Tariq Zargar is adding ecofriendly tag to Kashmiri handicrafts

Story by  Ehsan Fazili | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 04-07-2024
Tariq Zargar,  CEO of Kashmers.com, and Kashmir Gen Z Pvt. Ltd
Tariq Zargar, CEO of Kashmers.com, and Kashmir Gen Z Pvt. Ltd


Ehsan Fazili/Srinagar

Soon after Srinagar became the fourth Indian city to get the status of World Craft City, the artisans in Kashmir showed their inclination towards consciously avoiding the use of non-biodegradable materials like plastics in their works.  

In this context a three-day craft exhibition “Raising the Bar”, in which the young artisans displayed models made of only bio-degradable material to show their contribution to keeping the fragile ecology of the Kashmir valley plastic-free and enhance the brand value of its exquisite art as ‘biodegradable.”.

The exhibition showcased lampshades, Walnut and Deodar Wood products, Willow wicker, and papier mache. It was hosted by Kashmir Gen Z, in association with the Department of Handicrafts and Handlooms, Kashmir.

A scene from the exhibition

This show as it came up within a week of Srinagar being given the new status by the World Crafts Council adds to the reputation of Kashmir’s crafts and the skills of its artisans.

“Our motto is going eco-friendly.  Plastic material, which once had taken center-stage in our day-to-day life doesn’t help”, Tariq Ahmad Zargar, CEO of Kashmers.com, and Kashmir Gen Z Pvt. Ltd told Awaz- The Voice on the sidelines of the three-day exhibition at Government Arts Emporium in Srinagar.

He said that non-biodegradable items like plastics would “destroy the fragile ecology of Kashmir valley”. There is a need to work more for the preservation and conservation of the environment “for our future generations”. Interestingly, Zargar also carried his visiting card made of raw paper and had seeds of marigold embedded in it. Instead of discarding it, the user can sow and remember the given as and when marigold plants bloom.

Zargar says the best way to protect the Valley’s environment is by planting trees. “The growth of plants is a long process; somebody has to start it”, he said.

He says that his objective is to sensitize and involve Gen Z, children born between 2000 and 2010, in his campaign.

Tariq Zargar's eco-friendly visiting card

“After five years these children will be our customers, requiring the eco-friendly usable items”, he said. His organization is trying to infuse modern technology with eco-friendly parts. “We are using sensors out of walnut wood used for making exquisite furniture and other artifacts.

“Our products include Bluetooth speakers, show pieces, wireless chargers for the clocks”, he adds. He also referred to the walnut wood holder for keeping a mobile phone while one is in the washroom because there is a growing tendency to take mobiles to the washrooms. We have electric samovar, digital displays, touch-free dust-bins, etc…”.

 Tariq said that more items would be included “after understanding the consumer behaviour” of the young generation.

Exhibition of eco-friendly handicrafts

Tariq Zargar, 56 is a visionary entrepreneur and a marketing innovator. He is a marketing expert having studied from abroad. He is a certified Google partner, a testament to his expertise in digital marketing.

After working in the Gulf for many years he has launched a portal Kashmers.com, on Kashmiri culture through handcrafted products. His products are never packed in plastics.

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As a marketing Guru, Tariq Zargar understands the evolving consumer preferences. He saw an opportunity in Kashmir to showcase Kashmiri handicrafts in a new manner that will resonate with today's youth.