New Delhi: Menswear brand Peter England launched on Monday a collection of handloom shirts in partnership with India Handloom Brand (IHB), a government initiative to promote high quality handloom products.
The menswear brand from Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) is the latest to partner IHB, following women’s ethnic wear brand BIBA and ABFRL-owned Allen Solly.
As part of this, Peter England has collaborated with handloom weavers from Andhra Pradesh to develop an exclusive line of shirts. ABFRL will initially sell shirts from this collection at Rs1,699 each at 15 Peter England outlets, before taking them to at least 75 outlets across 25-30 cities by 2017-18.
“We want to keep the collection affordable. So, we have deliberately kept margins low in these products. We have been working on sustainable fabrics for the last six years. This initiative is a part of that legacy,” said Manish Singhai, brand head at Peter England, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, a unit of ABFRL. Apart from Peter England, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle has brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen and Pantaloons in its portfolio.
Singhai added that Pantaloons is also looking at partnering with IHB. “Pantaloons is still evaluating the plans but has not finalized anything,” he said.
Earlier this month, BIBA had collaborated with IHB and launched a spring summer collection of handloom garments, while Allen Solly partnered with Pochampally Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society from Telangana in October.
Currently, Peter England operates 700 exclusive brand outlets in India and around 15 stores outside the country. The company sells garments priced between Rs1,000 and Rs3,000. It is planning to add 50-60 more stores this year.
Smriti Irani, minister of textiles, said at the launch of the partnership, “Authentic handloom products have always found resonance with Indian consumer. Our partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail’s well known brand Peter England will allow weavers to satiate this demand by making their products available in the market.”
Alok Kumar, development commissioner (handlooms) at the ministry of textiles, said the ministry had met 10 garment manufacturing firms in August who had shown interest in partnering with IHB.
“Ten brands had come forward for this initiative. While some have already started producing handloom products, others are in the testing stage. Colorplus and Reliance Trends have shown interest in this initiative,” he said.
IHB was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 August last year, which was also declared as the National Handloom Day. The government introduced the handloom mark scheme in 2006 to assure consumers about the authenticity of handloom products.
Earlier this week, ABFRL reported a 6.97% increase in its September quarter net profit at Rs64.89 crore, up from Rs60.66 crore a year ago. Its total income from operations stood at Rs1,886.73 crore during the quarter, against Rs1,668.36 crore a year ago.