1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand. Is it just you behind everything? How long have you been in business and where are you located?
Arraei Collective was founded by Natalie Florence (me) in a moment of awakening while traveling on a bus in India. I had been searching for a meaningful way to connect my passion for conscious living and creative expression with my love for hemp. An ethical + sustainable hemp fashion brand was the link that united all these concepts.
Arraei Collective is inspired by the harmony that exists in nature, and the simplicity of a mindful lifestyle. It’s with this in mind that I chose to create a capsule collection of 5 essential timeless pieces that emanate all the principles of conscious fashion. Our garments are crafted to make you feel.
The Arraei woman exudes confidence through graceful self expression, knowing that she is harmony with herself and the planet.
2. Of all the products you sell, what’s your personal favorite?
The TWA TRENCH, is our signature and very first piece, it carries with it all that is ‘Arraei’. This trench embodies all the iconic design elements of the Arraei look from the fabric to the fit. It took weeks to source the perfect fabric, and when I finally did I had countless dreams about it.
This lush oatmeal hemp consumed my thoughts, inspiring and shaping the rest of the capsule collection.
3. Name a brand you love, other than your own. Why do you love it?
Elizabeth Suzzan & The Hemp Temple. The most important thing for me when buying clothes is asking myself who and what am I supporting? I want to know that I am part of the fashion revolution and that by purchasing from ethical + sustainable brands I support my own conscious and mindful lifestyle. These brands align with my values.
And on top of that, I love these brands because of the aesthetic of their garments, and the fabrics they use to create them. I love the energy of the clothing, all natural free and formless pieces that are easy to wear yet still iconic.
4. Tell us something that most people don’t know about the fashion industry.
I think what people don’t know about the fashion industry, is how much they don’t know. And I feel that applies to all industries in todays society. As consumers we haven’t been asking questions but rather we have relied on the information presented to us without looking deeper into the ethics behind the scenes. In choosing to know more about the fashion industry we encourage transparency, ethical business practice and accountability.
There are a lot of unknown’s (positive and negative), so I would like to encourage people to investigate, ask questions and become aware about the clothes they choose to wear.
5. How do you see the future for ethical and sustainable fashion?
Bright! With more people choosing to live mindfully (environmentally, ethically, sustainably…) the ‘conscious’ fashion industry will only grow and develop.
Already we have seen a massive change in the fashion market with many new designers creating brands that are rooted in sustainability and ethics. This is encouraging bigger brands to think more about their environmental and social impact. Slow conscious fashion is gaining momentum, and is alive with possibility!
6. Have you personally achieved your perfect wardrobe? If not, what do you need to improve on?
Not yet! Its a real challenge to perfect my wardrobe and keep it minimal. For me the challenge has been finding my own balance, being patient and keeping the focus on “minimalism”. Curating the perfect wardrobe takes time, effort and careful thought.
I have to think about whats really necessary and what I need for my lifestyle (which involves allot of travelling, outdoor adventures and fashionable events) – so its tough to find the balance.
I would say I’m almost there with the addition of the Arraei pieces, as a practically live in them no matter what my day plans are. If I do buy new I always go for natural fabrics because they are sturdy, durable and versatile.
7. Any particular future plans for the brand, that you could reveal for us?
This collection is a celebration of neutrals and a tribute to the idea of ‘natural’. For our next collection we are experimenting with natural dyes, block printing, embroidery and other traditional crafts in order to bring a bit of colour and life to our hemp textiles.
This is a slow process as we only create with ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
We also plan to be 100% hemp based (from production to packaging), for this to happen we still need some big industry changes to occur. Those are the two exciting plans we are busy working on for the future of Arraei.