Handloom has been a very decisive choice for us from the very beginning. Why handloom and not mill made? What are the implications of this choice for the makers of hand woven cloth and the consumer. Let us just talk over the impact of this choice.
If we look at the environmental impact of the combination of natural biodegradable materials and hand loom weaving the low carbon footprint due to meagre usage of fossil fuels is a natural solution to our present ecological crisis. Considering that roughly 20 million people are engaged for handloom and related activities in India the impact of hand weaving is huge without doubt not only in terms of cutting down CO2 emissions but the social impact as well.
The traditional knowledge for handloom weaving and related activities, whether its creating the simple tools at each and every level , the skills of the artisan and his family engaged are used at every stage with absolute ease. The cost expenditure incurred for handloom weaving and the requisite infrastructure is minimal compared to a mechanized weaving setting.
Handweaving and hand spinning generates ample employment opportunities for artisans at the village level and this is a very pertinent for the sustenance of village economy. The losing of traditional knowledge and skills has resulted in trans migration to the urban pockets. Instead of practicing their skill sets in their own environment- their homes and their villages, they are compelled to live in shanties of the big cities and engage in menial jobs. They loose touch with their roots, the comfort of their cultural environment and the respect that they get practicing the job they know best.
Next time you buy hand woven cloth you would know the value of the cloth is beyond its tangible qualities. The cloth has a journey and you become a part of that by your awareness and the subsequent choices that you make.