Uma Prajapati was born in Bodh Gaya, the place where many centuries ago, Gautama Buddha found enlightenment. Trained at the National Institute of Fashion and Technology in New Delhi, she worked with many designers for the European fashion market. In her late/early twenties, the search for a meaningful life brought her to Auroville in 1996. Upasana was born out of Uma’s twin passions for sustainable clothing and Indian handicraft traditions.
The company, which is today a leading sustainable fashion business in India, was created in 1997 with an initial investment of Rs. 2000 and a lot of determination. Uma combined handloom fabric with her signature design vision to create stylish contemporary clothes and accessories. When thousands of cotton farmers in India committed suicide because of indebtedness and the agricultural crisis caused by Monsanto and GMO crops, Uma who had always deplored the conditions in the garment industry decided it was time for change.
Uma has always championed organic cotton fabric. The Paruthi line supports organic farmers and their families, by enabling them to switch to organic agricultural practices. However, organic in itself does not necessarily mean sustainable. Uma is committed to bridging the distance between organic and sustainable. She is now exploring using only locally made fabric. This promise roots Upasana in the community it has evolved out of. Besides retail design, Upasana had extended its arms into various social projects such as Tsunamika, Small Steps and Varanasi Weavers.
I will give you fashion,
but I will make it my own way.