Microsoft India has launched a new e-commerce platform re-weave.in for handloom weavers under its Project ReWeave, part of its philanthropic initiatives.
This e-commerce platform will help connect artisans to buyers directly, enabling them to expand to newer customers and markets.
The new e-commerce website hosts signature collections created by weaver communities and showcases traditional designs and products created from natural dyes. This e-marketplace will help sell to a broad set of customers, helping weavers to increase their income and earn a sustainable livelihood, while also reviving forgotten Indian art.
Microsoft in association with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) has also curated a special curriculum in ‘CAD and Color for Handloom Weaving’ to provide digital training in handloom design.
Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) said, “With the introduction of our new e-commerce platform, digital empowerment centres and the new design curriculum, weavers will be able to build on the rich handloom heritage of India and also reach out to a wider customer base. ReWeave ties in with Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organisation in the communities we work in by using Project Sangam, our Azure-based technology solution and expertise, to democratise opportunities and bridge the digital divide.”
Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & IT, Telangana said, “Digital technology is changing the lives of Indians across every section of society. Working with global technology leaders such as Microsoft has enabled us to bring technology to the doorstep of our large weaver communities in the remotest districts of Telangana. These initiatives, including the e-commerce marketplace and design training, will enable weaver communities to sustain themselves and provide a livelihood to artisans.”
The Indian handloom industry is the second-largest employment provider for the rural population in India, with almost 43 lakh weavers. Project ReWeave also aims to help weavers with working capital support through non-profit organisations.
The first batch of 100 handloom weavers were today awarded certificates for successful design course completion. Since its inception, special emphasis has been given to skill development, using ICT and digital tools in critical aspects such as design, marketing and entrepreneurship, besides creating sustainable livelihood options through Project Sangam, a Microsoft Azure-based Community Training Platform.
Digital empowerment centres have been steadily expanding to more weaver clusters – Microsoft inaugurated two new digital empowerment centres in Rajoli and Choutuppal and will open another centre shortly in Warangal and Siddipet clusters. The clusters of Pochampally, Gadwal and Narayanpet have been operational for some time now.