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Umang Shridhar, founder of KhaDigi, grew up in a small village of Bundelkhand region of Central India. Before founding KhaDigi, she did her higher education from Delhi University and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) but the city life and luxuries couldn’t pull her away from her humble roots, which are also the inspiration for her entrepreneurial journey.

While growing up in the cradle of handloom, Umang witnessed the depleting market of handloom and workers’ migration in search of better livelihood prospects. While studying in NIFT, she researched the actual challenges of the sector by interacting with artisans, their families, and other stakeholders for two years.

She observed expert skills being wasted, diminishing economic status of artisans and the potential death of an art. The textile mills, mass production of fine cloth led to the availability of cloth at lower prices slowly eliminated Khadi from mainstream and made the artisans poorer. This made her believe that there is a need to create an ethical system that connected artisans directly to the market and created sustainable livelihood options for them.

After completing her education, she channeled all her efforts in creating a distribution model that connects artisans to consumers and businesses. Her accumulated anger worked as passion and KhaDigi came into existence. Umang's hard work and efforts started to pay off and the startup began working with traditional skilled spinning workers and handloom weavers in ten clusters from five states in India.  KhaDigi is weaving 100 percent sustainable textile while ensuring skill-based employment opportunity, fair trade and 100 percent use of natural and regenerated fibers like organic cotton, bamboo and soybean waste. 

Now a brand, KhaDigi is getting recognition for its innovative style, deceptively minimalistic look with attention to detail, and use of high quality fabrics, workmanship and use of digital technology for material printing. Taking it further, she is now planning to use the Internet of Things (IoT) system to get artisans onto a single platform and create a fair and equal marketplace for the weavers.
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