How Arraei Collective is Using Hemp to Create Sustainable Fashion
April 23, 2019 • 3 min read
If you caught our blog post outlining fabrics, rated from best to worst, you’d have seen that one of the most sustainable fabrics out there is HEMP. Even better than linen or organic cotton for its low water usage, hemp is the most versatile plant on the earth, serving many uses. Currently as a fabric, it is the top choice for sustainability, which is why we love that Canadian brand Arraei Collective is using it in all of their designs.
Hemp can grow with very little water, producing two to three times more fibre per acre than cotton can. It also replenishes the soil as it grows, instead of taking away nutrients like many other plants. As a fabric, hemp is breathable, soft, warm, moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial, becoming softer with use. It is also biodegradable, so at the end of its lifecycle, you can repurpose your hemp clothing as garden mulch or compost, making it closed loop and completely eco-friendly.
Arraei Collective is a brand based out of Vancouver, Canada. They are completely committed to ethical and sustainable production, choosing to support the environment rather than taking away from it, unlike many mainstream fashion labels. Working with a small team of sewers to ensure they are paid fair wages and work in adherence with fair-trade principles, Arraei’s relationship with their production team is nothing short of “slow fashion”, meaning they make fine garments that are made to last a lifetime, while respecting the planet and people who inhabit it. Focusing on a minimal bohême aesthetic, Natalie, the owner and designer of the label ensures her pieces are made in small-batches, to minimize waste and to ensure that the production method is as ethical and sustainable as possible.
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Natalie was born and raised in South Africa, where she learned to develop a deep and nurturing connection to the earth and her natural surroundings. The wild energy of Africa fostered a beautiful relationship between herself and the planet, something that has stayed with her until now. After leaving Africa, Natalie traveled the world. While in constant flux for four years, she gained an understanding with the environment and human connection, realizing how delicate the balance is between us and the planet. Out of these epiphanies, Arraei was born.
With a vision to harmonize humanity and the planet, Arraei Collective’s ethos is to facilitate a union of responsible thought with action, while providing a way for people to connect with ethically and sustainably-made products that uplift and empower humanity.
All of Arraei’s signature pieces are 100% natural. Their new collection has just launched (the pants from the new collection have 2% elastine in them, so they are not 100% natural, but come in quite close!), and evokes minimalism, softness and simple beauty. All of Arraei’s fabrics are certified with either GOTS or OEKO-TEX. Even when it comes to packaging, Natalie has ensured that the Arraei experience is as green as can be, with 100% recycled packaging and branding materials. Using 100% recycled plastic mailers (post-consumer waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfill), hemp twine for packaging, 100% cotton labels and Arabic Gum (water soluble and edible) for the labels, this brand is your go to for worry-free ethical and eco fashion.
Natalie has truly created a sustainable fashion experience, bringing forth her love for the earth, aesthetics, and style, in a way that is unfussy and simply beautiful. All photos are taken by her photographer David Karnezos (@davidjackbarry) who also happens to be the love of her life!
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