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UP’s innovative entrepreneur uses solar charkhas to make clothes with zero carbon footprint

Abhishek Pathak has enabled rural to become economically independent by using solar charkas and looms to produce cloth which are eco-friendly

Abhishek Pathak who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Sultanpur town has made a mark for himself in the textile industry as he is the country’s first solar vastra entrepreneur who has helped in empowering women and making them financially independent.

Pathak’s Greenwear Fashion in Lucknow sells clothes which are made from yarn spun from solar charkhas, fabric which is made from solar looms and garments that have been stitched using solar stitching machines – eco-friendly attire that leave no carbon footprint.

Having done a 4-year bachelor’s degree in textile design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Pathak learned about textile designing and technology while coming in contact with artisans and weavers from rural areas.

In 2016 he came across the solar charkha designed by IIT-Delhi and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization, Wardha, at Pragati Maidan’s international trade fair.

Talking to weekendleader.com, Pathak said: “I met with the solar charkha innovation team and shared my idea of starting a business with khadi fabrics involving the women from rural areas after training them to use the solar charkha.”

Joining Lucknow-based Bhartiya Harit Khadi Gramodaya Sansthan he trained 4,000 rural women to use solar charkha for spinning work. “Although we trained so many rural women, there was no regular work for them to earn a living. Greenwear was launched with support of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park to provide them work,” he told the media.

His Greenwear Fashion P Ltd was incorporated in 2019 and has achieved a turnover of Rs 2.5 crore for two consecutive years although pandemic has hit the sale of the garments. Its products, like khadi sarees, kurtas, palazzos, are sold at two company-owned outlets while they also make maternity clothes for pregnant women and nursing women and adaptive clothes for specially-abled.

His enterprise provides jobs to 500 rural women Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Sharing details about them he said these women earn between Rs 5000 8000 per month.