“The Business of Handloom Fashion: The Future of Sustainable Dyeing and Weaving Workshops in India and Japan”
Annapurna Mamidipudi, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Maastricht
Amanda Mayer Stinchecum, Research Associate, Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, Harvard University; Research Associate, Institute for Okinawan Studies, Hōsei University
Moderated by Dorothy Ko, Professor of History, Barnard College
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918
No Registration Required.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Science and Society
In China, whatever was left of the once ubiquitous handloom industry all but disappeared under Soviet-style industrialization programs in the early years of the People’s Republic in the 1950s. However, in India, an estimated 4.33 million craftspeople still made a living from handloom weaving in 2015. In Okinawa, traditional weaving and dyeing were revived and workshops established under the U.S. Occupation government following the end of World War II.
The contrasting fate of handloom workshops in India, Okinawa, and China is rooted in cultural and institutional forces such as government policies and the shape of the market. What does the future look like for workshops in India and Okinawa (and, say, embroidery workshops in China)? What are the sociotechnical keys to sustainability and development? In this roundtable, we survey the business approaches that work and ponder strategies for sustainable growth into the future.