Generation Z, the generation for youth and new innovation, four masterminds of KU, who believed to change the traditional, time-consuming weaving techniques for all the weaving enthusiasts. They planned a convenient and eco-friendly weaving machine that is designed to benefit all the marginalized and weaving enthusiasts to open their own start-up from a small capital.
“The concept of Aauzar started when we conceived the idea of converting old furniture into handlooms by noticing grandmother’s old chair set at home. Aauzar is all about developing a weaving machine that is almost 100% green and helps to generate “circular economy” using nature-based solutions by making every marginalized group/people an entrepreneur manufacturing organic clothes. During our internship period of Crafting Futures under Design Lab of Kathmandu University, we were fortunate to explore various problems in craft sectors. Some of them being chairs/used furniture causing pollution, hand-weaving process taking time and requiring a lot of skills, inappropriate sitting positions of vertical/horizontal weavers. Our idea revolves around the upcycling of old chairs and furniture and use of Bamboo instead of wood to avoid deforestation. With this we can solve various problems of crafters like their back pain, mitigating several severe problems like deforestation, by upcycling used furniture and making every craftsmen an entrepreneur by linking them to Fair Trade Organizations around the world to obtain possible market.”
This project got a boost with the grant announcement from the British Council. With hopes and aspirations to complete this project they applied for the grant and attended an incubator session for six days. After completion of the incubation session from The British Council and enhancing their knowledge about: profit, people, planet, and purpose, the British council granted them a sum of 16.4 lakhs to continue their project. This was a huge nudge for them to accomplish all the aspirations they had with Aauzar.
They still have many plans for making this project work well. They don’t view this grant as an achievement, rather, this grant has just pushed them one step closer to achieving their goals. They said, “we will only achieve something if our weaving machine helps people uplift their weaving experience.” They plan to expose the weaved clothes produced from that loop across the country, giving all the small entrepreneurs a platform for their products.
The materials used in the construction of these machines are collected from their collaboration with many scrap dealers who will provide them as many old chairs as they want. The main objective of this sustainable weaving machine is not to dominate the market with their weaving machine, but to provide an economically friendly weaving machine for all the marginalized communities.
Their plan to sell the produced products by collaborating with different international fair trade organizations, will give their product an exposure to the international market and also provide training and conduct seminar sessions on how to operate the machine. Along with the training, their other focus is to make these weaving machines available to as many needy people as possible. With availability of these machines for sale, they have also planned to provide EMI service to make the process of purchasing easier. They are also planning to collaborate with nepal nut crafts and many other organizations to give exposure to their products in nepali market. Since they are planning to serve the poor many organizations have promised to help them to expose their product to the market.
Art and craft are a proud aspect of Nepalese culture but it has not been utilized and researched well. So they are taking a step forward in exploring the art and craft of Nepal and want to motivate the new generation the importance of art, craft and culture. Though we don’t have a history of automated traditional equipment and technology, we can explore more about our traditional equipment and bring improvement/modification if necessary preserving the same cultural sentiments.
While achieving something beyond what the stereotypical society expects from them, it was not strange for them to receive backlash. But these four mechanical engineers broke the barriers put out by society. Being mechanical students, working in the arts sector made several heads turn, but these reactions from people were never a setback for them but a motivation to prove them all wrong.