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Stuff We Love

All the Ways India is Woven Into This Philanthropic Textile Line

Stuff We Love 01/23/2019

 

Best friends and the creators of Bloom & Give, Partha Raghunathan and Madhu Rajendran love both discovering Indian traditions, and finding ways to share them with a wider modern audience. So we thought we’d let them show you how both the pieces of their line and its ethos come together.

 

“We’re raising three daughters between the two of us, so this line is a lot about them. We feel that education is the most efficient and practical way to change gender disparity. Nearly three million girls in rural India are out of school. They have free access to government schools, but centuries-old, deep-rooted traditional beliefs stand in the way—beliefs about the role of a girl in her family and in society.”—Madhu

 

“We contribute approximately 50% of profits to support various girls’ education programs, generally in areas where our products are made. In 2018, we supported about 15 programs that put about 2,000 girls in school.” —Madhu

 

 

“During one of our trips to India, we came across these textile artisans. We were both born in India but hadn’t had a ton of exposure to the rich textile history. There are various techniques that we admire, including the wooden handlooms of Kerala, jamdani on cotton muslin from Bengal, block-printing in Jaipur, pashmina-weaving from Kashmir, tribal weaves from Nagaland, and jacquard handlooms of Panipat.” —Partha

 

 

“If we don’t support these ancient traditions and artisans, they will eventually go away. Our business model is focused on increasing the capacity of handlooms in the various regions where we make our textiles. For example, in one of the co-ops we work with in Kerala, we have increased the number of looms in operation by approximately 20%. This directly translates to more employment for weavers.” —Madhu

 

“It takes 150 hours to make a pashmina scarf. Because it’s so fine, the fiber cannot withstand the force of a spinning machine or a power loom, so the entire process is done by hand. And when something is done by hand, it’s inherently a more eco-friendly process, and we can focus on improving the lives of the workers.” —Partha

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