Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organization- DRAP

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Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organization- DRAP: Weaving together livelihood and lifestyle, Globalising handmade in rural India

Noida, IndiaBhagalpur, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

DRAP is a social enterprise owned by rural women producers and supervised by textile professionals. DRAP envisions enabling underprivileged women community and artisan clusters by providing sustainable employment opportunities in traditional textiles and crafts.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if authentic traditional textiles and crafts become appealing, accessible, and affordable to mass market?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Traditional textile industry has direct linkages with rural economy but it is mostly unorganized and non-integrated. In India, amongst 6.6 million women artisans, very few are able to contribute in socio-economic growth as opportunities of livelihood in non-farm sector are either sparse or not women friendly. Rural producers have inadequate linkages to raw material resources & limited access to markets as a result of information asymmetries.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Rural artisans should have sustainable resources of livelihood within their villages. DRAP is established to maintain an internal value chain of handspun yarns, handloom fabrics and handcrafted apparels using minimal carbon footprints in flexible working environment. The operation model of hub and spokes engages larger community base and ensures authenticity and availability of quality raw materials. This rural manufacturing is backed by a team of dedicated professionals using state of the art methods to reach out to the global market. Proven model of DRAP (with tagline of "handmade in rural India") as an effective and sustainable business process will necessitate long term development initiatives focused largely on rural women producers.


Spirit of Humanity Award 2015
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Rupa Devi, a 32 years old lady lives in Chanderi village of Bhagalpur with her two daughters. In july 2011, she was facing huge financial crisis as she separated from her husband. She joined DRAP to get trained in stitching and embroidery. She not only gained financial security but became proud equity owner of DRAP. In 2014, DRAP's hub centre got shifted near to her village & she along with 32 co-producers started earning around $65 (increased by 92%) per month. Usually individual women producers earn not more than $30 monthly average income. She often visits spinning and weaving clusters to ensure regular supply of raw materials. Her goal is to train and lead a group of 50 poor women in her village each earning more than $75 monthly.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

6000 women were trained by Drishtee in basic stitching, spinning and preparatory weaving skills. Till October 2015, 360 women have become active producers of DRAP, out of which, 225 women are earning sustainable livelihood & others have started earning. With regular practice and dedication, the women have been able to produce market acceptable products which are getting sold on leading e-commerce platforms catering to mass market. Groups of spinning, weaving, tailoring and embroidery are getting interlinked to form an internal value chain in Bhagalpur. It enables capacity building through inputs & resources, networking support and seed funding. DRAP's mission is to directly impact livelihood of 5000 rural marginalised women by 2020. Its going to be a self-sustainable rural producers owned company & leading global brand for authentic handmade fabrics and apparels catering to mass market.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

1. Establishing 100% internal supply chain of raw materials needed for apparel production removing dependency on vendors and ensuring authenticity. The project is aiming to revive "Khadi" as a concept which was promoted by Mahatma Gandhi to ensure maximum livelihood opportunities within villages. 2. DRAP will become a global brand for growing conscious market of authentic silk and cotton products. 3. The project would demonstrate a business model in textiles for rural cluster approach. Such a proven model can be replicated in other geographies where trained producer groups can be formed.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

DRAP is formed with equity contribution by producers and limited to them. Localised & linked ownership on processes and revenue generated by e-retail and projects are in sync with commercial acumen. DRAP is gradually establishing internal value chain of fibre-fabric-fashion by reducing raw material cost from 40% to 5% and hence making khadi its USP. DRAP is going to break even by 2017 and replication of model will lead to it's exponential growth.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Contrary to other social enterprises, DRAP is showcased on e-retail marketplaces as a brand hence there is huge competition of pricing and fulfilment from mechanised clothing industry. Customers come to DRAP for its design and quality and get to know about its social background after receiving the products (unusual market strategy). There are players like Fabindia & Manyavar for traditional apparels but they outsource most of their products & processes. DRAP's internal value chain will ensure authentic products in competitive pricing focusing on growing e-commerce market and global portfolio.

