The tenet of Pondichérie to its very core is the supporting and uplifting of women. We believe that the empowerment of women is a key stepping stone towards times of change. In this effort, we have partnered with the awe-inspiring organization, WomenWeave, to ethically source our textiles. Echoing our aspirations of fairness and balance, WomenWeave has created a platform for women in India to share their craft with the world.
Founded in 2002 in the small weaving town of Maheshwar, WomenWeave has grown the handloom industry with skilled artisans and workers who find their livelihood in the depths of this ancient art. Putting the environment first, WomenWeave is attentive towards the needs of the world and its people. They practice sustainable production methods alongside ethical working conditions for their weavers, embodying the ethos of preserving and promoting.
A tedious task that calls for immense levels of patience and precision, hand-looming is a long process. From correctly aligning the yarn to interlacing and alternating the pattern, the process is exhausting and laborious. Still, women show up to work every day with a relentlessly positive attitude towards their craft, making us wonder in awe of their balance between work and home and seconding them as real-life superheroes.
One of the many reasons we enjoy working with WomenWeave as our fabric partner is with regards to their bountiful encouragement and support towards women from all walks of life. Regardless of whether the women have previous experience in weaving, they offer training programs and workshops to help women learn a skill that could not only be translated to a passion, but also to a sustainable career.
These women are often marginalized in third-world communities, struggling with physical disabilities or lacking familial support systems. Suffering from violence and other crude experiences in life, WomenWeave has created a safe environment for them to prosper in. They have assured livable wages with incentive systems in place and opportunity for growth, as well as a guarantee of work all year round. They are ensured fair hours as well as given the opportunity to bring their children to work, in which the kids are provided play areas and teaching facilities to stay occupied while their mothers work. WomenWeave lets mothers stay present to take part in the little joys, and spreads cheer through extra programs such as singing and dancing during every festival.
To further elevate their careers, women are put in touch with retailers, designers, and customers across India, helping them develop meaningful connections to bring their art into the market. They are provided with health insurance, a provident fund, and a gratuity to keep them sustained so that the weight of a financial burden is not placed on their shoulders.
Weaving a myriad of fabrics, from cotton, silk, jari, and others, the women create unique and contemporary pieces that are available for both wholesalers as well as individual customers. Learning to operate hand-looms and hand-spinning units, they have also adopted the practice of natural dyes in hopes of a more sustainable future.
Pondichérie has a strong sense of belief in recognition and respect. By working with WomenWeave, we want to show women that they are acknowledged and praised for their talent, helping them shape into confident and independent women.
With immense faith in the prosperity of local women and their environment, we want to create a community that blooms along with the sounds of hand-loom machines, laughter from women, and the satisfaction of uplifting a marginalized society towards skies of success, which is mobilized through the wonderful work done at WomenWeave.