Hannah Warren received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to India in 2005. She fell in love with the country and decided to pursue a degree in South Asian Studies from the University of London ’s School of Oriental and African Studies.
In 2008 she received funding from the Royal Society of Asian Affairs to execute a photography project documenting the lives of female weavers in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh , India . Ultimately, her experiences during this project inspired her to found Jhoole, a fashion social enterprise that strives to empower women.
Instrumental in getting Jhoole off the ground was a multi-club matching grant from district 6420 that facilitated Hannah in helping female weavers, seamstresses and embroiderers improve their skills and develop a business plan to expand their market while also providing training to unskilled female laborers.
Jhoole is a social enterprise that produces fair trade, eco-friendly garments. A “social enterprise” is a business designed to benefit (rather than exploit) people living in poverty. Those stuck at the bottom of the textile supply chain often live in conditions akin to modern day slavery; Jhoole believes in the power of social enterprise to battle these injustices in direct, tangible ways.
Jhoole’s goal is to alleviate poverty as much as possible by creating a sustainable form of income for individuals in need. Jhoole currently employs over a hundred female weavers, seamstresses and embroiderers.