Women In Slum Areas Are Crafting A Better World

Hyderabad, February 13: Our age-old and long-forgotten bags have not become bags of hope for women living in slums of Pune.

Their Hand-woven bags made using 100% recyclable plastic was a huge hit with the socialites of Hyderabad city.

According to Totum, the social enterprise behind organizing these women, the product was a huge hit with Hyderabad’s and they are sold out.

We all have grown used to seeing these bags. And they are forgotten over a course of time. But now they have come back to the rescue of many women and their families living in slums of Pune. Besides helping them it is also a revival of the vintage craft. It serves a dual purpose.

According to founder, Jyotsna Shahane, who was in Hyderabad to participate in Kausalyam 2021, a Handlooms and Handicrafts exhibition organized by Crafts Council of India, after two years of working in the slums of Pune to introduce sustainable practices for garbage disposal, it became clear, to improve their lives, their wage-earning capacities must be improved.

They had neither education nor marketable skills. Hand Knotting of the bags was born. Then they learnt to use 100% recyclable plastic. Then came Totum Bags to market their products.

All bag designs and colour combinations that we sell are unique to Totum Bags says Jyotsna, and your purchase has a direct social impact on women in need. Totum’s colourful bags brighten up all our lives! she adds.

These are bags of hope for women. Our mission through these bags is to help them by providing skills as well as an economic opportunity. Most of the women who weave Totum bags are home-bound due to cultural or religious traditions, have multiple dependents to take care of, or have been widowed or abandoned, informs Jyotsna.

By allowing our artisans to earn a fair wage while working from the safety of home, Totum enables them to support their families, lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty, and gain a position of respect and dignity in their communities. Our primary mission is to support the women of Totum to become pillars of their communities, she informs.

The bags are made to safeguard the future while taking inspiration from the past. By reviving the vintage Indian craft of hand-knotted bag weaving and using 100% recyclable plastic, we hope to encourage the practice of reuse and help reduce the demand for disposable single-use bags that wreak havoc on the planet, informs Jyotsna.

The bags are not just recyclable, they are sturdy, works well for versatile usage, easy to clean and extremely water-resistant.

The bags come in various shapes and sizes.

The collection includes: Boss Essentials; Marché Collection; Newly Added; Best Sellers; Limited Edition.

Women In Slum Areas Are Crafting A Better World

Their designs and handles also vary. They include Vegan Leather Handles; Woven Handles; Monochrome Bags; Third Eye Knot Bags; Cross Knot Bags; Regular Knot Bags. Depending on the design, the bags have handles that are hand-woven to match, or made from vegan leather. Vegan leather handles can be black, brown, tan, white, or deep red, based on the bag design.

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