The Fashion Designer Who Came Up With Her Venture For The Betterment Of Indian Women
KhaDigi came into existence as a revolutionary idea in 2015 when a young woman decided to break the norms and pursue her dreams. Umang Shridhar, the brain behind KhaDigi, is a fashion designer. She was always drawn towards the Indian craftsmanship and had a resolve to do something for the betterment of Indian women. And so, she combined the primitive khadi with the modern digital printing to come up with KhaDigi.
In a candid conversation, she talks about her venture, objectives, disappointments and her liking for fashion.
BV: Please tell us about yourself. How would you describe Umang as?
Umang: Umang is a person full of life, hope and happiness. She is imbued with positivity and is constantly looking forward to designing a better day for herself.
BV: Introduce our readers to the KhaDigi.
Umang: Khadigi is a 100% Indian company at its heart. It employs our traditional khadi as its fundamental fabric to combine with the contemporary digital technologies to provide handcraft clothing. The eco-friendly fabric is its USP which is coupled with the art of digital printing to provide employment and empowerment to the rural women of India.
BV: Let us know how the unique idea of bringing Khadi to the fore struck you?
Umang: During my days at the National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT), I got to participate in the competition held by the ministry of textiles named Design sutra in Bhubaneswar in January 2015. I went ahead with blending the ancient fabric khadi with the upcoming technology of digital printing and thus, KhaDigi was born. The collection won the 2nd prize at the national level and then I decided to go forward with it. I wanted to do something for the women and the textile industry of India fascinated me greatly.
BV: Have you faced any specific set of challenges while you fixated upon your dream?
Umang: I am not from a business family but my family has been very supportive in my journey.
I failed 7 times before successfully setting up KhaDigi. I was ditched, chosen a wrong organization initially but with all the series of disappointments, I finally put a stamp on coming up with a fabric company. I grew up seeing my mom working. I was immensely inspired by her will-power to face the challenges. I have learned my lessons. I was firm in my decisions and since then, there has been no looking back.
BV: What was your objective behind KhaDigi? Is it fulfilled?
Umang: My sole purpose behind setting up KhaDigi was to empower the rural women. I always desired to work for the people. As of now, we have a team of 250 women engaged in designing products with the handspun fabric. We have a very good plan to have production centers in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra employing 10,000 women at different levels of weaving and dyeing.
BV: Which one is your favorite fabric and apparel?
Umang: Without any doubt, Khadi dominates my wardrobe. I have almost 80% khadi clothing in my closet. Sarees are absolute love. Along with that, I also prefer to wear kurtas with palazzos.
BV: What Umang is doing when she is not working?
Umang: I like to spend time with my family and meet my friends. Music is something I feel connected to so listening to it is how I spend my leisure time.
BV: Which is your favorite destination for shopping?
Umang: Being a textile person, Maheshwar in Indore is my favorite. The Maheshwari silk sarees attract me. I also love to drop by Jaipur for their wonderful clothes.
BV: What would be your message for the female entrepreneurs?
Umang: Keep working towards accomplishing your goals. Do not be disheartened if a failure encounters you. Maintain focus and live your dreams.
We wish all the luck to Umang Shridhar for her noble idea of uplifting rural women and making Khadi a globally renowned fabric.