Thousands of looms in Varanasi have become silent in the last decade. Cheap, bad quality imitations have flooded the market and left weavers and traders in despair. 85% percent of the weavers have wandered away to pursue other livelihood options. The consequence of this is not only the economical struggle for this population but the possible extinction of millenary traditions that had been recognized worldwide as patrimony of humanity. In 2008, Upasana took responsibility of this issue associating with the weavers and creating the Varanasi Weavers. With this partnership came a new creative direction: changing the sari focused weaver production into a scarf one; same technique, less time and more competition in local and international markets.
Upasana’s partnership with the weavers not only included capacitating new techniques, it also involved economic retributions for their work, women empowerment programs, quality incentives and health insurance among many other aids that make their life and work quality much better. Nowadays the Varanasi Weavers project is growing in number, uniting more weaving looms and communities making sure that the weavers receive a fair trade for their job while the tradition is kept alive.