Sari for Change has been riding the shift in the fashion
industry for six years with a focus in production being on ethical working conditions, development and training, using the traditional Indian sari as an upcycling fabric resource to create innovative fashion products. It tells a story of women empowerment, cultural evolution, and shifts in identity thus forming a greater part of the Fashion Revolution Movement.
At the start of receiving a sari from our donors and community throughout the process of production in our sharing economy, a Sari for Change product tells a story of evolving culture and transforming identities: from a grandmother in India who has donated her
traditional bridal garments to this cause so that the value, story, and worth of the Sari is transformed into a modern piece that bears resemblance to the original piece. A piece that carries weight and years of tradition. At Sari for Change we value women empowerment; as it is through our training and mentoring programme that a woman can shift towards becoming self sufficient enabling her to make better decisions for herself and family.
We believe in making a difference and contributing to a sacred, sustainable economy for it is not the responsibility of one but all, hence the call to individuals to donate their saris for up-cycling, whilst increasing the consciousness of our responsibility to the environment.
At current we focus on five designs: the Jasmine wrap dress, the Majida Kaftan, the Amira Kimono, the Bomber & the PJ Suit.
With an unemployment rate of 31 % percent and rising, Sari for Change acknowledges its responsibility in empowering women to learn a monetizable skill with the aim of starting their own businesses after their incubation period of hands-on mentorship, garment making and basic business skills.
Our first incubation in 2014
BACKDROP TO THE INITIATIVE
Rayana Edwards the founder of Sari For Change - A mother to 5 daughters, an entrepreneur, life coach, and community change agent.
Rayana Edwards has been part of the clothing retail industry for 35 years at all levels of the supply chain, from owning several boutiques across Kenya and South Africa, to designing her own brand, focusing on local production, to more recently specializing in the manufacturing industry as a manufacturing and sustainable consultant.
Sari for Change was born out of Rayana's idea of upcycling saris to use the fabric as a much needed resource. Through a call to the Art of Living, a foundation by the Indian spiritualist Sri Sri Sanker, members were encouraged to contribute their saris to this development initiative. After the first three months, it rained saris as the adherents responded to the informal call that spoke to their service paradigm. Now instead of sending saris to the ashrams in India, it could be reinvested into this project. As a result of the on going process of sustainability and the donations of saris, a new value chain with the intention to serve humanity began.
Rayana Edwards explains the journey of a sari through her training and remaking process. "I am not selling a product", says Rayana, "that's an aside. I am providing a service in training future entrepreneurs in business skills and needle craft to create their own employment". They either become entrepreneurs, suppliers of a skills or distributors. I am selling consciousness, connectivity and continuity". Furthermore, Rayana Edwards is a life coach. As much as her work has focused on the outer appearance, Rayana, through her coaching practice, is able to extract a deeper understanding of self.