Where Germany and India Meet to Bring You Boho-Chic Minimalism
Mareike Fernandes, Founder of RAY the Collection
I am Mareike, the founder of RAY the Collection and I worked in the creative field as a designer for various companies for 15 years, living in Stuttgart, Germany. It was a dream to start my own brand one day, but only under these circumstances: fair paid wages and a safe work environment for the people creating the clothes. Also, I want to work with materials that are sustainable. As my husband is Indian, we had connections to a local brand in India that concentrates on sustainability in their collection. We connected and started developing. Also, I visited the NGO "Saheli Women" in Jodhpur, Rajasthan and was also very impressed about their work and decided to produce a small part of my collection with them too.
RAY the Collection connects the two worlds we are coming from, Germany and India. It works with traditional craftsmanship like block-printing and embroidery and translates that into modern designs. A mix between boho chic and minimalism. Also, we are aware of what privileged lives we have here, so our goal is to support good causes, nonprofits that inspired us and do good where we can.
The idea was in my head for a long time, but it became more of a reality when our daughter was born. We started to live more consciously, watching the habits we have and our daughter will pick up form us one day. So we tried to become more sustainable in our everyday life, how we consume food, clothes etc. Also, we had the possibility to travel to India for 2 months when my husband took paternity leave and we had the chance to visit the non-profits and manufacturer of sustainable clothing ourselves. That's when everything started and the label RAY the collection was born, named after our daughter Uma Ray.
We unite the modern design with the traditional Indian craftsmanship in a special way, cause we are from both worlds. Learning from the Indian culture and visiting India many times, the home of my husband, inspired me. For myself, being creative was never only a job but a passion. So it only makes sense to unite the passion for creativity and design with the heritage of both our worlds, and on top of that trying to do good.
Our favorite product is the embroidered blouse, made out of 100% Lenzing Tencel. Lenzing Tencel is a sustainable fibre made out of wood cellulose, that is soft to the skin, smooth to the touch and luxurious in shine and flow. Also, we love the Nari Shakti T-Shirt, which profits support a non-profit organization in the hometown of my husband.
We use sustainable and eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, ahimsa silk and tencel. Also, we produce in factories that pay fair wages or work with non-profit organizations that gives women a safe work environment, health care and a community where they can develop themselves. Additionally, 5 Euros from every "Nari Shanty" (women power) T-Shirt we sell, we donate to the non profit organization "Swadhar" in Pune, the hometown of my husband and his family.
What is also important to us, is reducing plastic in the whole supply chain. Our cartons are made out of 100% recycled paper, as well as our hang-tag. The hang-tag is getting printed in a workshop for mentally handicapped people here in Stuttgart where we live. It is also important to us to support good causes here in Germany.