Maia works exclusively with the weaving cooperative WOMENWEAVE based on the banks of the River Narmada in the town of Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, India.
WomenWeave has supported the role of women in handloom weaving since its inception in 2002, working towards making handloom a profitable, fulfilling, sustainable and dignified income-earning activity particularly for women in rural areas of India and keeping alive the traditional craft of handweaving. WomenWeave favours women who are divorced, widowed, separated, disabled, and agricultural labourers with no family income thus empowering the weakest and poorest section of society.
WomenWeave teaches the women hand spinning and weaving helping them to control all the levels of production.
The goal of Womenweave is to sustain earth-friendly, tightly verticalized production that makes sense for Central India’s cotton growing area.The WomenWeave’s project can be seen as a leader of the global slow fashion movement.
At the mill a simple day care centre for the children of spinners and weavers working on this project has been set up. The early childhood education of more than 130 youngsters is sponsored by them. The centre is an effort to ensure that in their role as weavers, the women can also be mothers. Knowing that their children are safe, close by, and well taken care of enables them to work better and happier.
Senior weaver Sunita Arande reflects that “We weave to pay for our children’s educations or to feed our families. It’s work we love because we’re all together facing the same challenges and sharing the same successes... We don’t know all the places our weaves go in this world, but we know that people everywhere like them very much.”
Read more about the Womenweave project at www.womenweave.org