idii Collections is a Chin local clothing branded Traditional Costume collection. It is woven with high quality, beautiful colors and great textiles. The group focuses on helping women earn money by traditional hand weaving.
What Aidii is
Aidii Collection is a famous local product of Chin State. All the products are back-strapped woven, and are produced with yarns from India and natural dyed yarns of Myanmar. Aidii is also trying to revitalize the Chin traditional way of dying silk and cotton yarns. Traditional fabrics, side bags, and accessories are the most famous products among Aidii collections.
There is the Aidii Weaving House to visit and buy Aidii collections in Hakha, the capital city of Chin State. In Chin State, most women can weave, the weaving technique is inherited by their Chin ancestors. Aidii weaving house was established as a social entrepreneurship in order to sustain the ancestral heritages of Chin traditional back-strapped weaving and sell Chin traditional woven cloths with trusted quality in both local and international fashion markets. There are 53 different tribes in Chin State and Aidii brands are mainly based on “Lai (Hakha) tribe’s traditional woven cloths''.
The founder of Aidii
Aidii was founded by Anna Biak Tha Mawi, a young Chin entrepreneur woman and a poet. She started running the weaving house in 2014 and legally registered her company in 2015. She is also famous among creative entrepreneurs within the country. She graduated with B.A.(Eng) from Liberal Arts Program, Myanmar Institute of Theology and studied Documentary filmmaking at Yangon Film School. She has published 5 poem books now. She herself loves weaving so she learnt weaving from her grandmother and mother when she was a child. She loved visiting the weavers whenever she went back to her village.
Reasons of establishing Aidii
After studying Documentary Filmmaking in Yangon, she went back to Chin State to do a documentary project in 2012. At that time, she met many women selling the woven traditional costumes door to door traveling from their villages on foot. Sometimes, they simply went back to their villages without selling the costumes if they didn't get the price they desired. It sometimes takes days and 3 or 4 months to weave to make a costume (blouse, longyi and shawl) so that the weavers do not want to sell the products unless they get a reasonable price for their hard work. Since it was hard to be paid a suitable price for a costume and it took considerable time to finish a set, the weavers did not want to pass their skills and techniques to the next generation. This caused the Chin people to lose the traditional back-strap weaving techniques.
Anna also found out that there was no proper market for authentic back-strap woven materials in Chin State. These were the reasons “Aidii Collections” was founded. She started Aidii Weaving House with 13 Chin weavers with the purpose of preserving Chin traditional back-strap weaving, modernizing it according to the time and creating job opportunities for Chin weavers and young people.
Aidii and Women Empowerment
There are 10 full-time weavers and 54 part-time weavers at Aidii Weaving House. In Chin State, there are many women who have to take care of the whole family’s affairs and they have no time to work outside and get paid. One of the objectives of Aidii is giving part-time work opportunity to women who do not have proper work and who spend the whole day at home busy with housework. This way they are able to gain an income by weaving at home. The part-time weavers are given textile samples and they do weaving at home whenever they have free time. Full-time weavers work at Aidii Weaving House everyday. So Visitors can observe and study how they weave.
Aidii also manages some training for women who lost their jobs after COVID-19 and the coup in Chin State and helps them to get work and an income. On social media it was recommended that “supporting Aidii collections is not only promoting the sustainability of Chin traditional weaving heritage but is also creating better job opportunities for women of the Chin community”.
Aidii in the Markets
Aidii’s modernized products have become popular and Aidii has become the first local traditional brand in Chin State. The designs, patterns, colors, and quality are popular for both adults (between 18-60 years old). But the more it became popular, the greater the threat to its uniqueness. There are now many copied designs products (produced with loom) in the market with low quality and cheaper prices. That has become the challanges for Aidii group.
The founder, Anna Biak Tha Mawi said “Please, remember that whenever you purchase the products from Aidii Weaving House, each of them is specifically made by the weavers in Chin State and you are not only helping them in their living and preserving the tradition of Chin people. You also need to remember that you are a part of big dreams of these people that can change their lives.” Aidii traditional dresses are worn only at big celebrations like Chin National Day ,Weddings, Graduations ..etc.,..
If you want online shopping, Aidii local products can be ordered via their Facebook Page - Aidii Collection and it is shipped everywhere around the world. You can also pay online.
For the USA customers, Aidii has opened a new store- 3620 Holly Cir in Indianapolis within this month so you can get the products in stock.
For me, As Aidii is helping and empowering women and maintaining the traditional weaving culture and its techniques, I support Aidii by not buying copied products. Wearing Aidii collections handicrafts help me feel more confident.
Zero Waste Bags
One of my favorite Aidii items is a handmade bag. After cutting off the yarn while weaving the dress, the cut-off yarn cannot be used for another dress. Those leftover scrapped yarns are not thrown in the trash but are reused to make customized bags. That is why it is called a “ zero wasted bag”. This implies that Aidii is also concerned about the environment and globalization. As it has amazing purposes and quality products, we value it. It is also a good handmade product for gift ideas.
Support Aidii's women from small villages in Chin State by buying local goods and supporting them. "Aidii Collection" may also be used as a gift for those with special significance.