Benita Chacko

HUL’s Sunlight detergent brightens Durga Puja for Bengali handloom weavers with 'Tantir Rong’

The brand has also changed the product pack design for the first time ever and launched a special ‘Sunlight Pujo Pack’.

For Durga Puja, Sunlight detergent, a Hindustan Unilever (HUL) brand, has launched an initiative to support West Bengal’s handloom weavers. Called ‘Sunlight Tantir Rong’, the initiative will give these traditional weavers a platform to showcase their magic and art by connecting them with famous contemporary designers. To take the campaign to the masses, the brand has also changed the product pack design for the first time ever and launched a special ‘Sunlight Pujo Pack’.

Curated by Mindshare, the campaign brings alive the story of these handloom weavers. The changing consumer preferences and the rise of power looms over the last few years, have strained their livelihood. COVID has only worsened the situation. Thousands of these weavers are now facing an existential crisis. Through the initiative, Sunlight attempts to shed light on their trials and troubles.

Prabha Narasimhan, executive director – home care, HUL, said, “Since time immemorial, handlooms have been a part of the local culture in West Bengal. Many of these weavers, who have been adding colours in our lives since generations, have been hit hard by the pandemic. We are delighted to launch ‘Sunlight Tantir Rong’, an initiative which will provide the community with a platform to showcase their magical art and talent, and bring them at our fingertips. This initiative is a small step towards bringing back colours to the lives of these weavers and their families.”

The brand will connect 12 traditional local weavers with the Kolkata-based fashion designer Parama Ghosh to unveil a saree collection, especially curated for Durga Puja, the most popular Bengali festival. The collection will be available on the designer’s website. It will serve as a platform to showcase the weavers’ skills, and also allow consumers to explore the collection and buy the sarees to support the cause.

Ajay Mehta, head content partnership and experiential, Mindshare, added, “For an iconic brand like Sunlight, being weaved into the local culture of its bastion market is a key unlock to build a strong connect with its target audience. The campaign ‘Sunlight Tantir Rong’ allows us to beautifully bring alive the brand’s values and purpose by standing for the betterment of the weaver community in Bengal. It is a humble attempt to bring back colours into the lives of the local weavers of West Bengal.”

What makes the collection even more unique is that it gives the weavers their due recognition as the label mentions their names, and it even precedes the designer’s name. Ghosh has blended traditional motives with her signature style, inspired by Bengali literature, classic films, extraordinary women and the majestic beauty of the state, to create the collection of 25 sarees across five traditional clusters – Tant, Jamdani, Begumpuri, Shantipuri and Gorod.

To encourage the masses to support the campaign, the ‘Sunlight Pujo Pack’ edition will have a QR code. Once scanned, it will take people directly to the campaign’s website, where one can explore and buy from the exclusive collection.

They have also associated with SVF Entertainment, Eastern India’s largest entertainment company, which will feature some of these creations in its upcoming films and digital content, also giving end credits to the weavers.

Arindam Biswa, head of brands and strategy, SVF Entertainment, said, “This is not just a campaign, but a movement to uplift a community where the art of handloom weaving is diminishing. Sunlight and Parama Calcutta have been our pillars of strength, and this experience has been extremely humbling for all of us. Also, redesigning the iconic yellow Sunlight packet with the five different weaves from Parama’s collections, has been a complete delight.”

Introduced in 1888, Sunlight was the first Unilever brand introduced in India. It is one of West Bengal’s most iconic brands and, as per the company’s estimates, it is being used by eight out of 10 households every year.

In 2020, the company embarked on a new journey to make the brand more purpose-led and make a positive difference in the lives of the consumers in Bengal. Sunlight’s purpose is to ‘enable people to live their life in colour’. Over the last 18 months, it has launched multiple campaigns to bring this message alive.

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