Silk Mark

Power to the con­sumer

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Silk, an in­te­gral part of the In­dian house­hold, finds its way into our fes­tive lives and mer­rier mo­ments. In­deed, In­dia hap­pens to be the world’s largest con­sumer of silk, and also its sec­ond-largest pro­ducer. Not only this, In­dia pro­duces all four known com­mer­cially ex­ploited nat­u­ral silk va­ri­eties: namely mul­berry, eri, tasar and muga.

The high de­mand within the coun­try has un­for­tu­nately led to mal­prac­tices in the silk mar­ket across the value chain. Adul­ter­ation with looka­like, in­fe­rior fi­bres like ny­lon, rayon, vis­cose and polyesters, which cost hardly 10 per cent of pure silk, is ram­pant. It is very dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble, for con­sumers to de­tect fakes, and there­fore in­fe­rior prod­ucts are passed on as pure silk, thus de­priv­ing con­sumers of real value and their money’s worth.

In such an en­vi­ron­ment, a la­bel of as­sur­ance be­comes the all-im­por­tant guar­an­tee for the con­sumer. That’s how the Silk Mark la­bel came into thought – and ex­is­tence. Ap­proved and launched dur­ing 2004 by the min­istry of tex­tiles, Gov­ern­ment

of In­dia, it is im­ple­mented by the Cen­tral Silk Board through Silk Mark Or­gan­i­sa­tion of In­dia (SMOI).

Over the years, the in­sti­tu­tion has evolved and spear­headed aware­ness among con­sumers in a big way. As of to­day, there are more than 2,800 au­tho­rized users who are mem­bers of the Silk Mark fam­ily. Over 2.20 crore Silk Mark la­bels are al­ready in use and th­ese la­bels in­spire con­fi­dence in buy­ers, who have the ‘right’ to know that what they pur­chase is pure silk and noth­ing else. The cur­rent SMOI la­belling sys­tem has three types of la­bels: a hang tag with a holo­gram; a sew-in la­bel with a holo­gram; and a fu­sion la­bel with nano par­ti­cles. Each of th­ese la­bels can be traced to the re­spec­tive au­tho­rized user through a unique num­ber placed on them. For hang­tag la­bels, a unique ID is placed ei­ther in the holo­gram or on the hang tag. In the case of sew-in la­bels, the holo­gram car­ries the unique ID. Each fu­sion la­bel too car­ries a unique ID.

The Silk Mark la­bel is pro­vided only to cer­ti­fied ven­dors and traders in pure silk, who are then au­tho­rized by SMOI to dis­play the Silk Mark on gen­uine silk prod­ucts. All such ‘au­tho­rized users’ of the la­bel are mem­bers of SMOI, and gov­erned by its rules, reg­u­la­tions and over­sight. SMOI has a team of qual­i­fied, trained and ex­pe­ri­enced silk tech­nol­o­gists who pe­ri­od­i­cally con­duct tests on Silk Mark-la­belled prod­ucts through their testing lab­o­ra­to­ries in ma­jor cities, and in the silk man­u­fac­tur­ing and mar­ket­ing clus­ters through­out In­dia.

Fur­ther, to en­able con­sumers to source pure silk prod­ucts from dif­fer­ent silk clus­ters of the coun­try and pro­vide a plat­form to au­tho­rized users to pro­mote their pure silk prod­ucts, SMOI con­ducts a se­ries of Silk Mark Ex­pos in var­i­ous cities across the coun­try. Th­ese ex­pos pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for silk lovers to be ex­posed to a range of silk prod­ucts from dif­fer­ent weav­ing clus­ters, all un­der one roof.

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