The All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association (AIACA) is a membership-based organization for the handloom and handicraft sector. AIACA seeks to represent a range of organizations in these sectors and to create an enabling environment for promoting sustainable models of craft based livelihood. It engages in policy advocacy, capacity building of craft producers, organization and entrepreneurship development, interventions in innovative design and product diversification and facilitating direct access to markets.
Established in 2006, the Craftmark is a certification for genuine Indian hand-crafted products, which develops sector-wide, process-specific standards and norms for labeling a product as hand-made and increases consumer awareness of distinct handicraft traditions. Under this initiative, AIACA licenses the Craftmark seal to artisan organisations, craft-based businesses, cooperatives and NGOs for use on their products.
Over the years we have been able to build ‘integrity’, ‘quality’ and ‘cutting edge design’ as some of the core values, evidenced by endorsements from large global chains like West Elm and Ten Thousand Villages, who regularly source Craftmark-certified products. Today, Craftmark certifies 80+ organizations with an outreach of about 20,000 artisans across 20 states of India. Some of our members include FabIndia, Dastkar Ranthambore, Sewa Mandir, Coppre, INTACH Kashmir, GraminVikasChetnaSansthan (GVCS), to name a few.
With over 23 million craftspeople, the crafts sector is the second largest employer in India . Many communities in India depend on their craft skills as a source of income and livelihood.
The Craftmark programme enables Indian craftworkers and craft organisations to take advantage of economic opportunities in international and domestic markets and also, to break into the mainstream retail markets. It seeks to promote and protect Indian handicrafts by helping them become more competitive in such markets and by distinguishing authentic hand-made craft products from replicated machine made-ones. In addition to this, Craftmark is increasing consumer awareness of distinct handicraft traditions and the purchase of quality, authentic handmade crafts.
Objective and Purpose
In order to be competitive in the marketplace these talented craftspeople need assistance in developing their enterprises and skills in a manner that allows them to compete in efficient modern markets by evolving innovative marketing and design possibilities. By creating consumer and market awareness of the key elements of craft –distinctiveness, uniqueness, focus on livelihood, sustainability and environment, we need to collectively usher in an era of ethical and sustainable consumerism.
Thus, Craftmark guides Indian crafts into the modern world - training craftspeople across India to become competitive professionals, helping communities and families to improve their standard of living, encouraging craft processes to blossom and creating awareness in modern consumer markets.
Adoption by Major Retailers
--William Bissell, MD Fab India