Fabindia and the ever increasing cases of ‘craftwashing’

The over-60-year-old company has been called out for misrepresenting traditional crafts by imitating or mass-producing them without honoring their true essence. The worst part, it’s not the only one.

If you’re considering buying some of those beautiful Ajrakh kurtas or home accents, you might want to double check if it’s Ajrakh at all. Because if brands, which market themselves as having a stronghold in handicrafts, also get it wrong, chances are that such misrepresentation—denoted by the term "craftwashing"—is more widespread than we think. 

Last month, Madan Meena, an artist and anthropologist, called out well-known apparel and lifestyle brand Fabindia on social media for "craftwashing". The company was accused of selling home decor made with resist block printing technique as Ajrakh on its website. While both are traditional techniques for …


Disha Acharya

Disha is a writer at The Morning Context. She has previously worked at the digital production desk of Reuters. Prior to that, she was a sub-editor at Deccan Herald.