Thursday, August 16, 2012

Awaz brings Raasta Ethical Fashion Women's Clothing Line to Portland Fashion scene

Eco-friendly. Ethical fashion. Conscious living. 
These words are part of a sustainable lifestyle that has become part of our everyday lives. As we realize the importance of protecting our earth and its people, our everyday purchases can make a big impact. What we buy, where we buy, and who we buy from are key elements of creating positive karmic energy for that lifestyle. We are excited to begin offering a new line of ethical clothing for your everyday life.

        We are proud to announce a new partnership with Raasta, an ethical clothing brand designed by Indian Textile Designer Sonica Kapur crafted by fair trade artisan groups in India. We are now a Wholesale Representative for Raasta on the West Coast with distribution from Portland, Oregon. The line features high quality, boho chic clothes and accessories including dresses, tunics, skirts, pants and jackets for the modern woman. Sonica has years of experience working in the fashion industry in the U.S. and India and has created a beautiful clothing line merging fair trade with mainstream fashion.
The clothing is made from all natural fibers, 100% cotton and silk and features hand-embroidery, appliqué, hand woven textiles, natural dyes and various other traditional craft work. We’re excited to offer more upscale fair trade fashion in align with our commitment to conscious living and natural fibers. We wouldn’t offer anything less!
To see Raasta products and learn more visit

The Spring and Fall Collections represent contemporary silhouette designs and trendy colors fit for everyday living and work.
If you are a boutique that is interested in carrying the line, email us at sarah@voiceforempowerment for more information and a wholesale order form. We'd love to work with you! Do keep in mind there is a 3-month lead time for production.
For those who like what you see today, we’ve got some great classic pieces for your Summer wardrobe in stock now that will only last a few more weeks. They're going fast! Email to place your order.
Check out some of the fashions that could be in your closet this year!
Embroidered Cotton Summer Tunic
Colors: Lilac and Peach
Sizes: S-XL
Details: 100% Cotton, lightweight
Price: $44.00 plus $2.95 shipping or delivery
Email to place your order.

Classic Embroidered White Sundress
Sizes: S-XL
Details: 100% cotton, ruffles at bottom, lined, zipper
Price: $64.00 plus $2.95 shipping or delivery
Email to place your order.

Awaz Intern talks about her experience with Awaz Ethical Fashion and the Slow Fashion movement

Hello! My name is Melissa Wilke. I am currently the Marketing Intern at Awaz. I am originally from Columbus, Nebraska and presently a student at Kansas State University. Over the past three years, I have been studying Apparel and Textile Marketing where I’ve learned about the slow fashion movement and seen how more businesses are offering for ethical and sustainable goods. Through this short but fast pace journey, I have found my passion for sustainability and fair trade. I think that it is important to understand where your products are coming from, as well as what had to happen to get them there. This includes the producer and the environment as well as the consumer. I have had the privilege of learning these aspects of the fashion industry through my professors and through K-State grad, Sarah Mitts. Sarah went to KSU where she founded  the Fair Trade Advocates student organization. All of this inspired me to take part in the fair trade movement. When the opportunity to come out to Portland and work with Sarah came up, I didn’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
The Slow Fashion movement is a growing part of our modern world that focuses on making fashionable products from eco-friendly and recycled materials. It goes hand-in-hand with the fair trade movement. Both emphasize the importance of fair wages, safe environmental practices, and healthy working conditions, all while producing a high quality product that the consumer will love. Awaz was featured in an article by the Portland Slow Fashioned team. Read it here!
 More companies are moving towards sustainability and fair trade. Businesses such as Maggie’s Organics, focus on the importance of fair wages as well as what materials are used to make products. They offer natural fibers all around in their socks and apparel. They also hold high the value of connection between the producer and the consumer. Like Awaz, our products are sourced direct from the producer and delivered to you, cutting out the middlemen's cut and ensuring more money goes back to the producer. There are small businesses in almost every community where fair trade and sustainability come first. Enjoy ethically sourced goods, natural products and support a small business economic model that builds local economies through green business and social change. Awaz is proud to take part in this revolution.
            Over the four weeks I have been on the Awaz team, I have obtained more knowledge on the subject of fair trade than I ever have in the classroom. I believe it is important to get out in the field and see what is happening around the world, rather than just reading about it. We can all make an impact through our individual actions. I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with Awaz and talk to people face to face about our products and share our story.
Awaz currently launched their wholesale program and a new partnership with Raasta, a high-end ethical women's clothing line. I have been taking part in outreach to stores to get our products seen by more people, help expand sales, and share each products story so that we can be a voice for the women in India. Every purchase helps further their empowerment and the growth of a fair trade business model.
            Here are a couple inspiring and useful links I like to use to stay up to date with sustainable fashion and economic change: