In a bid to empower handloom weavers in Telangana, Microsoft India on Saturday announced the launch of a new e-commerce portal that will help the weavers optimise operations and engage better with customers.
The "re-weave.in" will host signature collections created by the weaver communities, and showcase traditional designs and products created from natural dyes.
"With the introduction of our new e-commerce platform, digital empowerment centres and the new design curriculum, the weavers will be able to build on the rich handloom heritage of India and also reach out to a wider customer base," Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D) said in a statement.
This e-market place would help sell to a broad set of customers, which would support the weavers by increasing their income and earning a sustainable livelihood while simultaneously reviving traditional but forgotten Indian art.
Microsoft also partnered with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to curate a special curriculum in 'CAD and Colour for Handloom Weaving' to provide digital training in handloom design.
The tech giant has also been steadily expanding digital empowerment centres to more weaver clusters in the state.
"ReWeave ties very well into 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," Bhansali said.
The first batch of 100 handloom weavers at NIFT have been awarded certificates for successful design course completion.
"These initiatives like e-commerce marketplace and design training will enable weaver communities to sustain themselves and provide livelihood to artisans," said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Industries & IT, Telangana.
"This also is a practical solution to motivate younger generation of weavers to continue with their traditions and not divert into other professions," Ranjan said.
Project ReWeave also aims to help the weavers with working capital support through non-profit organisations.
Weavers are trained in the use of natural dyes to enable them to make newer and sustainable handwoven products to meet the demands of the socially and environmentally aware consumer.