A stitch in time saves the underprivileged women tailors of Basin Bridge
Oasis India, the city-based NGO, has initiated a social enterprise called Madras Fuse that enables women from Basin Bridge to create women apparels and home decor products. By providing a sustainable livelihood option, the NGO is helping women to showcase their hidden talents.
“Before launching a project, we do surveys to find out the community that needed immediate help. Our research led us to a group of women living in Basin Bridge, who are subjected to various abuses and face major livelihood issues. While talking to them, we found that these women are good tailors and have a great fashion sense and could do wonders in the field. In order to help them, we started Madras Fuse that promotes clothes stitched by them,” says Divya Nathaniel, who heads Madras Fuse.
They trained around 50 women from Basin Bridge and 50 from Kannigapuram. “Initially, it was tough for us to convince them about our initiative. They gave us a million reasons for not stepping out of their houses! But when they realised that our project would provide them financial independence and security, many came forward and registered with us. We have a stitching centre at Basin Bridge where around 30 women work. But we wanted more women on board,” she adds.
Madras Fuse follows the ethical fashion policy where they take care of the working condition, sustainable production, fair trade and decent wages. “The fabric is sourced from local artisans across Tamil Nadu. City-based fashion designers help the tailors with ideas and design suggestions. Sasi Jayapal is our tailoring coordinator, who helps with the production of products,” shares Divya.
The products made by these women tailors are displayed at various pop-ups in the city. “We have made an exclusive set of designs for Deepavali. Also, the tailors have started making home decor pieces like cushion covers, coasters, etc.”