The WomenWeave Charitable Trust, founded by Sally Holkar, is an organization that has empowered young women in Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh for more than a decade now to take to handloom weaving as an income-earning activity that is at once both fulfilling and dignified. New competencies in a global market have for the most part left behind those craftspeople with knowledge of sustainable craft-making processes, and young weavers are turning away from generational occupations.
Through an unconventional initiative, WomenWeave has set up The Handloom School (THS), to provide a rigorous education for young traditional weavers so that they may understand the various facets of a textile business from design to textile technology, and from business to marketing. THS’s unique approach empowers the craftsperson to be more than just makers of craft by honing their skill,
understanding the market and becoming powerful guardians of a heritage craft, the Maheshwari weave. In time, THS hopes to have also evolved into an archive and repository of handloom weaving knowledge, and its preservation and development.
Good Earth’s designers provide mentorship to the weavers of the THS to help them understand market trends and further develop their skills. In 2017, we partnered with THS to open the show at the Amazon Fashion Week in Mumbai along with India’s leading fashion designers. The showcase featured finely-woven handlooms by the young weavers of the THS, interpreted as contemporary ensembles in their unique aesthetics by Akaaro, Antar-Agni, Eka, Neeru Kumar, Nicobar, Pero, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Raw Mango, Rohit Bal, SUKETDHIR, Urvashi Kaur, 11:11 Eleven Eleven and Good Earth.