Rata & Ruby is a design and eco-conscious clothing range for women, children and infants. We are about creating a locally inspired quality kid’s range that uses beautiful colours and clean designs to spread the aroha for contemporary cultural design and languages, our natural environment and a positive vibe for our tamariki.
We want to celebrate the beauty around us and the fun of childhood and where we can reflect an environmental message. Using a neutral base punctuated with bright accents and earthy tones combined with brilliant bursts of flora, fauna and cultural design and whakatauki sayings and proverbs. Our lifestyles can become so jam packed that we can often forget to smell the rose on the way or make consciously aware decisions. Rata & Ruby is about keeping our range small and simple with as much input by hand and heart.
We use only the finest and softest certified organic cotton that is knitted specially for us in India and coloured using non-toxic dyes. The simplest and most sustainable choice is organically grown, free from pesticides and toxins with respect for the land, the farmers, the waterways and healthier for our children, us and the future.
We are based in beautiful Whaingaroa, Raglan on the west coast of NZ. I have two beautiful tamariki and we live with views of native bush, Karioi maunga and inner harbour water. I count my blessings that I am lucky enough to be creative in my business while working around being there for my family (not always an easy balance!) while in Whaingaroa. As a part maori New Zealander, I grew up close to the land but only had the opportunity to really connect more to my maori whakapapa (Parihaka area, Ngati Ruanui) when majoring in Maori during my primary teacher training at Waikato University. Rata & Ruby is about sharing appreciation of maori language, art, ideas for all – those like me who have some Maori whakapapa but not had opportunity to connect more with it – anyone who feels some connection and importance of cultural, and indigenous preservation. I believe that those who are drawn to it will be the right owners x
Why go Organic? Consider that conventional cotton is one of the most harmful and heavily chemically treated crops in the world resulting in increased chemical exposure for generations of humans and disastrous environmental effects many of these chemicals cause cancer, birth defects and nervous system damage and destroy the land. Organic cotton farming is free of chemicals in fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and dyed using non-toxic dying techniques all certified to international standards resulting in a soft, fine and healthy cotton thread.
As we become more aware it makes sense to choose practices that are better for our health and the environment, protecting our future and that of generations to come.
Our garments are ethically made in fair and safe work environments. We have put a lot of care and effort to make sure our garments are of the best quality for everyone involved – including Papatuanuku – mother earth. All garments are designed in Raglan, NZ then made with care by a hand selected manufacturer in India, they then come back to NZ to be screen printed and add final touches before being sent out to stockists. A lot of research went into the decision making process, choosing suppliers, manufacturers, dying processes that are all certified by international organic standards and fair labour environments.