India’s Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI) is launching its Tamil Nadu Chapter Council on the 10th October 2020. The council’s mission is to empower the weavers of Tamil Nadu through digital, financial and legal literacy programs. Also, educate them and make them ready to create products that are in line with the current market demand through design intervention workshops. The council plans to build strong and self-sustained clusters of the weavers. It has identified various clusters across Tamil Nadu. Each cluster would be adopted and trained by them in creating a strong, transparent supply-chain process and fair-trade practices to benefit the weaver community. To create awareness about the weaver community and to develop the pride of handloom among the people, the council is also starting #handtheloom campaign, a reference to handholding the handloom community and the passing of these unique techniques and piece of garment to the next generation. The campaign focuses both on the maker and the consumer through bringing the emotions that people especially women associate with their handloom garment, like an heirloom saree passed on to a woman by her mother. The campaign will be spread across three months and will have multiple micro-campaigns and awareness programs under this. Guest Speaker Lavanya Srinivas, an expert narrative and storytelling faculty at NIFT would talk about how storytelling plays a crucial role in empowering the handloom industry while Dimple Surana, Director of Vadms Trading Pvt. Ltd. would share her #handtheloom story. On the launch, Thasneem Masood, President, WICCI Handlooms, Tamil Nadu Council, says, “The Handloom industry in Tamilnadu plays an important role in improving economic conditions of the rural sector by providing employment for about 2.44 lakh weaver households. Our focus would be to ensure sustainability and longevity for artisans at the grassroots to create an ethical ecosystem for them. These weavers can offer limitless potential as resources for innovation to designers, but they have to be given the dignity and recognition that they deserve. We envision to awaken the emotion and revive the demand of handlooms in the millennials.” About WICCI – Tamil Nadu Chapter WICCI Tamil Nadu Council aims to protect the interest of weavers by having fair trade practices in place and to empower them through digital, financial and legal literacy, thus making the makers self-sustained.