Over the past year you've probably heard us talking about our relocation and I wanted to share all the information with you. First off before I start telling our story- rest assured that Arraei will continue on as usual with some small changes behind the scenes. We'll still be here creating your timeless modern bohême pieces.
This October my fiancé and I moved to our family farm in a remote part of Zambia. A welcome change as we have been longing for life back under the African skies since leaving to travel 8 years ago. I’m so excited at the thought of a slower more intentional life, immersed in nature and close to family again.
Though there will be challenges I’m feeling ripe for the transition, and I plan to take you all with me on that journey of discovery. We have dreams of building our forever home, living in harmony with the land, learning about regenerative farming principles, beekeeping, starting a new business, raising goats and chickens, planting, harvesting and lots of travel. Currently we are renovating our little bush cottage, and I go on my first bee keeping course this week - follow our journey on my personal account @days_with_florence
These past 4 years in Canada have taught me so much and I am forever grateful to this land and it’s people for those experiences. Arraei officially begun 3 years ago on the 15th July 2018, the day I launched our online store. However the concept of Arraei really begun before that in India. A country I’ve travelled many times, spending months on the road exploring, learning and growing. I felt a deep connection to the land the moment I arrived and have ever since, which is why it was an easy decision to do our production there after our move. Zambia wasn’t an option since it has very little infrastructure and no textile or sewing industry at all, so India it was. India is well known for its natural textile development, embroidery, handwork and natural dying so it’s always been a dream of mine to produce part of our collection there and work with local artisans. Every decision made at Arraei is guided by the principles outlined in our Manifesto. In short this means we only work with ethical factories that are certified under a regulatory board, with sustainable production practices and high quality natural materials.
A few things from our list of criteria the new factory had to meet were:
- Ethical working conditions
- Fair wages
- Sustainable dyeing practices, free from harmful chemicals (AZO free dye)
- Circular waste solutions for dyeing and manufacturing
- Factories that are certified with SA8000 or ICA
- Natural materials sourced sustainably
- Certified Organic fabrics where possible
- Natural dyeing
As you can imagine this was no small task- it’s taken months of work finding the perfect fit but I am happy to announce that we have finally found 2 factories to work with for our upcoming productions, that meet all our criteria and beyond. I am feeling very blessed and excited for the future of Arráei in India. Things work a little differently there, and one of the perks is that we get to custom dye and develop our own fabric as well as work with local artisans to create unique pieces that we were not able to do in Canada.
In the name of full transparency- in brief our business model works like this:
This final step was also a really important part of the process as we wanted all our Canadian customers to not have to pay duties and taxes on arrival. We decided to have our warehouse and shipping in Canada so that from your end everything remains the same as before.
I will be visiting the factory twice a year, and I have 2 team members in India that will be doing all our quality control and factory audits. Making sure you receive nothing less that the perfect Arraei garments you are used to now, made to last a lifetime.
Our factories have a few more exciting perks that we will share with you a long the way. But for now, stay tuned, stay wild and join us on the journey.
A word of thanks, for without you Arraei wouldn’t be here. And I certainly wouldn’t be able to make a smooth transition to Zambia. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love connecting with you all over email, Instagram and in person, you have all been so supportive and encouraging. I am feeling very blessed to have you all as part of the Arraei family- I love my ‘job’ so much, I love creating pieces for you to live in, feel unlimited in and to cherish for a lifetime.
Onto the next chapter —- We developed our Road Map hoping forward based on the following ideas:
Our Manifesto houses our core values and philosophy at Arraei, which in turn governs all of our decisions from production and design to community. Guided by the 4 pillars of our Manifesto - we have mapped out the future of Arráei.
Of the earth, for the earth | a celebration of oneness
a) Harmonious Coexistence
- we aspire to a future where both the planet and its people prosper, radically committed to Sustainabilty
- our garments mirror authentic feminine embodiment, a tribute to all cosmos identities, all beliefs, all truths
c) Giving Back
- we believe in the power of global community, we hope to collectively uplift and empower all
d) Finding Equilibrium
- Through embodying values that communicate minimalism, we proudly place emphasis on less is more. Collectively initiating the practice of buying less abs producing less in hope to encourage a more intentional consumer journey.