Our Sustainability Mission

Riya Collective aims to be both environmentally and socially sustainable.


THE PROBLEM

The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity's carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. (World Economic Forum, 2020)

It is estimated that less than 2% of the people who make the clothes on our bodies earn a living wage. And 75% of these people are women between the ages of 18 and 24. (The Lowest Wage Challenge).

WE NEED TO DO BETTER

We (Riya Collective) are committed to building a system of “slow fashion” that can change this. We are learning and inventing as we go, so we welcome any thoughts and most of all we promise to be transparent about what we are and are not doing so that we can build this new system together.  

As of October, 2020...  

Every designer that we feature on Riya Collective meets our mandatory requirements of being

  1. “handcrafted” which we define as 70%+ of the fulfillment is by hand.
  2. “Fair” which we define as products made by people who’ve been paid fairly, under safe conditions

 

In addition, every designer has to meet at least one more of the following criteria:

Sustainable practices Indian Designer

We speak to each designer extensively on the phone to vett that they do in fact meet these criteria. We also comb through their brand materials to ensure that they were being vocal about meeting our mandatory criteria before speaking to us. The next step for us is to hire a team in India who will actually go and visit the factories and stores of each designer for an even more rigorous vetting especially on the requirement to be “fair”.

Our model also prevents waste because items are only shipped (and most often only made) once an order is placed. This means no large retailers buying thousands of SKUs that then don’t sell and they have to ship it back to the designer (without pay) or dump it.

What is coming next…

  1. We will be launching a “trade in / resale program” tied to Riya Collective to enable customers who buy from us to sell the garment second hand through us when they are done with it.

    Many people know we started off as a clothing rental company. The promise to create a circular ecosystem for clothing is still in our DNA...

  2. Quantifying the environmental impact of international shipping and buying carbon offsets to counteract that impact. We welcome any other ideas here on how to reduce this impact!