Kanchi scarves available now in the SHOP!

About the Project:

The Kanchi scarf project is an initiative which was launched in June 2012 to provide income opportunities for rural women supported by RIDE (Rural Institute for Development Education), an NGO based in Kanchipuram, South India, as part of their Women’s Empowerment Program. The project was coordinated in India by RIDE, with design input, support and guidance being provided by Emma, who at the time was serving as a long term volunteer for RIDE. Another key stakeholder of the project was RIDE supporter and fund-raiser, Olivia Krishnaswami from the US, who provided the initial wholesale order to the project and shared the vision of both RIDE and Emma.

The Kanchi scarf seemed to be a perfect product, after weeks and months of planning and searching for the right fabric to use for the scarves, the project came up with an end product that is desirable and very wearable, with the cotton fabric softening more and more with every wash! It is ironic that the very saris we are using to make these modern Kanchi scarves are seen as old fashioned to many Indian women, as these are the saris their grandmothers wore!

The Makers:

One of RIDE’s longest running members, Vasantha, coordinates the project at village level; In her spare time Vasantha has been teaching ladies in her village how to sew. As co-ordinator for the scarf project she now manages the distribution of work among these ladies and the production of the scarves. Britto (wife of Jeyaraj, director of RIDE) manages the financial side and oversees the project.

The project provides employment to up to ten women from the local villages and pay a fair wage for their work (we pay twice the going rate for their sewing skills). Earning their own money gives these women a sense of worth and status within their communities, which builds their confidence and sense of empowerment. Sale of the scarves also provides RIDE with much needed income, providing a financial backbone to their activities in supporting poor rural children towards an education and a better future. So it is a win win

The Kanchi Scarves:

Hand woven Kanchipuram 100% cotton sari scarves, made on traditional loom, supporting the hand-loom industry of Kanchipuram.  Prepared and finished by rural women supported by RIDE (Rural Institute for Development Education) and members of their Self Help Group program, offering them fair income.

The designs are truly unique, with extra wide borders and patterns reflective of Tamil Nadu heritage and inspired by nature, animals, tradition and temple art. Designs and patterns vary and are available in a range of beautiful colour ways.

MORE COLOUR WAYS AVAILABLE: View the full range of Kanchi Scarves available now in our SHOP!!

For further info and for wholesale enquiries please email: sales_@_emmamcginn.com