The fashion industry is infamous for the working conditions in the production process. Workers in garment factories are expected to toil for long working hours only to receive low wages, lack of regular contracts and working hours, and hazardous working conditions. With Enviu’s Reweave program we are building companies that disrupt the current status quo and drive sustainable and inclusive production, offering high-quality jobs. One of those companies is Khaloom, based in Bangalore, India. By providing our weavers fair working conditions and well-paid jobs, Khaloom strives to change the current situation by setting an example for other companies in the sector.
Khaloom focuses on producing high-end sustainable fabric from recycled yarns. In addition to saving textiles from ending up in a landfill, we create employment opportunities for local artisans allowing them to continue carrying out a craft passed down from generation to generation.
From a household with weaving at its heart
“My parents had looms in the house. And whenever they would go out, my three sisters and I would try weaving on it,” Kasthuri, one of the top weavers at Khaloom, explains. Like most people living in the Bangalore weaver’s colony in which Khaloom is situated, she developed a passion for weaving at a young age because it was rooted in her household life. “We would break a mend or drop the shuttle and quickly run away. There was an excitement that created more curiosity.”
“As girls, we were not sent out of the house to study or anything, so in the house, we were taught weaving. When my two older sisters got married and moved out my father was in debt. So, I started helping him with weaving in the house to earn a little more,” Kasthuri adds. “That is how I learned. I now have two children of my own. I want to support my husband in earning for the family and I was not able to earn enough with tailoring on the side. I want my children to have a good education and a good life.”
“It’s great to be weaving again, to be connected with the profession I learned from my father,” she continues. “I used to only weave sarees and had no idea who used them. But at Khaloom there are a lot of different kinds of fabrics and we see what they are made into. I always show off to my husband and family what we have woven and how the fabrics are used!”
Khaloom: setting the standard for a fair and inclusive fashion industry
On a weekly basis, people come by the Khaloom weaving unit in search of employment because they have heard about its exceptional working standards. The weavers at Khaloom receive a fixed monthly salary and they are allowed to take paid leave, a concept which is almost unheard of in the neighbourhood. We want them to have a life once they step out of the weaving unit. They get health insurance, cool drinking water, fans and chai breaks twice a day. As Khaloom continues to set an example for a fair workplace, we’re convinced that more factories will prioritise the lives of their workers and pave the way for a more fair and inclusive fashion industry.
Learn more about our venture Khaloom and visit the website! https://khaloom.com/