RWeaves is a branding and marketing program for high quality hand-woven products launched by Saath Livelihoods in July 2007 with the aim of sustaining traditional arts of weaving, and to establish an exclusive, high-quality brand of hand woven products with the objectives of reviving the use of Tangaliya and Patola fabrics and making the livelihoods of the rural weavers/ artisans sustainable.
RWeaves supports patola, tangaliya and khadi artisans from 20 villages who belong to a federation of rural artisans - the SurendranagarVankarSamaj (SUVAS) from Surendranagar District of Gujarat. RWeaves supports SUVAS in branding their products and introducing contemporary designs that can increase the demand for their fabrics and ensure them of sustainable livelihoods. RWeaves, a co-operation between Saath Livelihoods and the artisans, provides traditional artisans with opportunities at fair trading, so that the maximum benefit of any trade reaches the producer. Hence, after the weavers fix prices of their products, Saath Livelihoods adds a small percentage to cover its management costs.
RWeaves supports the artisans by organizing weaving workshops, development of new designs and products, and by supplying small loans. Since 2010, these efforts have led to the weavers innovating and diversifying from their traditional product lines of saris, shawls and dress materials to products such as bed covers, cushion covers, purses, handbags and fashion accessories such as bags for trinkets, mobile phone covers etc. This has enabled the artisans to reach a larger market base.
RWeaves too has been consolidating its efforts to enhance visibility of the brand and create a higher demand for Tangaliya and Patola products. RWeaves participated in 6 exhibitions during the year and also created a demand for its products through individual networking.