Chhattisgarh leads eco-friendly fashion

Raipur : The fashion industry is considered to be one of the highest carbon emitters worldwide. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , 3,781 liters of water is used to produce one pair of jeans pants. Today, when the world is rapidly moving towards fast fashion, the pace of carbon emissions is increasing. In such a time, Chhattisgarh is showing the path of eco-friendly fashion. Kosa silk sarees manufactured in Janjgir-Champa and Korba Districs have not only become a symbol of eco-friendly fashion but also strengthen the concept of Swadeshi and self-reliant India that has been prevalent for generations. Here, the people of the Devangan community, who have been doing this art work for generations, thread the silk threads in such a way that even the world’s most valuable modern machines cannot do it.

The Kosha sarees made here are appreciated in every corner of the world. There is hardly any metropolitan city in the country where Kosa of Chhattisgarh is not seen in the glittering showrooms of sarees. The price is such that you will bite your teeth. Starting from Rs 2,000, these sarees are sold for Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. It is also the center of attraction in the world’s biggest fashion show held in Milan, Italy.

Kosa silk is naturally pale yellow in color, which is dyed with dyes made from palash, lac and rose petals. Cocoons made from the larvae of butterflies are collected from forests. Of these, high quality cocoons are collected and boiled. After boiling, silk thread is separated from them. By combining 7 to 8 cocoons a complete long thread is prepared. After this natural color is applied to the thread. After drying, the thread is rolled into a bundle, after which sarees are prepared from this thread. The special thing is that the weavers dye the silk with natural colours. It takes a week to prepare a Kosa silk saree. The special thing is that it is completely environment friendly. No chemical substances are used at all in preparing them.

However, it is a big challenge for the artisans who make these eco-friendly and cultural sarees to not get a fair price for their hard work. They get only a thousand rupees for making a 6 meter saree. Even many times they do not get the payment on time. Many times weavers are also cheated. To groom each and every thread of silk, one has to keep one’s eyes focused for many hours. The process of preparing and weaving the cocoon thread is very complex and has to be done with great care. Due to this, eye related problems come to the fore in the lives of these artisans. If the government provides benefits of schemes like land and subsidy to these saree weavers of Janjgir-Champa and Korba districts, then they can give a global form to this traditional skill of Chhattisgarh. These weavers should be linked to skill development programs at the state level, including the National Skill Development Corporation. The efficiency of these artisans can be enhanced by having access to digital applications. The way Vishnu Dev Sai government of Chhattisgarh is promoting improvement and innovation in every field, Kosa artisans are hopeful that the government will definitely give a bigger platform to their talent.

Jaya Laxmi Tiwari, Environmentalist

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