Mareike Fernandes, RAY’s founder works with local communities in Rajasthan, India to create garments that honour the human hands that make them. In this excerpt, we take a quick peek into the mind of an ethical fashion brand founder.
“Our collection is manufactured in Rajasthan by a local non profit working on providing a safe working environment for women. Half of our family is from a little village called Pune, India. In a way, knowing that traditional crafts like this can positively contribute to a community inspired us to find ways to give back to our local community in Pune.”
“As you can see in our collections, I am fascinated by embroidery. It was not until much later that I linked this fascination to my Romanian roots. I grew up around fabric art because my mother and other local women used to weave, but this memory had completely escaped me until I started this project.”
“I have met so many amazing women. Seeing how RAY can connect people is the best reward of all. For example, our model got in touch because the brand resonated with her and we have been working together since.
There was also one time I had to personally deliver a parcel to one of our customers. We had coffee and talked for hours about anything and everything like old friends.
“I wish I had enjoyed a longer maternity leave, but I had to go back to work when our daughter was just eight weeks old.
There was a time I had an important meeting to attend. Ofcourse I took Uma Ray with me, fortunately, she slept through the meeting.”
“The birth of our daughter Uma Ray, opened up a doorway to us questioning a lot of things. For instance, we eat less meat now that we know the environmental impact. Even around us, there are more social causes that we are actively participating in. We are slowly making changes and hopefully creating a ideal values world for her to grow up in.”
Words by Khumoetsile Seamogano