When the Weaver has to pay the True Cost

Introducing Weavers' Art

The Handloom fabric is unapologetically an intricate and artistic work of a weaver. These fabrics represent exclusivity as only few meters of fabric is woven by a weaver in a day. Handloom Industry requires low capital investment, it has low carbon emissions and low demand on energy and scarce resources. An industry thought to be easy to run did face problems then and now. 

 As they say “All that glitters is not Gold”. On this note I would like to take you through a South Indian movie "Kanchivaram“ which depicts the appalling reality of an Indian weaver during Indian Independence time in late 1940s.

A still from Kanchivaram movie- Vengadam weaving a silk saree in the temple.

Movie Review 

In the movie, the silk weavers having brilliant craftsmanship remained as bonded laborers to the middlemen who exploited and reaped benefits out of their hard-work. In those days silk saree which was unaffordable by the weavers, one of the weaver Vengadam wanted to drape his wife in a silk saree but due to lack of money it was unfulfilled. Villagers had the idea drilled in them that “Weavers can only weave a Silk saree but cannot have one”.  But Vengadam was different and sworn to marry his daughter in a silk saree which made villagers think illogical of him.

During those days communists journalist had arrived in his village. His ideology ignited the weavers to stand for their rights, go on a strike, ask better wages and good human treatment from the village headman who eventually did not turn in. So Vengadam had to call off the strike to secretly steal silk balls from the temple where he used to work for weaving his daughter’s saree. Feeling loathed with his whole situation he had no choice. 

Decisions taken in life either on the basis of righteousness, justice or for the love of the family is still a question to many even today.

The consequences were obvious for him to be caught and put in prison which sent shockwaves to his daughter and she got paralyzed.

The True Cost paid by the Underprivileged Class

This movie explains how the underprivileged sections have been tortured by their own countrymen. It also shows how the weavers community is still marginalized in India which is still apparently seen.

According to a document released by the Indian Textile Ministry, declaring that the weavers community is decentralized and weavers belong to vulnerable and weaker sections of the society.

Transparent Supply Chain is a must

The makers of our fine fabric must be paid well to lead a good life and supplement their family, we should treat them as humane as we do with others. Valuing the uniqueness of their art each weaver can weave around 8 meters of fabric in a day and if the weaver is well experienced can weave upto 11 meters a day so all the efforts and time put in by the hands is unparallel and cannot be compared with mill made fabrics. The weavers should get access to basic amenities like regular health check ups, education provided to their children, safe working conditions and proper sanitation facilities.

Our acts define us. And at Zest N Zeal we are proud to help the weavers to earn a decent livelihood and also keeping alive the art of handloom. 

Also you can find about Our supply chain, by "WhoMadeMyClothes" initiative started by Fashion Revolution to truly acknowledge the hands that make the garments from start to end.

Wearing and promoting handmade garments will make someone somewhere smile too.

You can find our products here.

 

Reference:-

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/film-review-kanchivaram-118594

https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/07/the-story-of-a-man-who-loosed-everything-for-six-yard-of-silk/


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