The Loom Mool Story
Loom Mool’s story starts and ends with weavers. They are the inspiration for the name and the reason for its creation. The starting point and objective of the brand is to support as many weaving families from Bihar as possible: the Mool or essence is the loom.
In the villages along the outskirts of Bhagalpur, Bihar, mud houses wind around small paths and patches of agricultural fields. Venturing into these homes you will find elaborate textile handlooms dug into the smoothed mud floors. The loom is the tool for sustaining the entire artisan community.
The families from these communities wait for middlemen to come with work. When they come, if they come, they work and get paid. These artisans are isolated and excluded. The middlemen hold the thread that connects them to the outside world, to the market. So the artisans grab on to the other end. They can’t negotiate for more money, despite the incredibly low wages paid for the skilled labor of their hands.
SEWA identified Bhagalpur as an area of need, but also of potential. In 2010, the SEWA Saheli Bunkar Cooperative was formed to give weavers a voice, break the cycle of poverty, and save traditional craft. Through the cooperative artisans are directly linked to the market and middlemen are cut out entirely.
SEWA is weaving hope into the lives of the artisans. Thread by thread it extends opportunities to break the cycle of exploitation and deprivation: fair wages, first-time bank accounts, and access to social, legal, and health services. Women are empowered with the cooperative’s finances, and are brought into the face of business.
Loom Mool connect the artisans directly with the mainstream market. Sourcing from SEWA collectives, the brand is traditional yet contemporary, a mix of western and Indian styles with a soul and a conscious. Loom Mool means sustained livelihoods in Bhagalpur and the continuation of a waning tradition and this is just the beginning. Loom Mool will have collections featuring crafts from all over India.
With beautiful products, at a competitive price, Loom Mool will appeal to a large audience. It will deliver fresh styles and graceful items, but also a message and stories. Women will appreciate the silhouettes of the dresses they purchase, and the time weavers spent working the silk threads between their palms and thighs to bring it to them. Loom Mool is a means for sustainable livelihoods, a direct market linkage, and a platform to give recognition to the artisans whose hard work bring beauty to the world. Loom Mool begins and ends with weavers.