In May 2012, Weaving Destination reached a level of autonomy to be registered as an independent social enterprise in India involving beneficiary women as part of its board and management. (http://nedan.in/weaving-destination-1/weavingDestination). NEDAN, through Weaving Destination and other home-based looms currently employs 203 ethnic women for weaving, stitching the end products and is establishing itself for its indigenous weaved patterns and products. The lead applicant for this application is also one of the founding members of the Weaving Destination initiative in India.
The women’s involvement and products are based on the fair trade principles, where women are engaged as partners in their own socio-economic development. The products are made of organic raw materials, including use of vegetable natural colour dyes and non-violent silk rearing practice. Several competitors market Indian-made textiles to global audiences but fail to achieve market presence within the customer base, develop appealing products and reinvest their profits back to the women creating the products. This is what sets Weaving Destination apart as it is grounded within the customer base and will use innovative social marketing techniques to generate business. Weaving Destination will be accountable to customers and to the women who create the textiles by employing business strategies of transparent accounting, ethical working environments and involving the women within its board and management. The women would continue to be partners in the revenue generated through trading and part of it would feedback into further expansion of Weaving Destination as well as welfare activities for women, children and overall community through NEDAN.
We received the Social Innovation Incubation Award by the Melting Pot in 2012 to kickstart our Social Enterprise in Edinburgh. As a result, we have been able to research and pilot test our products, designs, patterns, demand and costs through an online Etsy store and participation in local exhibitions and fairs. We are now ready to take the next step – expand and establish a viable business, with an online web-store and offline through a physical presence and store, in Edinburgh.