Though the history of weavers’ co-operative dates back to the first quarter of 20th century, strictly speaking serious efforts were made in the year 1934-35 to bring large number of weavers in TamilNadu under the co-operative fold to strengthen entire handloom sector.
Today, in TamilNadu there are 1,134 Handloom Weaver Co-operative Societies functioning in TamilNadu as on 31.03.2021. As per 2019-20, 4th All India Handloom Census, there are 2.44 lakh handloom weavers in the State. During the year 2020-2021, the Handloom Weavers Co-operative Societies have produced cloth valued at Rs.847.65 crore and sold Handloom Products to the extent of Rs.1027.01 crore.
Since all these societies were scattered and were unable to market their handloom products individually, formation of a state level apex marketing cooperative was considered necessary to market procured handloom products through the network of outlets in and outside of TamilNadu thus providing ensured marketing support. It is only in this context, the TamilNadu Handloom Weavers’ Co-operative Society Limited, popularly known as “Co-optex” was established in 1935.
Co-optex is the largest apex handloom weavers’ cooperative society in India promoting handloom industry and the interest of cooperative weavers on a commercially viable manner. Its main functions are – organization of production according to the needs and taste of market, procurement of stock from handloom weavers’ cooperative societies and marketing of those products through its effective network of shops throughout the country. It also provides technical and financial help to the weavers.