In order to promote the growing fashion industry and market, Dalit businesses are planning to launch an e-commerce portal for fashion and lifestyle goods named ByDalits in a month. ByDalits will be launched by Dalits’ rights activist and author Chandra Bhan Prasad.
The online portal will be a community of Dalit-owned businesses which will deal with range of product categories including clothing, personal care, accessories and foot items as well. The site will also encourage Dalits to purchase products from fellow Dalits for upliftment of the caste as a whole.
Chamar Studios, another brand will also be retailed from the portal. It is a brand that makes bags, wallets, belts and accessories from recycled rubber tyres. Sudheer Rajbhar, the founder of the brand works with a team of artisans who had lost their jobs after the 2015 beef ban and harnesses their transferable skills to work with recycled rubber, cotton and thick canvas. Half of the income from the bags designed at Rajbhar’s home studio in Kandivali is received by the workers and the studio is planned to be converted into a collaborative art space.
The website dealing with multi-channel e-commerce business will retail a number of established and up-and-coming Dalit-owned brands like Devki Nandan Sone of Agra’s line of footwear. Already retailing internationally in Germany, the footwear line will be available across India through ByDalits.
It is being planned by the founder to include women coats as well in the product range of the website. He stated that he want Dalit women to be confident and wear jackets and coats. He also mentioned that earlier the Dalit women who did not have rights to wear a blouse will now be wearing coats with choice and free-will.
The clothing brand of Prasad named as Zero Plus was launched in 2017 and it is being planned that it will also be retailed form the site. As a statement of rebellion against specific Hind nationalist norms that discriminate against Dalits, this brand specializes in western wear and promotes fashion amongst Dalits and oppressed sections of the society.
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