The British Council and Fashion Revolution India have been collaborating at the intersection of craft, fashion and sustainability for many years. Our Crafting Connections projects and dialogues have given us deep insights into the evolving craft sector. We recognise the need to develop strategies that can effectively address the impact of climate change and promote sustainable fashion and craft resilience.
This study examines how climate change affects the craft sector and artisans in India, highlighting the interplay between craft, sustainability and the climate crisis through the lens of stakeholder perspectives.
Contribution to knowledge
The report maps existing fashion and textile brands, innovations, and initiatives that are tackling climate issues through craft. It explores how craft, with its natural sustainability and circular practices, can be a game-changer in meeting the demand for ethical and eco-friendly fashion production. It uncovers stories of resilience, nature-based solutions, and models integrating gender, livelihoods, climate and slow fashion.
Research participant groups included craft practitioners, entrepreneurs, professionals from the fashion and lifestyle industries, academics with expertise in crafts and climate-related fields, representatives from relevant nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), government officials, craft ecosystem enablers, and climate change experts.
Artisan communities are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change owing to their close ties with the environment and reliance on natural resources – a roadmap to build resilient communities is required.
The craft sector can positively contribute to climate resilience and sustainability and needs to be integrated into broader climate action plans globally.
The ecosystem requires a multifaceted approach, including the promotion of nature-based solutions, support for craft entrepreneurs, scaling earth-centred solutions, and reforming education.
Governments dedicated to addressing climate change must prioritise this sector and restructure climate finance to support its growth.
Contribution to climate action
This study promotes a critical reimagining of the role and potential of craft to unlock the goal of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG 12) on ‘Responsible consumption and production’. It advocates for a renewed urgent focus on the symbiotic relationship between crafts, artisans and environment and underlines the potential for reframing the sustainable fashion agenda. Its aim to inspire action for a stronger craft ecosystem that can play a crucial role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and in promoting responsible fashion value chains.
Fashion Revolution India (part of the global Fashion Revolution movement).
Find out more
Ian Thomas, Head of Arts Research: Ian.Thomas@britishcouncil.org