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Crafting Change: Vocal for Local

July 21, 2020

Crafting Change: Vocal for Local

GoCoop connects India's artisans, weaver co-operatives and clusters directly with consumers across the world.

Our national award winning global platform brings together handloom, handicraft artisans and cooperatives, delivering authentic handmade  products, ensuring fair prices for both buyers and sellers.

Our dream is to create and support sustainable livelihoods for India’s 9 mil weaver and artisan community, while promoting handmade, natural and sustainable products to consumers globally. Crafting the Change we want to see in the world, together.

GoCoop is winner of the first national award for handlooms marketing (eCommerce) by Ministry of Textiles, Govt of India.

At GoCoop we have always aimed to harness the power of Swadeshi to empower India’s artisan community while tackling larger problems:

  1. Sustaining the livelihoods of weavers and artisans
  2. Protecting the unique traditions and crafts that exist across the country
  3. Supporting environment-friendly and sustainable products and practices 

Which is why we set out more than 8 years ago to build the GoCoop platform, allowing easy access to sustainable artisanal products for customers across the globe. More importantly, it also provided artisans the opportunity to reach a global market at fair prices.

This journey has seen us and the artisan community receive incredible support and patronage. Our ultimate goal, to recreate a movement that’s Swadeshi, has been slow and steady.

And there has been great progress with 4,49,856 man days of livelihood created in over 55 clusters, Rs 10,26,667 additional annual business generated per co-op or craft organisation and Rs 51,333 additional annual business generated per weaver or artisan and still counting.

However, the number of customers adopting online for buying handlooms and craft is still quite low and customers were also exposed to fast fashion and mass-produced product choices in the market at lower price points. Also to a certain extent, craft producers had a fixed mindset and were not flexible when it came to adopting a new distribution model.

So our job, as much as it was about building the platform, was also about shifting mindsets.

2020’s jolt with the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Handloom and Craft sectors. But this crisis also has resulted in a major shift towards online business at a much larger scale.

In order to keep up and sustain the handloom industry through the period, GoCoop along with its partners and global customers, came together with creativity and resilience to face this brave new world.

Here were some of the initiatives we undertook, during this time: 

1. Digital enablement workshops

We engaged with artisans and craft organisations across India through our webinar “Local Se Global Tak” to educate them on e-commerce options. In the new world of social distancing, the artisans were trained to become self-reliant, capturing and cataloguing their products with their phones. 

 2. Online exhibitions  

We transitioned our GoSwadeshi exhibitions from an offline format to a completely online format, allowing audiences from across the world to discover and shop handlooms and handicrafts direct from artisans across the country.

This also allowed for our partner groups to explore the online business. And to enable this transition we worked with regional artisans and our customers to understand the pain points and effectively address them with the new model. 

 

3. A wider network of artisan entrepreneurs  

We onboarded more than 60 new artisan partners from different parts of the country to ensure that every weaver and artisan has access to an online sales platform in the absence of traditional distribution models. 

Onboarding a seller is not an easy task, especially in these times. The sellers who are accustomed to offline channels of sales find it very difficult to adapt to the online ways. There is a lot of hand-holding required to educate them on the photoshoot, cataloging and even order dispatching.

The team at GoCoop, worked tirelessly through the lockdown, even over weekends, to make this possible. These efforts have truly paid off. We see a lot more interest coming in to make the platform stronger.

What’s more, the support for swadeshi and sustainable products has been far-reaching and stronger than ever before. 

With all your support, these initiatives have helped bring sustenance to over 4000 artisan families during this crisis, while equipping them with new skills. 

Here’s to all your support in sustaining this progress, and to your good health.

Thank you for being a part of our mission and #CraftingChange together.  


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