The young and savvy entrepreneur, Ms Seema Singh, founded Kartik Sourcing in 2000, inspired by her love for the rich traditional handloom weaves of India and welfare of their artisans to arrest their dwindling numbers. From high street fashion brands around the world to the residents of cosy country homes, her imaginative creations of textures and utility options that Indian handloom can offer has everyone in awe.
Some 200 years ago, Indian textiles accounted for 90% of textile imports in foreign countries, but it has since lost its share. India is primarily known for the fibres it produces, mainly cotton, and its unique handlooms. However, in recent years the number of weavers contributing to handloom production is on the decline. With increasing opportunities, the new generation of weavers are moving away from handlooms. My goal is to rejuvenate the space and give reasons for weavers to continue practising an art that has become part of our country’s national and global identity.
I have worked on high fashion fabrics for over 20 years with global brands and understand their processes, standards, and demand nuances which is what our Indian artisans need to evolve at the global stage. Furthermore, it is time we make sustainability core to every initiative to ensure we build a healthy environment for generations to come.
At Kartik our focus, first, is to improve acceptance of handloom fabrics at a global level for improved business and returns for our Indian weavers, which contributes towards a better life for them; second, to work with sustainable fabrics and reduce carbon emissions towards a healthy environment for future generations. Kartik Sourcing was established in 2000, providing research and design, sourcing, and supply chain solutions across fabrics for brands, designers, buyers, and garment manufacturers.
I have since worked as a preferred vendor with many global brands like ZARA, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, GAP, Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, Aéropostale, American Eagle, Anthro, George, Diesel, Armani, Walmart, Next, Massimo Dutti, S.Oliver, Bershka, Mango, Calvin Klein, etc., bringing them design and production solutions to meet the fast-shifting fashion trends of the millennials. Over the years, I have also worked with globally renowned designers like Richard Quinn and George Davies. Some of our recent design works have also graced the floors of the MET Store Gala Camp Collection 2019, London Fashion Week, and the catwalk for Glamour AW 2020-21 shows.
Millennials and Gen Z are driving consumption very differently as they have become increasingly conscious of their world. Sustainability and supply chain are amongst the key drivers shaping the world of fabrics and fashion. Coupled with the “Make in India” imperative and the current times, Indian handloom is at an interesting inflection point with immense possibilities.
Kartik’s mission is to drive these emergent trends, enabling brands with environment-friendly handcrafted fabrics and wares through a network of 300,000+ weavers and artisans. Such a change will be enabled through exposure to global brands and engagement with research and development. We are working towards educating small and medium handloom enterprises to understand the dimensions of global quality, specifications, processes, and compliance norms along with the criticality of delivering “on-time-in-full” towards becoming reliable partners of the fashion world. All towards an ecosystem where our hardworking weavers and artisans realise fair value with access to efficient working capital and global exposure.
An entrepreneurial ambition while being a dedicated mother of two requires tremendous calm and focus. I have found my way to manage these incredible shifts of life, living and working through meditation, yoga, and long walks along with listening to podcasts and e-books.
I am convinced and driven to bring Indian handloom and handicrafts to the global fashion arena as a vibrant, sustainable, and reliable alternative to high fashion fabrics and wares. It is in this direction that I now expend all my time and effort and look forward to support and guidance from our inspired government.