With a 4.5 lakh loan from her father, this designer started a meaningful luxury brand – showcased in Paris in just 6 months!

Rajeswari Mavuri - Founder Of Label RaMa

Founded in December 2022 and officially launched in April 2023, Label RaMa is a slow fashion luxury apparel brand that uses sustainable materials in all its offerings.

Label RaMa was founded by Rajeswari Mavuri. She has studied International Fashion Retailing at the University of Manchester. 

Rajeswari comes from a family deeply rooted in the art of weaving and trading. Her grandfather set up a retail saree store that’s one of the most popular in Hyderabad today. 

As a result, Rajeswari’s childhood was characterized by traveling across the country with her father and brother and handpicking sarees and materials from regions like Kanjipuram.  

It was this early exposure that ignited her passion for textiles, cultivating an eye for detail and quality.

From Fast to Slow Fashion

When Rajeswari joined the family business, she recognized the time-intensive nature of traditional handlooms. She yearned to incentivize the process.

In 2016, she made a conscious decision to shift gears, realizing the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Talking to Startup Pedia, Rajeswari said, I was a hoarder. I would purchase clothes and accessories all the time. Now this will seem very movie-like to you, but one day I had to go out and wanted to select an outfit. I opened my wardrobe, clothes tumbled down, but I still told myself that I had nothing to wear! Combined with decision fatigue and a guilt towards the environment, I knew I had to make a concrete change.

That is when Rajeswari took a pledge to reduce her own wardrobe’s clutter, moving towards slow fashion.

Label RaMa: The Story

Amidst the global chaos caused by Covid-19, Rajeswari revisited her roots, connecting with local weavers who were struggling. 

Some of them had worked with her family business previously. They pleaded with her for employment opportunities, especially for their sons and daughters. 

Rajeswari then decided to step away temporarily from her family business and aimed to improve the lives of these artisans.

She wanted to bring something to the world that accomplished both – pushing a trend towards slow, sustainable fashion, and improving the lives of handloom artisans.

Rajeswari says, I saw a trend where the Indian youth was succumbing to fast fashion. I wanted to bring a change and introduce them to slow fashion that sustains.

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With a loan of Rs 4.5 lakhs from her father, Raji established Label RaMa in December 2022. 

The first three months were dedicated to intensive training for her master tailor, focusing on the intricate art of working with muslin, known for its challenging stitching process. 

Eventually, the master tailor then trained the other artisans and tailors. As the team grew, so did the brand’s capacity to create sustainable, handcrafted garments. Presently, Label RaMa has a dedicated team of seven members. 

Today, Label RaMa is a luxury fashion mindful brand, crafting contemporary attire using jamdani, muslin and khadi. The range includes dresses, tops, co-ords, bottom wear, and outerwear.

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Rajeswari personally oversees the sourcing of fabrics, traveling to Ahmedabad, where the brand has its facility. 

The emphasis on using pure fabrics such as muslin and khadi is testament to Label RaMa’s commitment to luxury fashion with a conscience.

It’s important to add that Rajeswari and Label RaMa pay the handloom artisans very fairly and are dedicated towards improving their lives.

Growth 

Initially, the purchases came from friends and close networks. Rajeswari then undertook many outreach and marketing activities and as a result of them, customers began flocking to the brand.

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Since the beginning, Label RaMa has served more than 1000 customers through online sales on its website and offline exhibitions. 

Beyond India, the brand has collaborated with concept stores in France to share its commitment to sustainable and handloom fashion. Rajeswari says, “The demand from the West has made me realize how much people truly value sustainable clothing. It is just that their options are limited.”

According to an interview with Startup Pedia, since its inception in April 2023, Label RaMa has achieved a commendable revenue of Rs 50 lakhs. 

In just seven months, she has positively helped 4 clusters of handloom artisans earn better and have an increased standard of living.

Looking ahead

Rajeswari Mavuri’s vision for Label RaMa includes reviving, incentivizing and popularizing handloom on a broader scale. 

The ambitious plans include establishing a standalone store in Paris, further solidifying Label RaMa’s position as a global brand for sustainable and mindful fashion.