Technology has its pros and cons. Where on one side, the same technology (power looms) is making hand weavers and embroiders irrelevant, at the same time, a young kid of 12 years sent us a message about his neighbor, who was a master Pashmina artisan, but worked in dilapidated conditions. Meet the 47 year old Mohammed Imran, a master craftsman , highly skillful artisan who operates the loom hand down perfect. Imran is one of those artisans who are looked for by a customer and specially chosen to weave their shawls. In the current scenario, Imran is a satisfied person, who works with us and a few more factory owners who hand over fine yarn to him for a perfect weaving. But Imran's life wouldn't be at ease, if it wasn't for Mudasir, his neighbor's youngest and naughtiest child, who contacted us on Facebook and narrated Imran's ordeal to us. Imran had started Pashmina weaving at around 35 after being fed up of poverty and hardships. There were days when his family would have to ask neighbors for food, as they did not have any source of income past Imran's lay off from his last job. He had known weaving from a long time, but never got an opportunity to work with someone who would pay him fair wages. Watching them suffer was painful for the neighbors. Hence one morning, our team at Pashmina.com received a text from Mudasir. He wrote "Hello. I am from Kashmir. My neighbor makes Pashmina shawls but does not get a job. Help him please". As we inquired about the same we didn't find a clue. It was only 7 months later, when we had to visit Kashmir, we traced down this person, who had by then gotten a job in a factory. We reached him and asked the owner for permission to speak to him. Imran was as humble as he was talented. "He weaves shawls faster and with more finesse as compared to others in the factory", the owner said.
Imran and Pashmina.com
When Imran comes back from the factory, he weaves super fine yarn at home for us. His handmade shawls are worth experiencing and owning. Imran was really delighted to know about out ethical business model which makes sure to give artisans their fair amount of compensation. He really appreciates the way we work and wants more and more such entrepreneurs to rise and shine within Kashmir itself. While having a cup of Kahwa with Imran on the last day in Kashmir, he suddenly asked us "How did you come to know about me. We smiled and narrated the story of how is helpful neighbor asked us for help, who was this time sitting besides him at their home. He gently pulled his ear, with tears in his eyes. "You naughty kid"!.