Mumbai: When the people of a country create their own fabric, they have the economy under their control, believes designer Gaurav Khanijo who extensively works with khadi.

He said khadi has been a relevant fabric since Mahatma Gandhi popularised it when he called for the Swadeshi Movement, boycotting English products in the early 20th century.

Khanijo believes people need to be educated about new and old developments.

"It is very important for the youth to understand why Gandhi made khadi and that's when both will be relevant to them. Trade of cotton that was taken by the British and was used to make clothes to send back to their homes using our yarn.

"You make your own fabric and you run your own economy with that, a lot of people don't know that. We need people to know that everybody was importing so much from China and other parts of the world, but not looking into our own textiles. This was always relevant," he told PTI on the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2019.

The couturier on Thursday showcased his collection 'Ek', which was presented by Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Anuj Bhutani and Three also launched their clothing lines.

This year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi and Khanijo believes khadi has to be incorporated into everyday wardrobe to empower artisans.

"Khadi is the 'fabric of freedom'. We aim to represent khadi as the fabric of the future and sustainability. The collection is a tribute to the weavers and craftspeople of India. It is the fabric of many possibilities and the onus is on to introduce its potentiality to the next generation," he said.

The designer said the range is inspired by diverse India and its cultures.
"We've tried to bring in a twist to the fabric by making it edgier, smarter, to make it more street style and athleisure like. With this collection, we are focusing on millennials and generation Z." 

Khanijo said they have used natural dyes as they wanted to make the product completely sustainable.

"There has been no wastage as we have done embroideries, tie-dye, and used vintage coins as buttons," he added.

The LFW runs through Sunday.