KOCHI: Increased awareness has created a big market abroad for natural dyes and organic cotton clothes, according to Ratna Krishnakumar, founder and managing trustee of Shrishti Trust, and independent body supported by Tata Consumer Products Ltd. and Tata Trusts.

Shrishti is the promoter of Aranya Natural, the natural dyed fabrics produced by specially abled associates in Munnar in Kerala. Around 60% of Aranya Natural products are now sold abroad.

“Though expensive the people especially in Europe feel that the children should be protected from chemicals and prefer such products, ‘’ Ratna Krishnakumar told mediapersons on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Aranya Natural held at Munnar.

Earlier inaugurating the two-day international conference on sustainability of natural dyes in connection with the event Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Ayog said the Srishti model of development followed by the women social workers of Munnar is ideal for sustainable long term development of backward districts in the country.

“We are working on 49 indicators and tracking it on a minute to minute basis. We are challenging the districts to improve their performance by competing with each other. We have seen some dramatic impact on the lives of people by focusing on specific indicators by bringing in third party tracking. The Srishti model in Munnar is a good example of sustainable development that can be replicated in the 115 backward districts,” he said.

Various speakers from India and abroad discussed many aspects of the natural dye and its importance to the future of the world. Yoshiko Wada ,Japanese textile artist, curator and author said ‘the most important change needed is the recognition by the consumers of the privileged societies of the ethical dimension and compassionate understanding of where the materials come from and the environment and communities in which the products are made.’’

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