It all began in 2016 when Arun Kumar stumbled upon some baby clothes that belonged to his sister. Even though the clothes were almost 20 years old, they were much softer and made from pure cotton fabric, unlike what’s currently available in the market.
That’s when the idea of ‘Ambaram’ was born.
With his sister, Ponmani, Arun decided to start a line of baby clothing that was made from handspun cotton, suitable for the Indian climatic conditions.
“I was working as a web-designer in Chennai but I had this constant feeling that I wasn’t making an impact. I wasn’t keen on staying in the city, either. So we decided to set up the company in Villupuram,” he shares.
It’s their hometown, nearly 160 km away from Chennai.
Ambaram means ‘mild cloth’ in Tamil and stands true to its name by creating fabric that is safe for the skin and good for the environment.
“Each raw material that goes into the making of these clothes is sourced naturally. The fabric used is pure cotton and the dyes are extracted from vegetables and leaves. And since we use natural elements, the colours of our clothes are also limited to pastel yellow, green, blue and pink,” he adds.
Arun and Ponmani were always determined that their business would benefit others. For this reason, they employed 4-5 homemakers and widows for their unit in Puliyanur Village, Villupuram.
“We set up the unit close to their homes so that they can go back to their families after work and not have to travel much,” Arun explains.
The fabrics for the clothes produced by Ambaram are sourced from Gandhigram at Dindigul from handloom weavers in and around the weaving clusters of Chennimalai.
“We did a lot of research and travelling to find the right source for the fabric. We wanted to empower the weavers and get quality fabric at the same time,” he explains.
Further, Ponmani holds a degree in Fashion and designs the patterns of clothes at Ambaram. He tells me that she is keen on keeping zippers, buttons and elastic away as these are hazardous and can hurt baby skin.
Ambaram also produces extraordinary baby gift sets that consist of jablas, nappies, bibs, shorts, bracelets made from calamus root and palm leaf rattles made by artisans in Thiruchendur and Ramanathapuram.
“People have started understanding the need for sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics, especially for children. In our next phase, we hope to design and create clothes for children above the age of five,” Arun concludes.
Check out the range of clothes and baby gift sets from Ambaram here!
(Edited By Shruti Singhal)