The Weavers’ Story - (Completed on June, 2018) / by Edward Mongzar

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The Weavers’ Story

a project inspired by weavers of Nagaland

Edward’s last visit to his home town in 2016, helped him start this special project. It is really close to his heart and will remain so. We hope this little insight to the project is a joy to you.

 -  Ms Chungki Chang weaving her magic.

- Ms Chungki Chang weaving her magic.

Edward Mongzar Partnering with Artisans

Being from Nagaland, Edward feels a strong connection to the local crafts of the area, particularly Naga hand weaving. He not only appreciates the artistic process and the passion the weavers have for their work, but also the connection to the heritage of Nagaland and the preservation of a craft which is an essential part of the cultural make up of the state in India.

This is something that Edward wanted to preserve, for future generations to appreciate and be able to be proud of. He recognised that the craft risked dying out if used solely for traditional garments. He wanted his artisans to be able to make a living out of their craft and to be able to do what they love. Therefore, Edward decided to make Naga hand weaving an essential part of label’s story.

Edward had always been encouraged growing up to stay connected to his background and his family always kept him grounded within the local community. This is why he was so keen to begin the Weavers’ project and be able to give something back to his community and to do something for the place he came from, the place he will always feel so close to.

The Women’s Co-Operative

Edward’s joined up with a women’s co-operative in Nagaland, where women work together to get fair work and wages for what they do. Arepla ( Head of the co-op) and Edward together set up a women’s weaving group from women of the organisation. These weavers became a dedicated team, working to produce weaves for Edward’s designs.

The women were excited to be able to provide for their families doing something that they loved. When the women first came to weave for Edward, to showcase their skills, one of the women came to Edward and told him what it meant to her to be able to provide for her family by what she does, she said she was grateful to be able to keep her children housed and fed thanks to Edward’s work. Edward was so touched by this and it only made him more determined to carry out the project and be able to provide more work for these women and give something truly meaningful back to his home community.

The story

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Ms Chungki Chang:

Ms Chang is a widow with 4 kids. She was the reason our designer, Edward, was inspired to begin the project “The Weavers’ Story”. Hearing the story of how she loved what she did and wished she could do it for the rest of her life and the fact that she uses her craft to provide for her children really struck a cord with Edward.

Her story with us began when Edward was visiting Nagaland in May 2016 and she came to the door selling hand woven scarves. She had woven the scarves herself and was selling them to make money for her family. Her story was as beautiful as the scarves she had made. The sheer honesty of her story, her gift in weaving and her love for the craft that kept her and her family going was inspirational. We knew we had to do something for her, for the craft she loves, for the craft that was dying. Her weaving played a big role in our AW 17/18 Collection. Ms Chang told us she didn’t understand why we love hand weaving so much, and we replied “we love it because it gives us a chance to help weavers like you keep weaving”. It was magical to watch her weave, her craft tells a story, she lives the story, and there seems to be not a worry in the world when she is weaving her magic, yarn by yarn

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Edward Mongzar is making continuous efforts to preserve the craft of Naga hand weaving for future generations by encouraging unions and co-operatives to employ weavers and help to modernise the craft.