RaasLeela is a concept-based brand from Gujarat, India that specializes in sustainable, eco-friendly, hand-sewn and embroidered garments, accessories, and textiles for the home. The team of fourteen women works only with bleach-free and dye-free Kora cotton fabrics, upcycled remnants, and intact portions from damaged textiles sourced from weavers, making each piece one of a kind. RaasLeela’s designers are encouraged to explore and celebrate their individual creativity and develop their own aesthetics, furthering the uniqueness of the products the brand offers.
Born and raised in a weavers’ community, Hetal Shrivastav, the founder and creative head of RaasLeela, studied design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology. At the same time, she harbored a deep interest in craft and an admiration for the sustainability of traditional hand-making processes. In Gujarat, traditional embroidery and hand sewing are common professions for women, so Hetal was able to form a local team of talented artisans to help realize her ambition of marrying contemporary couture with traditional and environmentally responsible craft practices. In particular, Hetal sought to hire women who had moved from rural to urban areas, and offer them jobs utilizing skills they already had, rather than needing to retrain and start new careers.
The garments and textiles produced by the women of RaasLeela are oversized, comfortable, cool, and quirky. Depending on the individual designer’s skillset and interests they may feature embroidered drawings of lawn furniture, appliqued cut-outs inspired by local flora and fauna, geometric patterns with unexpected interruptions, or colorful patchworks that celebrate the irregularities of the fabrics they incorporate. Each work is both an artistic and a fashion statement, and RaasLeela customers can rest assured they’ll never end up at a party wearing the same outfit as anyone else.