In a first, the Kerala Khadi Board will introduce khadi purdahs this Onam, the harvest festival of the state. The Payyannur Khadi Kendra in Kannur district will sell purdahs stitched from cotton material (Manila cotton).
Kannur has a Muslim population of close to 30 per cent and is among the districts in Kerala which have a high population of people belonging to the Islamic community. The khadi purdah line will be inaugurated on 19 August and the purdahs will be available for sale in Kannur outlets from next week.
Speaking to TNM, Deepa Sreejith, Assistant Manager of Khadi Board, Payyannur, said, "Natural colours are used to dye these purdahs. Since the garments are environment-friendly, we expect them to be a hit in the market. We will also be giving Onam discount for these purdahs."
She added that the garment line will accommodate the recent trends in purdah fashion and that the products will withstand the competition in the market.
Khadi and handloom garments are favourites with shoppers in Kerala during the festival season of Onam. Khadi retail outlets under the Kerala Khadi Board, Hantex and Handveev under the Kerala State Handloom Development Corporation see brisk sales at this time. Malayalis rush to these shops even to get a bath towel!
â€ś65% of our sale happens during Onam. People prefer to buy from our outlets during the season. We also give discounts for one month,â€ť says PN Ajaya Kumar, an officer at the Khadi Board.
â€śApart from Onam, some sales happen during Vishu, election season and also during summer. But Onam sale is the highest,â€ť he adds.
Both khadi shops as well as handloom outlets provide huge discounts during Onam to attract customers.
Khadi dhotis and shirts, various dress materials like khadi silk, spun silk, towels, and sarees are sold at these outlets.
â€śDuring Onam season, the selection will increase and we try to accommodate the latest trends as well,â€ť says Ajaya Kumar.
In this season alone, the Khadi Board expects a turnover of Rs 2 to 2.5 crore.