Founding Story

In 2010-11, Drishtee Foundation trained a group of rural women in Bhagalpur and Munger (Bihar) in stitching, weaving and spinning. The core focus was to provide them with a source of livelihood within their villages. The challenge was to link them to mainstream market which was very quality sensitive. Drishtee approached Greater Impact Foundation for support in extending specialized skill training and better infrastructure to these women. Also, for achieving economies of scale and reaching out to larger urban market, Drishtee helped the women to form "Drishtee Rural Apparel Producer Organization" in March 2012 and branded as DRAP which produces Handspun yarns, handmade fabrics and apparels.


Producers: 225 Rural Women producers and 20 hand-loom weavers. Board of Directors: 1. Promotions: Mamta Mishra (President, Drishtee Foundation) 2. Development: Abhishek Pathak (Fashion and Textiles Professional) 3. Operations: Anshu Chauhan (MBA, Inventory Management) 4. Human Resource: Ritu Verma (Producer, Bhagalpur) 5. Training: Kunwar Bahadur Singh (Controller, Emerging Business) 6. Accounts: Bineet Jha (Accounts Professional) Planning and Design: 1. Volunteer: Alpana Prasad (Textile professional with 19 years of experience) 2. Designer: Pooja Chatterjee (Part-time for four collections per season) Logistics: 1. Backward Linkages: Amit Gautam 2. Forward Linkages: Shripal Tyagi Production: 1. Pattern Master : Md. Kalim 2. Cutting Master: Md. Shahbaz 3. Stitching Master 1: Md. Sabab Alam 4. Quality Checker: Md. Suleman 5. Value Addition: Md. Gulam Rasul 6. Stitching Master 2: Md. Wasim E-Commerce Sale: 1. Shweta Agarwal (Post Graduate in Fashion Merchandising) 2. Satendar (Graphic Designer) Mentors: 1. Satyan Mishra (Co-founder of Drishtee, An Ashoka Fellow) 2. Nitin Gachhayat (Co-founder of Drishtee) 3. Shailesh Thakur (Co-founder of Drishtee) 4. Swapna Mishra (Controller - Social Business Linkages, Drishtee) 5. Siddharth Shankar (Controller - Strategic Development, Drishtee)
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]

Raw Materials, Manufacturing.

Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]

Advocate/Organizer, Designer, Farmer or Farmer Association Representative, Sourcing Manager / Supply Chain Manager, Supplier - contractor.

Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]

Corporations, Designers, Retailers - Department Store, Retailers - Mass-merchandise Chain, Supplier - contractor, Supplier - subcontractor, Women, Youth.

● Intervention Focus: What are you trying to achieve / influence? [check all that apply]

Access to Essential Services (i.e. Healthcare and Education), Access to Finance, Access to Social Protection Services (i.e. Insurance, Pension, etc.), Accountability, Conscious Consumerism, Environmentally Sustainable Practices, Labor Rights (i.e. Collective Bargaining, etc.), Gender Equality, Anti-forced Labor or Anti-Human Trafficking, Recycling or Circular Economy, Physical Working Conditions, Transparency.

Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.

Advocacy, Capacity Building, Organizing, Standards, Training, Other, [please specify].

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Hidden from View: Conditions in Forests, Farms, and Factories are Only Visible to a Select Few, A Job is Not Enough: Low-Income Workers Cannot Secure Long-Term Well-Being, Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Unite More than Voice: Tap into Community Capital and Collective Resources, Activate Local Know-how for Driving Solutions: Build Opportunities for Workers to Become Leaders, Disrupt Business as Usual: Target Key Players Who Can Influence the Bottom Line.

Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?


If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?

● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?

DRAP is now a home to many entrepreneurial and passionate women, who are becoming changemakers to their village and community.

● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?

Greater Impact Foundation, Women on Wings, Piramal Foundation, Drishtee, Handloom Mark, Khadi

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