Preserving a vibrant textile patchwork handicraft, by empowering women artisans through enhanced capacity building.
A community of slum women was discovered to possess the skill of making Kowdi, a rare artform of hand embroidered patchwork sewn together using colorful pieces of scrap fabric. The skill seemed like a hidden treasure packed with potential and a wonderful challenge for Selco Foundation to develop the talent of this community into a sustainable means of livelihood. We partnered with a designer to build a range of creative products from Kowdi that could be commercialized for the benefit of this slum community. Through multiple engagement and design sessions, Selco Foundation assisted the Kowdi artisans to refine their skills, and create products that catered to the modern aesthetic while retaining the essence of the original craft. Thus the brand Kowdi Kotumba was born. This enterprise is currently being run by an entrepreneur, who is on the highway of branding these products and developing a channel for marketing and sales. By exporting to international partners and enhancing its online presence, efforts for Kowdi to be made available in the global market is moving from the drawing board into reality.