Arras’ work is geared towards achieving the parallel goals of creating responsible fashion while generating sustainable livelihood opportunities, with weavers in North East India as the cornerstone of our brand. They believe that responsible fashion has immense power to bring in change by bettering livelihoods, reducing carbon emissions, and lowering pollution caused during the use & post-use phase of clothes. Arras is just at the onset of its journey. As a collective, they are working towards the global goals of a green economy and an inclusive society.
Arras collaborates with women artisans in Bijoynagar, Assam. The village has more than 300 weaver households and our aim is to provide sustainable livelihoods to all the weavers- whether it is through weaving, allied activities such as silkworm rearing, or by generating other employment opportunities in supervisory or monitoring roles. As of now we partner with 20 households. Over the past few years, the lack of market linkages compelled the weavers to shift to daily wage jobs. They hope that by providing a fixed channel for their beautiful weaves and by generating livelihoods across the value chain, they may be able to re-establish their strength as a weaving village once more. Their weavers are primarily women. From the 20 households, 17 are women and 4 of them are male members of the family who assist in pre-loom activities.
All the Ahimsa silk creations from Arras are made entirely by hand and use only natural dyes. Unlike other types of silk, Ahimsa silk is cruelty-free silk that is procured from the cocoons without killing the silkworms. Arras’ Peace silk creations uniquely highlight all the requirements of a sustainable economy- women empowerment & rural livelihoods, 100% natural (including the dyes) & biodegradable, cruelty- free, and low carbon emissions due to its entirely handmade process right from the farm gate. They choose fabrics that have a low material footprint such as indigenous or organic cotton in order to have the least impact on our planet. The scraps generated in the tailoring stage are also not sent to the landfill; they make functional items out of them such as scrunchies, key chains, etc. Further, they have an unsold finished goods policy where unsold sarees & scarves are upcycled into other apparel.