is the leading standard for organic processing of fibers and the entire fiber supply chain.