A community of women, 9 self-help groups with 10-15 women in each of them are instrumental in making this process a successful one. With this craft slowly fading away and taken over by bigger fast fashion brands offering “sustainable edits” that have opaque processes and are discreet about the condition of their workers, the Anakaputhur weaving community, at the forefront of which are these women, is truly unique in the way they stay rooted and true to their principles. In collaboration with the Nonurban Foundation, a non-profit organisation working towards autonomous development in rural communities, a skill development workshop will be conducted for 20 women, from Anakaputhur for 26 days. These women have been involved with allied processes to weaving, such as fibre extraction, dyeing, spinning etc for over 20 years. This workshop will impart knowledge on sustainable fabric production, by training these women to weave on a loom with natural fibres extracted from banana, jute, bamboo, and flax. In their long-term quest towards true sustainability, these women, have already established their ingenuity and enterprise by designing a process that allows them to extract fibre from unconventional natural sources such as banana stem, bamboo, pineapple, vetiver roots, aloe vera fibre, citronella, lemongrass, seagrass, sorrel leaves, and lotus-to name a few among 25 such naturally occurring materials. The skill training on the loom will not just improve their technical know-how within the industry, but also double their income, by improving their means of production and teaching them how to use the extracted fibres to weave fabrics and turn them into finished products. For the sustenance of any livelihood, it is essential to keep learning, growing, and adopt progressive methods/technical assistance. As people with around 20 years experience and invaluable knowledge in the weaving industry, this workshop also offers them the avenue to take ownership of their work, and expand their know-how, giving them the confidence to improvise and innovate. This guarantees them better income, and as a result they gain financial independence, and the ability to improve their and their family’s standard of living.
These extraordinary women of the weaving cluster need your support to ensure the continuation of this innovation, artisanal heritage, and also, to further their skill, and the development of sustainable fashion in the right direction. The pandemic has been harsh on them, with a lot of the women not being able to leave their homes, improve their skill and experience, and earn their wages. The women of the Anakaputhur community have stood in resilience and now they need your help to realise their potential, and to create a holistically sustainable, ethical, practice that can be modelled on.
Please lend your support to these superwomen, who have been battling it out to ensure truly sustainable practices.
Here’s how you can help:
A donation of ₹10,000 covers all expenses for 1 woman weaver for the entire duration of the workshop.
A donation of ₹5,000 covers all expenses for 1 woman weaver for 2 weeks.
A donation of ₹1,000 covers all expenses for 1 woman weaver for approximately 3 days.
The entire workshop for 20 women weavers for 26 days costs ₹3,00,000. These cover the yarn, the trainer’s fee, loom warping, food, wages, raw material and other expenses.
Help preserve this heritage, and encourage landmark achievements in sustainability through women empowerment by extending your support to these women.