Chennai-based designer, Menaka Bapuji started Varnuyathe which is a fusion of two Sanskrit words. "Varnam" meaning colour and "Uyathe" meaning to weave. With a design degree, she started the label as an Indo-western clothing brand. She primarily works with handwoven, hand printed and hand embroidered fabrics, made from natural fibers and dyes, while the silhouettes do vary from ethnic to contemporary. Women and kids wear is her forte, however, she does make kurtas and ethnic shirts for men, too. She also launched a line of cloth-covered notebooks that can be custom made to your choice. But what startled us is that she makes clothes from unique natural fabrics like aloe-vera, banana, hemp, kenaf (gongura), bamboo, jute, beechwood, milkweed, nettle, pineapple and much more. There are several benefits to this - these fibers use little water to grow and do not require chemical pesticides and artificial fertilizers to mature. Secondly, the time it takes to process these special fibers into yarn is significantly lower compared to synthetic fibers. The best part is that Varnuyathe also works with fabrics made from recycled pet bottles. They can also customise your look, so you can choose whether you want pineapple, aloe-vera or gongura. Sounds so weird, but how cool is the concept? All these fabrics are woven from a handloom weaving association close to Chennai, and sometimes from Kanchipuram or Coimbatore too, depending on the fabric composition. Once woven, the grey fabric is sent to different parts of the country, depending on the prints that she chooses. The kalamkaris are done in Andhra Pradesh, while the tie-dye and ajrakhs are from Rajasthan. And the best part? They are all organic. The final product includes saree, skirt, palazzo, dress, tunic, shirt, and kurta. Varnuyathe also does mix and match with different blocks for borders, saree pallus, etc. The kids clothing starts from INR 550. Women's clothing range from INR 900. The customised clothing starts from INR 650 and notebooks range from INR 100. Chennai loves all kinds of maxis - so check out their anarkalis, dresses, kalamkari sarees, palazzos, and printed tunics.