Friday, December 9

Our artisans & we evolved together during lockdown: Sarita Ganeriwala

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My sister Sarika Ginodia and I work with over a hundred rural and urban artisans across Bengal as founders of Karomi. We had to ensure they weren’t affected by the lockdown. Since we were already anticipating one, we spent 15-20 days preparing every single thing – from selecting yarn and getting approval, to dying the yarn, creating design and so on – so that the weavers could then work from home during lockdown. It was a marathon of back-end work. We completed months’ worth of work in 15 days and sent out the designs to our weavers. As a result, all our artisans were busy working during the lockdown. This was also the time we switched to a digital platform to check the weaving, quality, colour swatches, etc. We faced our share of challenges and worked together.

We are a completely sustainable unit. We use natural fibre, handloom weaving and so on. We hardly create any carbon waste. During this lockdown period, we realised once again that the sustainable industries like ours have better chances of sailing through the difficult times.

This was also the time for us to experiment a lot more with our designs and to push the boundaries for our artisans. We work on jamdani textile. Historically, the best jamdani artisans remained in Bangladesh after the Partition. We felt that only revivalism might not be helpful for them to grow bigger. We pushed our boundaries and so did our artisans. When I started working, I had only one village of artisans working with me. Now we are working with three to four villages of weavers and three villages of Kantha artisans. In fact, during the lockdown, we feel we grew together along with our artisans and evolved our workplace.

Source : TimesofIndia

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