We believe in working hand in hand with local communities. The men and women we work with are skilled artisans and self-made entrepreneurs. With their expertise, they have supported themselves and their communities.
At Wray, we approach our relationships with artisans and their communities as partnerships. We focus on strengthening bonds by working alongside each other. It is through this mutual respect and sharing of knowledge that we are able to bring Wray to life.
We truly believe in our process and do not take the term "ethical" lightly. We are not factory made; our pieces are created alongside family businesses and independent craftspeople. By working closely with them, we are able to ensure fair pricing and work collaboratively on addressing any issues.
For our latest collection, our production has been pared down and we worked alongside a father and son tailor, an independent pattern maker and a single handwork artisan. Our previous collections featured work by a community co-op of women stitchers and handwork artisans.
Unlike in most factories where makers only get paid upon completion, we provide payment to the artisans we work with on their terms. We respect the prices they've set and the payment schedules that work best for them.
In the interest of transparency and to answer the question on some of your minds, we are not certified fair trade or organic. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it's because certification is prohibitive for our current model. We are however slowly introducing organic fabric from certified producers.
Certification affects every stage of the production and comes at a premium cost that our artisan partners cannot yet shoulder. We work with people that we've gotten to know personally and don't believe that this lack of certification should prevent them from getting work or diminish the impact they have on their communities.
Meet some of the people involved with making Wray Crafted pieces here.Meet some of the people we work with here.
We believe in preserving traditional techniques and skills. With modernisation and fast fashion, many of the old ways of creating has been lost. We are trying to keep some of these crafts alive by adapting them into wearable pieces and embracing slow production.
Learn more about the techniques used to create our pieces here.
Nimble Slow Fashion
We believe in offering an ethical alternative to shoppers. Our model allows us to apply slow design and production, while still maintaining the capacity to produce at least 4-6 new capsules annually. This means that instead of the typical 2-4 mega collections that many brands put out, you can expect year-round releases.
How do we do this? With one of us living in India, we have the privilege of working in close proximity to our producers. From developing first samples over chai sessions to troubleshooting with our tailors and pattern makers; working in the same space enables us to make design decisions and address any issues faced in real time. This vastly shortens the typical design and production timeline (usually at least a year long!).
Without having to worry about organisational clutter and bloated processes, we can focus on building strong relationships with our producers and their communities. This collaboration not only allows us to share ideas to make our pieces better, but also helps us to implement waste reduction measures. We actively work with producers to maximise fabric usage and save fabric scraps for future projects.
Our commitment to a small batch production model* also ensures that production isn’t done indiscriminately and we only make what is necessary.
*You can read more about our small batch production model in 'Reducing our impact'.
Reducing our impact
While it is our goal to be as sustainable as possible, we recognise that it is a process and we are just at the beginning. To start with, we aim to reduce our impact by doing the following:
We love a well packaged item and we know many of you do too! The drawstring bags that your items come in are created from fabric scraps. (They may not be the prettiest, but they are 100% reusable - we love them for organised travel packing)
As a fledgling small business, we are still working on reducing our impact on the environment. Eco-friendly packaging often requires high minimums that we are not yet able to adopt. If you are a business or brand that might have solutions for us, please feel free to get in touch with us!
Creating in small batches
Saying our pieces are limited isn't a marketing gimmick. From sourcing forgotten fabric hidden in a corner at our printers, to obsessively calculating the exact meters needed for each style, our production is done in small batches and once pieces are sold out, we might not be able to replicate them again.
With thoughtful design and production, we are able to maximise fabric use and minimise the generation of fabric waste. By creating only what is needed, we minimise waste generated from unsold pieces, artisans also get more time to concentrate on each piece they make.
Focusing on longevity
We want to design clothes that last - both in design and quality. By creating pieces that you can continue to wear over time, we hope to reduce the need for replacement or new pieces. All our pieces are stitched with french seams (Stitched twice to protect raw edges. Most vintage clothing owes its longevity to this method) and lined whenever possible so the embroidery has an added layer of protection.
To optimise the lifespan of your pieces, it is important to take care of them well; each product has specific care instructions on each page. Please visit our Garment Care page for general care instructions.
Not using synthetic textiles
We are committed to using only natural fibres throughout our collections. We hope that our continuous exploration of local natural textiles can help support local production and economies.
We've started to incorporate the use organic cotton into our collections and they make their first appearance in Collection 3. Our organic cotton supplier Herbal Fab is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) certified.
Additionally, while synthetic textiles have risen in popularity, their production and chemical composition heavily impacts the environment. The drilling and fracking required to obtain petrochemicals to make synthetic textiles not only devastate the environment but also often have effects such as displacing people and destroying their communities.
Incorporating gentle processes in our creation processes
Wherever possible, we try to adjust our processes to be more gentle to the environment and the communities that play a part in the creation process of our pieces.
While all dyes used in India are already supposed to be azo-free, we want to go beyond that. We're slowly incorporating the use of herbal dyed fabrics, and have also made the decision to keep our pieces' protective inner linings undyed. While matching the lining to each piece presents a more polished look, it's an additional step that consumes resources with no effect on a piece's wearability. Over time (and wash cycles) the lining may naturally take on the colour of its piece. In a way, its an almost poetic expression of the journey we hope your Wray Crafted pieces take with you.
Wray Crafted was created to provide an alternative choice to typical fast fashion. We don’t claim to have the best or only solutions to making fashion more sustainable but we are committed to doing whatever we can.
We are lucky that people (like yourselves) are paying attention to these issues and want to make changes.
We're all on this journey together and these are just our first steps. If you have any questions or would like to clarify anything with us about our processes, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com, we'd love to talk.