Uma Prajapati is a Fashion Designer, an Activist and an Entrepreneur who lives in Auroville (www.auroville.org) since 1996, apart from being the founder of Upasana (www.upasana.in) a clothing company at Auroville, Uma currently heads few social projects, guides young entrepreneurs, does strategy planning for NGOs and teaches conscious fashion nationally and internationally.
Design for change is very close to her heart and being a Fashion designer she believes Fashion can contribute in this journey, sustainable future can emerge through fashion for the textile and craft industry.
Uma sees a need to make design democratic. She believes that design can serve society. India alone has 55 million people in craft and textile sector. Projects she has designed focuses on using creative power of design for grass route and creating social businesses.
25 years in Fashion industry. Uma founded “Upasana” as a clothing brand in Auroville in 1997. She later designed many social projects and gave them a self-sustained livelihood, women empowerment has been her key focus. She has been a serial entrepreneur and has created many social brands.
Upasana, is a clothing company located in Auroville, Tamil Nadu in southern India, is a place where creativity, fashion, design, Indian culture, business, social responsibility and spiritual progress get woven seamlessly together.
Upasana’s design philosophy
Fashion has power, the power to change lives. The lives of farmers, spinners, weavers, printers, tailors, designers and many more who have invisibly woven their souls into what we wear. Upasana honours them all, consciously, at every stage of crafting our products. Shifting fashion to touch the soul instead of just the body, we believe life is interconnected. Beauty is beyond vanity. The process of creation is as precious to us as giving you a beautiful product.
We honour flaws in weaving as part of honouring life, streak of shade in dye as part of natural shades. We silently celebrate the fading of natural dyes as we gracefully watch ourselves change through time. We design for mortality while honouring life, nature and inner growth.
- Tsunamika - A living symbol :
Facebook : tsunamika.alivingsymbol
- Started as a trauma counselling effort for fisherwomen after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, today more than five million Tsunamika dolls are made and sent to over 80 countries. Tsunamika has now become a ’symbol of hope’. They are gifts of love and friendship. The raw material came from industrial waste and more than 600 women were taught to make them.
- Tsunamika runs on ’gift economy’ - it is never sold, but given. The project runs on community support where people take dolls and contribute as per their capacity. Tsunamika project has been given the ‘Award of Excellence’ by the Government of India and a special recognition by UNESCO.
- Smallsteps - For a big change :
Facebook : smallsteps
- Smallsteps is a green campaign which was launched as a solution to the environmental problem of plastic carry bags. We encourage people to avoid the usage of plastic bags by carrying their own shopping bag. Smallsteps, however, is more than just a bag. Women from more than 14 villages work to make these bags. Smallsteps believes that solutions to our problems lie in every little step we take every day.
- Varanasi Weavers – Continuing the thread of tradition :
Facebook : varanasiweavers.org
- Upasana began to work with weavers community in Benaras in 2006 and later went on to introduce a brand called ’Varanasi Weavers.’ This project encourages the weavers to continue what they are good in – weaving. Upasana involves itself with the community with social intervention, design, communication solutions and marketing. This project has been granted special recognition by the UNESCO. Upasana has introduced Varanasi both nationally and globally and has also brought many brands to work in support of the weavers community.
- Paruthi – India’s Local Organic Brand :
- Facebook : paruthiwear
- With ’Paruthi’, Upasana decided to go ’Organic’ in 2011. Upasana has been working with the Organic cotton farming community for many years and decided to launch the brand in their support. Paruthi, in Tamil, means ’Cotton’. It has taken a fashion route to sustainability and successfully launched a clothing line under ’Responsible fashion.’ Uma, founder of Upasana says, “Fashion has the power to change the world. Give it a chance.”
- Janaki - House of Conscious Living :
- Facebook : JanakiHouseOfConsciousLiving
- We celebrate Handmade in India at Janaki. Janaki is a community of consumers, producers, designers and dreamers of a conscious lifestyle. Our dream is Responsible design, Luxury and Excellence. We design our products connecting luxury and grassroot. Our clothes are made in finest organic cotton, Khadi and handloom. Bodycare line is pure and organic. We care for You, Our planet and Our people.
Social media links
Upasana FB https://www.facebook.com/upasanaindia
Smallsteps FB https://www.facebook.com/smallstepsbags
Conscious fashion hub FB https://www.facebook.com/theconsciousfashionhub