"I was very young when my parents moved to the refugee camp. Now I am married with three children. I learned to embroider from my mother and now she works full time.
I am the sole supporter of my family because my husband is out of work. I use my income from Raven+ Lily orders to run my house and it pays for my health care. My children are very young and my youngest is one years old."
- Nadia, Age 26
Today marks the 4 year anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy that killed over 1,100 garment workers in Bangladesh. We want to thank those of you that continue to support companies who produce ethical and fairtrade fashion, while caring for workers' health, safety and quality of life.
To honor Fashion Revolution, we are celebrating our artisans in Pakistan who create beautiful hand-embroidered designs using traditional Afghan motifs on our apparel and home decor. Many of these women are Afghan refugees that are living in the border regions to improve their livelihood. The refugee crisis is happening worldwide and we strive to bring awareness to the women being effected, while empowering our artisans with work opportunities.
The embroidery work is not only a job for these women, but the intricate patterns represent themselves and their culture.
There are four steps in production to create these beautiful, hand embroidered pieces.
1. Handloom the Cotton: The cotton used for our collection is grown from natural, NOT GMO, seeds. Additionally, there are no harmful chemicals used in the growing process and we work with a dedicated government ministry + EPA that monitor the growing process to ensure our standards are being met.
2. Fabric Preparation + Cutting: The women wash + iron the fabric that was just handloomed to prepare it for use. Next, the women lay out the fabrics they need for the piece being created and cut each piece to fit the appropriate pattern. The cutting is done by hand and each piece is carefully inspected to ensure consistency in size, shape, and fabric within the collection. Quality is important during every stage of production.
3. Embroidery: For this step, the cut and ironed pieces are sent to the refugee camps for the embroidery work to begin. All of the embroidery is hand stitched using traditional Afghan motifs representing the Afghan culture. To see an example of the embroidery, check out our Classic Afghan Pillows or our Shah Embroidered Tunic.
4. Sewing: Once all of the pieces are embroidered, they are sent back to the sewing workshop to be stitched together into a finished garment. Once this step is done, each piece is carefully inspected to make sure it is ready to be sold. The finished pieces are then packed and shipped to Raven + Lily where they are inspected once more before being sold to you.
RAVEN + LILY’S MISSION IS TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY AMONG WOMEN ALL AROUND THE WORLD WITH ACCESS TO FAIR TRADE JOB OPPORTUNITIES. WE CURRENTLY HELP EMPLOY MORE THAN 1,500 WOMEN WORLDWIDE, GIVING THEM ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION, AND A CHANCE AT A BETTER LIFE. WHEN YOU SHOP RAVEN + LILY, YOU DIRECTLY SUPPORT THE LIVES OF OUR ARTISANS, INCLUDING THE LIVES OF THE REFUGEE WOMEN IN PAKISTAN.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR STORY, VISIT US HERE.