Mumbai: Branded apparel company Arvind Fashions and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar's joint venture True Blue on Monday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Textiles to create a new platform for Indian handlooms.

"As per the MOU, True Blue will source handloom products directly from local artisans and weavers, with support from the government. The collection crafted using these products will be retailed as True Blue Handcrafted," it said in a statement.

True Blue Handcrafted will be available widely through the brand's extensive distribution network and will open new markets and avenues for Indian craftsmen and the merchandise will be available across True Blue stores starting March 2019.

It added that the line will have specialised products which cannot be replicated by the power looms.

"Authentic handloom products have a special place in the heart of many global consumers who wear it with pride. Our partnership with True Blue will allow weavers across India to satiate this demand and make their creations available to the masses. True Blue will help the weaver's community earn the much-deserved recognition and economic value for their offerings through a direct procurement channel," Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani said.

True Blue will partner with the weaver clusters of Kanchivaram from Tamil Nadu, Baluchari and Jamdani from West Bengal, Paithani from Maharashtra, Chanderi and Maheswari from Madhya Pradesh, Muga from Assam, Patola from Gujarat, Kani from Kashmir, Tie & Dye Vichitrapuri and Bomkai from Orissa, Brocades from Varanasi, Balrampuram from Kerala, Pochampally from Andhra Pradesh, among others.

"There are over 43 lakh handloom weavers in India and more than 23 lakh handlooms. The textiles ministry is taking efforts for skilling weavers, providing design inputs, best in class raw materials and tools amongst other things.

This empowers them so they continue to remain engaged in this craft. We believe that our retail strength and understanding of consumer behaviour can make a difference in bringing wide recognition and value to these gifted artisans and craftsmen," Arvind Executive Director Kulin Lalbhai said. (PTI)

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