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Upasana Design Studio is based in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, south India and is into garment design and manufacturing and “socially responsible design”. Our design philosophy, integral design, is based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo. Following on these footsteps, we have been consciously involved in various projects (as given below) where we try to bring design to a level beyond the product and apply it to answer the various problems of everyday life. Being in Auroville has inspired our dream and our work is in the spirit of contributing to the world through our projects.


Upasana as a design studio is also aimed at representing India through its textile to Auroville and the world. For our designs, we use mainly India 's traditional textiles. The studio provides space for other designers from across the world to explore their creativity and learn about ideals of Auroville.


The philosophy of the studio can be defined in one line –

“There is only one user, the Supreme Self who dwells in all”.


At Upasana, we believe that design is about all facets of a product, those who will produce it, those who will use it and how it affects the environment. Our involvement in Socially Responsible design stems from this philosophy of Integral Design.


The Tsunami of 2004 has been a major landmark in Upasana's history. Together our team realised that we had to be a part of the solution, of the soothing balm that was needed after such a tragedy. This brought us into the foray of Socially Responsible Design, with our project Tsunamika. Since then we have initiated other projects that have fired our creativity, imagination and sense of social conviction.


Our various projects are:


Small Steps

Varanasi Weavers

KAPAS the organic cotton project.



These are outlined below.

Website: www.upasana.in


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in








Tsunamika is a little doll handmade by the fisherwomen in coastal villages next to Auroville, Tamil Nadu, after the Tsunami. It is made out of industrial waste (fabric).


Started as Trauma counseling to tsunami affected people, Tsunamika later became the symbol of love, hope and the joy of unconditional giving .She was distributed as a gift all over the world & became symbol of Gift economy. She provides 200 fisherwomen with livelihood.

She invokes the heart and higher values of the society. This project is a living prototype representing Human Unity.


Website: www.tsunamika.org


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in








Small Steps is an initiative promoting a responsible alternative to throw away plastic shopping bags. India generates 5600 tons of plastic waste daily, with a Small Steps bag, we no longer have to choose between “paper or plastic”.

Recycling is good, but reuse is so much better. These bags are compact and come in two styles.


Small Steps has a group of volunteers in India who have committed to making 10 Million bags. This initiative will also provide jobs for 1000 people in rural India .

This project is to promote environmental awareness and responsibility towards Mother Earth.


Small Steps was launched on 22 nd April 2007 and we are proud to announce that it has completed one year and has become self sustainable. It is able to generate its own income with the support and goodwill of its volunteers and patrons.


Website: www.smallsteps.in


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in








Design took a form of livelihood to the weavers of Varanasi , who were facing hardships. Weaving - a craft of great value was lying in shambles. For several months the weavers had no jobs and were living lives of misery and utter poverty.


Upasana Design Studio took this challenge as a development project to revive the handicraft. This project provides livelihood to Varanasi weavers who were leaving their looms to become laborers and rickshaw drivers for survival. We were supported by Bestseller Foundation, a division of Danish clothing company Bestseller.


The project is aimed at making the weavers and their families self-reliant and enabling them to earn a dignified and decent wage for themselves as well as protecting the ancient craft heritage.


Website: www.varanasiweavers.org


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in





“KAPAS”_the organic cotton project



Kapas is a sustainable business collaborative striving to protect and promote the fragile cotton communities of Tamil Nadu. Failed crops, increased competition, and unfair business practices have driven thousands of cotton farmers and weavers to despair; over 2 lahk cotton farmers have committed suicide in the past decade.


As a member of the fashion community, Upasana Design Studio could not silently witness such destruction. Kapas leverages partnerships with several local organizations to: choose only organic and indigenous crops nurtured by all-natural fertilizers; employ a fair business model that improves the livelihoods farmers and weavers; and use natural dyes to create top-quality basics with a higher level of consciousness. We are working with Covenant Centre of Development (CCD), Gandhigram, Colours of Nature, and Bestseller Foundation, among others.


From seed to sale, Kapas is socially and environmentally sustainable, using only the most ethical practices for the Earth and the cotton communities of rural India .


Website: www.kapas.in


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in





TRANQUEBAR: Land of the Singing Waves



Tranquebar: Land of the Singing Waves is a project striving to restore beauty and charm to a quiet coastal town and its people. We are working in close partnership with Bestseller Fund, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), and Saint Joseph Development Trust.


Nestled in the Coromandel coast 70km south of Pondicherry, Tranquebar lay untouched after the English left India , content to reminisce in memories of its vibrant past: Danish dignitaries, Muslim traders, German theologians, Moravian entrepreneurs, and sea merchants from all corners of the globe—each of whom left an important mark on the local way of life. But nothing marked the town as much as the 2004 Tsunami, which tore apart its glorious architecture, watered-down its deep-seeded memories, and drowned the hopes of its inhabitants.


Upasana hopes to transform Tranquebar into a cultural tourism destination by highlighting its beautiful heritage. Through training and marketing, we are engaging the local population, enhancing their skills in craft (the prevalent medium of their livelihood), and bringing them into contact with visitors eager to buy their wares. In this way, the people can improve their livelihoods and feel proud of Tranquebar once again.


Website: www.tranquebar.in


For more details about Upasana or any of its projects, please write to office@upasana.in


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