“Matr” is an handloom lifestyle brand which is on a mission to revive India’s and Mahatma Gandhi’s gift to Bihar “Khadi” on the world platform.
Bihar Bytes had a word with Praveen Chauhan, founder of MATR
Tell us about MATR
MATR (मातृ), as the name signifies the meaning “mother”, the creator of all origins. It is a social enterprise founded by me in partner with all artisans. Our Matr Bhoomi ‘India’ is a diverse land of art and craft which gives me the inspiration. We aim to promote the skills of Artisans to produce high quality hand crafted product which matches International standard.
What is the working structure MATR?
MATR work with designers and retail brands to develop unique, artisan produced products that utilize the traditional skills. MATR uses natural resources throughout production to promote environmentally responsible initiatives for a sustainable future. This provides our artisan groups to have better sense of consumer market with increased production volumes as well as the opportunity to share their untold stories.
How does it feels to represent India and obviously Bihar internationally??
From Gandhi to Modi the whole journey is an ode to khadi. Khadi, as a lifestyle can change India and it’s our own fabric so we need to feel proud to represent it and tell the world about our own culture. You see Khadi is unique as it keeps the body warm in winter and cold in summer. I have showcased my collection in Lakme fashion week and I feel proud of my state as a whole.
Do you think that khadi is somewhere facing a decline from quite a longer period of time??
Well, Khadi has been the essence of India and it is one of the symbol of India’s freedom. At the Independence movement khadi was not just a mere fabric but a feel that binded all of us together. It was a symbol of unity for Indians.
After Independence, India opted for large scale industrialization which resulted in setting up of big textile mills and obviously khadi being a completely handmade fabric, automatically became expensive. When you compare khadi with its mill made counter parts, khadi is way more expensive.
What do you think should be done to revive khadi in present day fashion?
A lot of people are working on reviving khadi, as it is one of the most demanded fabric in international markets.
At first, Branding of khadi should be done properly as it belongs to us Indians and it can be worn in different shapes, sizes and styles. Khadi has been seen widely with a very limited colour options but I think that now the time has come when we can experiment with a lot of colours and patterns on Khadi by making it look more wearable and fashionable.
Praveen Chauhan is all set to revive khadi. His work was widely accepted and appreciated in the fashion week, where the aura of melodious live folk music playing in the background and with that the artisans weaving the loom by spinning the Charkha gave made his designs livelier. The mood of Bihar’s khadi prevailed during a show that paid tribute to Khadi.