On a mission to create 5,000 jobs for rural women

Greenwear Fashion Pvt Ltd provides market linkages and value addition to cotton & silk yarns produced by rural women who use solar ‘charkhas’ (spinning ring frame) that can produce four times more yarn than manual charkhas. Greenwear and Women on Wings have started collaborating on their joint mission to create 5,000 jobs for women in rural India by 2025.

Solar powered spinning
At the start of the collaboration with Women on Wings, Greenwear is working with 1,180 jobholders in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Says Abhishek Pathak, founder and director at Greenwear (picture left): “The women engaged with us currently have valued the income and the flexibility in working hours. The women work on compact spinning ring frames which run on solar energy and are installed at their houses. The drudgery involved is significantly lesser than the manual charkhas and the women who operate them can carry on their domestic activities while spinning work goes on. We are very pleased to partner with Women on Wings on growing our business and engaging more women”.

A Force for Good in textile industry
Greenwear also aims to reduce the pollution and carbon footprint caused by the textile industry. It believes that it can be achieved through decentralization of textile value chain and migrating towards renewable energy resources to generate power for household based machineries. If only 5% of Indian villages become solar charkha clusters (around 30,000), it can produce 1.8 billion kgs cotton yarn, which is almost 50% of India’s current cotton yarn capacity. This will generate livelihood for 120 million people who can continue to live in their villages.

Crafting out of Covid-19
The corona crisis lockdown has taught Greenwear to value the most important aspects of livelihood creation – Compassion, Creativity and Care. Artisans who work from their homes, if supported with appropriate supply chain and skilling, will work wonders in the upcoming model of localized and circular economy. Greenwear collaborated with various -government- bodies to make masks for general public. It provided fabric to around 400 rural women who stitched masks from that at home and submitted those to block level officers. Greenwear also sent fabrics to 8 districts on demand of local administration and supplied over 4,00,000 masks to various departments. Through its garment manufacturing unit, Greenwear has planned to accommodate skilled workers who have worked in garment industry and came back to their villages in Barabanki due to the pandemic.

Regular source of income
Greenwear was established in March 2019 with a close association with Bhartiya Harit Khadi Gramodaya Sansthan – a KVIC certified society which implemented the pilot project for Ministry of MSME’s flagship scheme known as “Mission Solar Charkha”. Greenwear plays the role of procuring the yarns by women and manufactures fabric and garments, thereby creating a regular source of income for women, weavers and other artisans. Greenwear’s jobholders are spread across following 4 activities: spinning, weaving, tailoring and value addition.

Image: founder Abhishek Pathak with artisans