ayurvestra HANDLOOM weaving SOCIETY
Alison is proud to present beautiful Ayurvedic organic cotton textiles made by a handloom society close to where her family-in-law live in the beautiful coastal village of Adimalathura in Kerala, South India.
Established in 1989 by a group of twenty four young weavers, the society grew so that in 1994 the Society established 30 livelihood and self-help groups (SHGs). The SHGs are semi-autonomous savings and credit organizations that also function as a support network to address weaving and social issues such as occupation health hazards, child labour and women’s empowerment.
Today, there are 731 SHGs in 58 villages operating under the auspice of the Handloom Society. This society of handloom weavers is a non-governmental organisation that works to improve the welfare of deprived, marginalised and downtrodden handloom weaving communities in Kerala.
It is often the case in India that handloom weavers live in abject poverty earning approximately 70 rupees a day, that is only around $2 a day.
For the last 13 years, this society of handloom weavers has undertaken to strengthen the income earned by handloom weavers through training, marketing and value-added techniques such as dyeing and embroidery.
Through these efforts, the program participants earn about up to Rs. 140 a day (around $4 a day), which is more than double the wage earned by many other weavers.
The society also works to overcome gender issues through women empowerment programs that allow women to overcome exploitative master weavers and break the cycles of debt.
Vision: To create a flourishing handloom weaving industry preserving Indian culture and providing a decent standard of living to weaver families.
Mission: To provide employment to weaver families in Kerala through providing looms and associated services, so that they can enjoy a better standard of living and preserve their heritage and culture.
“The invention of the power loom, the recurrence of sweatshop manufacturing and a competitive global textile market was stripping handloom weavers of their market.
These young weavers organized to discuss ways to overcome the plight of the handloom weaving sector and to put an end to the oppressive labour arrangements and corruption that was occurring in the sector.
They have successfully piloted several training programs in alternative hand produced textile techniques including new designs, block printing, batik, tie and dye, kalamkari, and ayurvedic dyeing, which has been one of their most successful product diversification initiatives.”
With the financial support of the Government of Japan, the Society established an ayurvedic dye house in Balaramapuram, which was inaugurated by MR. RIYOZU KIKUCHI, Consul General of Japan on 7th September 2004.
The ayurvedic dye house is equipped with modern machinery and facilities to produce pure ayurvedic herbal handloom fabric. The minimum production capacity of the dye house is nearly 1000kg per day.
Also in 2005, the Government of India generously granted Rs. 850,000 (US$12,000) to assist the Society to establish a common facility centre for ayurvedic dyeing on handloom clothes and to standardise ayurvedic dyeing.