GoCoop App Helps Local Weavers Get Direct Business In India | VOGUE India


My main mantra is that technology can lead to social change. We see this happening in the artisan sector – artisans who are mostly in remote parts of the country have historically been denied access and information. Technology plays a key role in empowering artisans and connecting them to markets and the rest of the world. But technology alone may not be the solution: we need to work on branding and marketing handmade products, integrating designers and their contributions into product development, and educating our consumers on the benefits of supporting and using handmade products.

Tell us how GoCoop works.

GoCoop digitized and built this important web and mobile market platform, which integrates seamlessly and helps co-ops and master weavers manage inventory, orders and deliveries. It offers visibility and traceability to buyers in terms of production and supply chain.

Our operating model involves workshops at the cluster level to educate weavers and artisans on online marketing and product merchandising according to consumer demand. Post the workshop, cooperatives and master weavers or artisans can register on the platform. GoCoop’s cluster-level service managers work closely with weavers and artisans to bring them to the platform and provide the assistance required to manage their products, inventory and ongoing activities.

With the disappearance of the craft industry and the displacement of the children of weavers to the cities in search of new jobs, it has become all the more important to support the hand-weaving industry. Your thoughts?

Yes, this is one of the biggest challenges in the industry. Unless we create an appropriate demand for artisanal and hand-woven products, the livelihoods of weavers and artisans are not sustainable and migration will continue. We need to create a stronger market for handmade products, with an emphasis on connecting designers and producers directly with consumers and markets. Market profits must be fair to producers – this is the key. We also need to promote entrepreneurship among the next generation weavers and artisans, and we have seen very successful entrepreneurs from the weaving community in many clusters including Mangalgiri, Maheshwar and Chanderi.

How do local weavers and artisans benefit from GoCoop?

GoCoop disintermediates the supply chain and helps co-ops and weavers by connecting them directly with consumers, both online and offline, through our exhibits. This helps them understand a better price for their produce, compared to what they may know in their clusters or villages. On average, we see our weavers priced 15-30% higher than traditional sources from their bunches.


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