Meet Rama Narayanan, founder of Umbara, an organisation dedicated to an inward facing business concept, where the integrity of the process by which clothing and clothing items are made is done with attention to sustainability, scalability, zero waste, recycling and up-cycling of goods. The concept of slow fashion, and the Kanban system of organisation is woven into the very fabric of this organisation.
Bearing their journeys with dignity is what all women would like and this was communicated to Rama by many different women themselves, whilst she was working on design projects with them. “Teach us in a way that we can understand and provide products that have a market”, was what Rama was told many a times. Rama believes that unlike what we see, hear and understand, the poor are not poor but they are simply financially dependent and most often than not, look up to the educated for solutions that are viable.
Umbara has been functioning on this concept since 2009. Being an early entrant in the field of social entrepreneurship, Umbara avoided the NGO path and strode through GST challenges to become an online entity. Hugely benefited by instagram families and facebook supporters, the brand presently runs it’s own website.
During the recent lockdown and unlock, the brand worked with long distance communication through “whatsapp classrooms” to develop a series of products that were magically generated from locally generated waste.