Hyderabad: In the backdrop of hand weavers struggling to compete with industrial weaving, here is a city-based startup that seeks to seamlessly blend tradition with modern fashion.
The concept of the startup Ekor, which provides a platform where one can directly connect with weavers and get clothes designed as per one’s own choice and wish, was born after witnessing the plight of weavers. According to Ekor founder, Sai Kiran Kore, it all started when he went to travel as part of a documentary.
“I am originally a photographer and a friend of mine once asked me to cover handloom weavers as part of his documentary. I travelled to Pochampalli and other places known for their handlooms and it was then that I realised the struggles of weavers. I felt something could be done to improve their lives by incorporating modern fashion and making it popular,” shares Sai Kiran.
According to him, weavers work with cooperative societies or in tie-ups with local master weavers or in sheds organised by master weavers but they don’t have access to sell their wares directly.
“I was really moved by their condition and while I was still mulling over the idea, my friend Sneha Reddy joined me and we started this design studio,” he says.
For Sneha, it was her roots that made her want to be a part of this. “I saw my grandmother in handwoven clothes all my life and when Sai pitched me this idea, I instantly connected to this and we started off. We probably are not the first ones with such an idea but we definitely are playing a part in how handlooms are perceived,” she shares.
According to them, handlooms have a great potential in today’s fashion and one look at their designs reaffirms this, as they have shirts, kurtas, dresses, fashionable tops for women and more, all made out of traditional handlooms.
But what is the story behind the name? To this, Sai Kiran says, “My last name is Kore and Ekor is just a spin of my last name.”
Another interesting fact about this initiative is that they don’t want to bring in any investor to scale it up. “I don’t want to compromise on the quality or the idea or even the pricing as I want to keep it affordable to everyone,” adds Sai Kiran.
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