Turning The Dream Into Reality
Creating her own sustainable fashion label was a long time dream of German fashion designer Mareike who worked for over 15 years as designer for various international companies prior to the launch of her own label RAY.
Blouse with hand-embroidery made from Lenzing Tencel, €129. SHOP NOW
Over the past years, her native Indian husband gave her access to the Indian culture, which inspired her to support the traditional handicrafts by the native Indian women. “My husband is Indian and so half our family is from India. Our hearts are closely connected to this amazing country,” Mareike says.
Kimono “Aditi” with flower print made from Ahimsa-silk cotton mix, €129. SHOP NOW
To turn this dream into a reality, she and her husband decided to move to India for 2 months with their 1-year-old daughter Uma Ray (after whom she named the brand). In 2018, they made field trips and visited NGOs and sustainable fashion producers throughout India.
“We are Ray. Based in Germany with roots in India. We want to shed a ray of light, shine bright and be transparent about the work we do.”Mareike Fernandes, founder of RAY.
The Mission: Doing Good With Transparency
Throughout the supply chain of RAY´s you feel a lot of love and that’s what makes this label so special to us. Every decision is made with the care of the quality product and the well-being of people after the product. RAY stands for the mission: quality before quantity! Buy less and appreciate the quality of the product and the quality of life of the people who make it.
Handmade With Love In India
Mareike wants to ensure that the women who create the collection are being paid fairly and are surrounded by a safe and loving environment. Transparency and traceability have always been an important aspect for her.
After her India travels, she decided to produce the beautiful printed kimonos and blouses with the non-profit clothing manufacturer Saheli Women. These artful pieces are hand-printed in Bagru, India by using a traditional block-printing technique with only vegetable dyes. Saheli Women provides livelihood opportunities and economic empowerment to highly skilled artisans. Besides providing safe space, fair wages, and healthy living workshops, the NGO provides education and learning opportunities.
The embroidered blouses and organic cotton t-shirts are made in association with Vijaya from
Organic cotton t-shirt “
5€ of each sold t-shirt go to the nonprofit organization Swadhar to improve the lives of underprivileged women and children in Pune, Mareike’s husbands´ hometown.
Cruelty-Free & Sustainable Materials
RAY uses eco-friendly materials such as delicately crafted Lenzing Tencel, linen, organic cotton, and the kimonos are made from a cotton-Ahimsa Silk blend. Ahimsa is the Hindi word for “non-violence”, and the silk is also known as peace silk.
Block-printed kimonos made from Ahimsa-silk cotton, €129. Shop the Kimonos here.
RAY uses eco-friendly recycled packaging material from German company Biobiene. And for their hangtags, RAY collaborates with a local company called Rudolf-Sophien-Stift, a workshop which offers production jobs for mentally ill people.
Shop The Collection Here.
We love RAY. A big thank you to Mareike and her husband for giving us the possibility to tell the inspiring story behind the German-Indian upcoming label RAY.
In collaboration with RAY. Photos: RAY