It’s all about the weavers, they say…well it should be, but is it really?? As most people know, weaving is a fairly labour-intensive process. Yet, the weavers who painstakingly create the magnificence earn nothing more than five to seven percent, despite the ‘handmade’ label commanding a fairly high price and the market being packed with designers selling clothing created with handwoven textiles. However, when the trademark of a designer is the promotion of a single colour ‘indigo’ and the revival of dyeing traditional weaving practices, we stop and notice. This post today is dedicated to Textiles Tales from the global but grounded team of Maku – actively supporting slow fashion and creating garments with the core belief of giving weavers what they rightfully deserve.
Redefining the traditional designer-weaver relationship
Maku specifically focuses on hand-spun fine khadi and natural indigo dyeing technique to create the very popular Indigo blue textile. This is not just stylish but also supports slow and sustainable fashion, which is the need of the hour.
Working with the weavers of Jamdani and its humble cousin, the Tangail weave, they have been striving towards preserving the simplicity of these weaves. They work with the weavers to understand their visual language and skills and co-create the patterns based on their abilities.
All this while ensuring that the weavers get the very best. Santanu and Chirag have been quoted saying, “We want to create a better ecosystem for these weavers so that the craft is not lost and it is a fair deal for everyone in the game, from the weaver to the middleman to the end customer.”
From the weavers to the customer
There is so much talk about the ‘farm to the fork’ process but somehow the ‘farm to the clothing’ process is never given much thought. However, for the purposes of this post, we will simply focus on the weaver and work beyond…So, here we go, some questions and answers to get a little grasp of it all:
Question: Where does the magic happen?
Answer: At the hands of the weavers in either their homes or the workshops
Question: Who gets the clothing created by the weaver?
Answer: A middleman who often tends to be managing the weavers sells it further to a designer, a textile company or perhaps a distributor/ dealer
Question: Then, who sells this clothing?
Answer: Either the designer directly or at exhibitions and events
Question: So, what is the result?
Answer: A piece of clothing created by the weavers goes through multiple management and sales channels and finally lands with the customer. Everyone takes a share of the pie and the poor weaver often just remains where he started, just poor!
Maku is changing the above..
There are quite a few designers making a difference to the life of the weavers and Maku is certainly one of these. Avoiding fashion shows and middlemen…just focussing on the weaver, Maku and the customer…clean, simple setup, just very similar to its clothing. Have a peep into the clean lines of Maku textiles:
To see the two men making the weavers and their stories available across the world is a true pleasure. More there be more of your tribe…
Be kind to the planet, Be kind to the weavers…Be Notjustashopper!
All Images: Courtesy Maku Textiles