A joint initiative led by National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT Srinagar offers a practical exposure to its students on the country's vast handloom and handicrafts clusters.
The Craft Cluster Initiative Programme (CCIP) has been launched with active support from the Ministry of Textiles, Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms), and Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
It has been developed to provide the students with continuous exposure to the handloom and handicraft clusters, thus offering them an opportunity for creative innovation and experimentation.
Through this initiative, NIFT aims to reach out to the artisans and craftsmen at grassroots, and, in turn, the artisans and craftsmen involved will benefit through knowledge dissemination and exposure to urban markets and design intervention, innovative designs, and linkages with new markets.
The CCIP is designed to sensitize NIFT students to the realities of the craft sector and give insight into regional sensibilities and diversities, resources, and environment.
Through this initiative, NIFT has been successful in creating widespread awareness and sensitivity in assimilating crafts into fashion and vice-versa.
The Craft Cluster Initiative program is also envisaged to provide the students of NIFT systematic, continuous and regular exposure every year to the diversely rich and unique handlooms and handicrafts of India.
The students at NIFT specialize in the areas of design, technology, management, and communication.
According to the specialization, students will be contributing in varied areas in the clusters like design intelligence, design innovation, product development, supply chain management, brand management, retail entrepreneurship, organizational development, and systems design and development.
They will also contribute in the areas of process innovation, production planning, research-based improvisation, and quality management.
The students will also assist artisans to develop the distinct identity of the handloom and handicraft clusters through logo, and promotional materials like posters, brochures, and catalogs.
While the students of the Design departments take up diagnostic study, design developments, and training workshops, the students of Fashion Communication, M.Des and MFM are associated with the craft clusters for research, branding, and promotion.
While highlighting the importance of the program, Dr Javid Ahmad Wani, Director NIFT Srinagar said that the Craft Cluster Initiative provides a common space where the exchange of ideas and practices happen between Artisans and budding Designers.