Policy roundtables and B2B fair on sustainable silk held in Tajikistan

Three ikat producers at the Atlas Adras Festival in Tajikistan discuss their colourful woven silk fabrics.

Woven ikat textiles made of silk are a cultural heritage in Central Asia, but market forces have put the craft at risk. A three-day fair dedicated to reviving ikat fabrics in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took place in Dushanbe in early June. adelphi co-organised the event.


The Atlas Adras Festival took place in Tajikistan from 6-8 June 2021. Organised by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan along with adelphi, UNIDO and other partners, the event was part of the adelphi project “Reviving Uzbekistan's and Tajikistan's Sustainable Ikat and Silk (RUTSIS)”, which receives support from the SWITCH-Asia programme.

The first day of the fair began with a display of silk clothes by leading designers from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In the afternoon, a B2B meeting of silk and ikat producers from both countries took place, enabling stakeholders from the sector to connect and expand their business networks. The RUTSIS project organised a discussion for the second day of the fair, where representatives from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan talked about geographical indications (GI) for ikat and sericulture products from the region. Participants set up a working group to further develop the GI concept; the group will meet four times between now and 2023.

On the afternoon of the second day, an additional round of B2B meetings took place with producers from both countries. The final day of the fair, a roundtable was held on policies in the sericulture sector as well as the potential of ecolabelling for silk products made in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Taking place at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan, one of the main goals of the session was to encourage policymakers to take part in an interest group that meets regularly to discuss strengthening the silk sector and facilitating access to global markets.

In addition to adelphi, the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, which is also a part of the project consortium, joined the event online. Local project partners were present in Dushanbe, including the Tourism Development Center and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the Tajik side, as well as the Uzbek Margilan Crafts Development Center and Uzbekistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An EU-funded project, RUTSIS aims to support global market access and promote sustainable manufacturing concepts for silk products made in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

More information and updates on RUTSIS are available on the project website and at SWITCH Asia.

Contact person: Jana Hack