An Update on Maiwa
To all our Wonderful Maiwa Supporters
I have a report for you :). Please read to the bottom because there’s a letter from India addressed to all of you ‘many Mam weaver mams’.
And, because this need is ongoing we have relaunched the ‘pay what you want’ towel patterns on our website. Stash Crackle Pop & Tea Towel Time with Jane are back. Just look for that Maiwa Foundation square on the shop drop menu. I’ll be adding new patterns this year so there will be more ways to participate.
It is so important that you know how much you’ve helped. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Love and stay safe,
Message from Charllotte Kwon
The Maiwa Foundation
To Jane and her wonderful community of weavers – a huge thank you for your incredibly generous donation. The story of Jawaja is a long one . . . and now you are all part of that story.
The whole process of making this donation from Jane and her community through the Maiwa Foundation during these extraordinary times has been amazing for us – not to mention coming with it’s own learning curve.
We realized by September, that because all the artisans had been effected by covid we needed to be very transparent with whatever money we donated since the issues were not isolated issues of – for example – earthquake, or drought, or flood etc. All artisans had issues and it was important that we let all those that we work with know about what money was available for donation.
I decided to put together a small team to help wth the decision making – that comprised of a mentor of mine Ashoke Chatterjee (retired head of National Institute of Design and President of Craft Council of India) along with 4 artisans who head up groups we work with – from various areas in India.
This took some time and what was surprising to us all was that the artisans who had ongoing orders from Maiwa told us that they did not think it was right for them to take any of the money. They were fine as long as there were ongoing orders. They explained that most, if not all, of their local work had stopped but if they had Maiwa work they were fine.
So we then had to look at areas where Maiwa would not place large enough orders to various artisans for them to have income throughout the year – going forward. I had always known that the artisans would be alright for the first 8-10 months but that their local work would end once the Indian economy felt the impact of no tourism, very little exports and an unemployed middle class.
Maiwa has done well online with most products. But two areas are slow – leatherwork and woven carpets. Normally our orders would be fine because they are augmented by our annual India Tour (that is cancelled for February 2021). Jawaja sell three months worth of leather bags and carpets in that single day we visit. Jawaja does sell at craft fairs in India – which are all cancelled now.
Things slipped south for Jawaja Leatherworkers and Weavers quite quickly in early December – they are 25 artisan families (a total of about 250 people as these are joint families) and they had run out of money to live. There is no safety net in India – particularly for remote villages and low caste – both of which these artisans are. We made the decision to send $16,000 to them and we have reserved $9000 as we continue to see what groups may be falling through the cracks.
I, personally, am deeply grateful to all of you . . .
Director – The Maiwa Foundation
This is the letter we received today from Babulalji – who is the treasurer of the co-operative:
Respected Mam and Mam Jane mam,
Thankyou for give work for and help us. At this time our artisan face very bad situation due to Kovid-19. No Work No income so our artisan require work for income. We need help for 25 artisan family for maintenance and feeding. Thank you of heart for 8 lakh. We receive this from Maheshbhai today. This save us at this time for no money for so long. We are happy and we thank Mam Jane and many Mam weaver mams
We have deposit for next order. No supplies is possible now.
We hope we see you soon. Are you come to Jawaja?
Thanks & Regards.
Jawaja Leather & Weaver Alliance
Pay What You Want
Tea Towel Time With Jane
These towels are a fantastic opportunity to explore some of the ways you can layer graphic and different weave structures onto the same warp.
These colourful towels were woven during the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. Over the course of 3 weeks these towels were woven live on Facebook and during that time a fun, creative, caring community was formed.
Stash Crackle Pop!
The “Stash, Crackle, Pop!” pattern is a great stash buster … you gain a lesson on Crackle Weave and … end up with some pretty eye-popping towels!
This ‘pay what you want’ pattern was designed by our darling Sharon Broadley, who contributes so much to JST and can be found on Instagram as @colour.woven 🙂