Originally from a weaving family that went on to establish a textile house which has been thriving for over three generations, Rajeswari Mavuri has handloom fabrics woven right into her DNA. Her experience makes her uniquely qualified to meticulously source truly authentic hand-woven fabric. She works closely with artisans in rural clusters, ensuring not only that the fabric is of exceptional quality but also safeguarding the well-being of both the craft and the artisan. As we approach National Handloom Day, Homegrown takes a look at the journey of a change-maker who's seeking to revolutionise the textile sector.
Led by Mavuri, Label Rama is on a mission to continue the unbroken lineage of Indian handlooms and heritage by distilling it into a form of meaningful luxury. Taking inspiration from the deep-rooted history of India and celebrating it in all its glory, their garments evoke pride in the history and culture of their places of origin. This marriage of slow fashion and meaningful luxury leads to designs that showcase only the most authentic and traditionally woven Indian fabrics on zero-electricity hand looms using natural and naturally dyed fibres.
When Mavuri left India for a Master’s in Fashion Retailing in the UK, she saw India from different perspectives. India became her muse in a much larger sense and Label Rama was born. Label Rama distils all the complex, intricate, mythical glory that puts India into a contemporary context for the world to experience. Her approach to fashion challenges traditional gender norms, encourages individuality and promotes comfort and practicality without sacrificing elegance.
Mavuri believes that handlooms have been woven into the very fabric of Indian society for a millennia; socially, culturally and economically. Weaving was a thriving local economy that involved the entire family, creating an essential role for women. Today the children of weavers are fleeing from the occupation, which is an understandable choice given that it is not a sustainable livelihood and the caste implications can often have a negative impact on perception.
Emphasising the need for radical and creative solutions to this, the young designer is seeking solutions which encompass the economic, cultural and community impact that handloom garments have in India. At Label Rama, she engages in educating people about why the garments are to be valued and are in fact better for our skin. Furthermore, by changing how people perceive all of this, she presents them in contemporary styles and in the process, is redefining them as a form meaningful luxury.
The label also tries to engage the weavers in the process of the design so that they are not just suppliers but also collaborators in the creation. Mavuri works closely with artisans in rural clusters, ensuring not only that the fabric is of exceptional quality but also the well being of the craft and the artisan. She is an active member of the Crafts Council of Andhra Pradesh and writes extensively about Indian handlooms in English dailies, sharing her knowledge and passion with a wider audience.
It is through these small yet powerful initiatives that the younger generations of Indians are reviving the glory of the handloom sector. Mavuri is continuing the glorious and unbroken lineage of the ancient craft of hand weaving through the independent label.
You can explore their mission and vision here.
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