Kara Weaves is a social enterprise working with co-operatives to create fair-trade handwoven textiles in south-west India. Here's a bit more about how we operate and some videos of our process.
We partner with local weaving co-operatives in Kerala (India) to design contemporary home textiles. Each product is made from very ancient local fabrics that are hand-made at traditional wooden looms. Started in the summer of 2008, Kara Weaves stands for everything we love about handmade products and the people who make them.
Since February 2013, we are certified members of the Fair Trade Forum of India, the country network of the WFTO and WFTO-Asia.
This first-of-its-kind attempt in Kerala hopes to bridge the gap between this traditional weaving art form and a contemporary lifestyle.
Kara Weaves was co-founded by Indu Menon and Chitra Gopalakrishnan, in 2007, and is now a member of the Fair Trade Federation of India.
Indu Menon, co-founder. Indu is a social anthropologist and co-author of Women Weavers (1983). She has worked as a research assistant at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and at the Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University and brings over three decades of expertise to the brand. She co-ordinates the production aspect of the fabrics, in addition to overseeing the management of the brand. She is based out of Kanjiramattom, near Kochi in Kerala.
Chitra Gopalakrishnan, co-founder. Chitra is a Graphic Designer with dual MFAs from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, USA (2009) and the ESAG Penninghen, France (2004). She brings the design and photography component to the brand and moonlights as the web and marketing co-ordinator.
The Kara team also gets a lot of support and enthusiasm from Revathy Menon, the noted Indian film actor, director and social activist.
Our core advisers (the cheer team) consist of Lakshmi Menon, B Sreedevi, Rajendra Menon, P Gopalakrishnan, Prashant Mali, A R. Sathish, Suryakala Sathish, Celine George and Ramesh Menon.
Take a peek at our Jobs page for current openings on our team.
Feature of our work at The Grommet, December 2015:
The two videos below were taken by the IBM CSC team that worked with us during February and March to assist us with our Fair Trade Certification process initiation. Read more about their visit on our blog.
When students from DePaul University visited our studio at Kara Weaves:
A brief video of our work featured on The Grommet on August 15, 2010