Meet our makers: Thriving handloom weavers of India
LAYA is a fashion brand based in Germany that envisions sustainable fashion for everyone who can choose to exercise their purchasing power to uplift handloom weaving communities of India.
The handloom industry in India can be dated back to the Indus Valley civilisation, one of the world’s earliest civilisations. Born and raised in India, I understand the intricacies of the traditional and skilful techniques involved in the processes of handloom weaving. Anika Pfeiffer, who grew up close to nature in a village of Germany and having previously lived in India perfectly understands the tactility of diverse textiles of India. Our passion for quality and compassion for the underprivileged drove us to initiate LAYA.
Handloom weavers in India are not just artisans but artists who create pure and natural fabrics that are heavily underrepresented globally. Unfortunately, their art is dying due to lack of support and encouragement owing to existing trends of fast fashion in global markets.
At LAYA, we make our garments using handloom fabrics that are preferably non-dyed and non-bleached to reduce environmental footprints. Meet Ramya (left) and Devi who have been working here in this village of Uppada in a Southern state of India for a while now. Devi enjoys the art of weaving and hopes to pass down the skills and techniques she mastered to future generations so the art of handloom weaving continues to thrive.
We work with the weavers directly making sure they get remunerated fairly, thus avoiding any unfair trade practices by middlemen. These weavers who have been ignored for decades hope to be able to make better livelihoods for themselves. Reviving handloom fabrics out of their ebbing state by revolutionising them with fashion and style will help these weavers flourish with dignified opportunities.
LAYA’s manufacturing processes are executed with care and controls in place ensuring quality for our consumers and also safety for our team. Minal Pramod, who we have the pleasure of working with understands LAYA’s values and executes the processes with precision. Working with her is the rest of our team of tailors, embroiderers, and seamstresses.
Aira, Minal’s daughter and her beacon of inspiration, is also a source of motivation for us at LAYA with the hope that children like her would grow up learning the values of sustainability and become tomorrow’s smart and conscious consumers.
Written by Chandni Ranganath.