The brand was started in 1981 by Archana Shah, an alumna of the National Institute of Design. The first store opened in Ahmedabad in 1985, BANDHEJ was one of the first 'designer' labels in the country, which while drawing upon the Indian heritage in textiles also reflected a very contemporary sensibility in the design of its fabrics and clothing for men and women, offering a range of clothing for a multicultural woman, who is looking for eclectic apparel that reflects her strong sense of self and style. Archana Shah says "At Bandhej, craft is not treated like fashion novelty to be forgotten when not in vogue. The attempt has been to constantly find new design directions for the same crafts. It is a design challenge to innovate and continue working with craft communities with which working relationships have been built over the last twenty five years and more."