You get what the weavers make, at the price they choose, without the involvement of middlemen — this is the promise of a Hyderabad-based company called ‘Pickmycloth’. They offer a wide range of authentic handloom clothes from all over the country.
Be it Paithani sarees from Maharashtra, Gadwal from Telangana, or Jamdhani from West Bengal, their online store is a veritable map of the handloom heritage of India. The best feature of the initiative is that weavers themselves upload their products on the website and quote the price. The company has an app, too.
PV Abhishek, the co-founder of the company, said: “Our aim is to bring together weavers and buyers. Every weave is created with a lot of passion and hard work by weavers. Before the big cities came up with all the shopping options, most of the buyers used to buy directly from weavers. This enabled the buyers to appreciate the effort put in by weavers. However, now with the advent of modern manufacturing methods and big stores, this connection is lost.
Buying has become an impersonal ritual. Buyers now have little knowledge about the craftmanship behind the products they wear. Our effort is to reduce this distance. By creating a platform where weavers can directly post their weaves online, we can now give everyone a glimpse of the face and hands behind a beautiful creation.”
Abhishek, along with his friends, M Ram Kalyan and S Dinesh Reddy, launched the portal in 2019. They had met in NIT Warangal and bonded over their common love for handloom. Before starting their venture, they travelled to major clusters like Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and Yeola in Maharashtra to understand the needs of the weaving community.
The company now has more than 780 weavers onboard and hosts almost 40,000 products. Their main offerings are sarees, dupattas, and leather boots that are made at Dharavi in Mumbai. The pandemic has closed the conventional avenues of sale for weavers, and technology is enabling them reach a wider set of buyers. “Whenever we receive an order, we send our delivery partner to the weaver who had uploaded the product.
We also provide the packing material. We have pick-up points at nine locations across India. The clothes are picked up from there and shipped within and outside India. In case a weaver does not have a phone, or cannot upload the products, we have appointed persons in those clusters to help them out,” said Abhishek.