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Behind the Seams

Behind the Seams

May 11, 2018

Ajaie Alaie's core values lie within its namesake label that means invincible and indestructible. Ajaie Alaie, originally spelled Ajai Alai, is a sanskrit mantra for being in your power and we want to empower each other to be the best version of ourselves. Our ethos is meant to make us feel grounded, to remind us of self-love, and to live mindfully.  From concept to final product we promise to deliver purposeful design with integrity and respect to our environment and the workers make it.

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THE BEGINNING THREADS

Most of our fabrics consist of linen, silk, cotton, wool, and Cupro. Their unique attributes give our garments character and a sustainable end of life. As such, we are expanding our offering of organic cotton, and fabrics that biodegrade within weeks because it's very important for us that these plant-based fibers are grown without harmful pesticides and GMOs and are responsibly-harvested. Animal-based fibers, like our woolens, are sourced from farms that don’t harm/alter its animals or their habitat and diet and stay away from Mulesing. Our wovens are made in India and our knits (coming in the Fall 2018) are made in Peru responsibly with sustainable handled wool and Pima Cotton, the highest grade of cotton. 

 

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Our Fabrics

Waste hits us right in the heart. Reducing plastic waste became one of our strongest pursuits  and along those lines we began partnering with mills and factories that are also actively changing the way they work on their daily operations as well. Our dyes are ASO free, our fabric selection is growing to become organic, or recycled, and recently we adopted a fabric that uses no water in the dying process–Airdye fabric(very exciting!). Incorporating innovative techniques that decrease manufacturing footprint in waterways and landfills has become our own personal puzzle to solve and every season we add a key piece of change to hopefully complete the puzzle one day soon. Transparency is our mantra and this is our chant.  

Tencel — a regenerated fiber made from wood cellulose and is one of the most sustainable regenerated fibers because it is certified and grown sustainably. The production of Tencel is treated in a "closed loop process", which means that the remaining pulp of the wood cellulose is recycled.

Cupro
 — a regenerated cellulose fiber that is made from cotton linter, which is an ultrafine, silk-like fiber that sticks to the seeds of cotton plants after it has been grinned. Used as an alternative to silk and rayon, Cupro has amazing drape and feel. What's great about this unused cotton linter is that it's a biodegradable, recycled fiber with less environmental harm. 

AirDye — We're so excited to announce that we're going to be using AirDye fabrics in upcoming seasons. *cheers!* These fabrics are produced using recycled polyester in addition to using zero amounts of water in the dying process. "Using AirDye saves up to 95% of the water, 86% of the energy, and 84% of the greenhouse gases as compared to conventional dye and print methods. On a single garment, the water savings alone can be as much as 170 liters." -Deb Corps.

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WE'RE USING DEADSTOCK
A fabric that is unused — typically due to dyeing/finishing defects, excesses from previous use, or rejected by brands and mills, it becomes "deadstock" fabric. These fabrics don't have a purpose for future use and are destined to end up in landfill. We, and many other amazing conscious designers, are using deadstock fabrics as an opportunity to give them a second life. Instead of producing new fabrics for some styles, we make an effort to find alternative deadstock options because ultimately, this helps decrease our production footprint. We're excited to be have introduced deadstock fabrics into our SS18 Collection. Daniella, founder and designer, handpicks deadstock fabrics by going to factories and mills and asking for any left over fabric. If we use poly, we want to use deadstock poly. 

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#WHOMADEMYCLOTHES?

Our wovens are manufactured responsibly in a small unit in India. 40 machines, and all familiar faces when we go visit twice a year. Designing a garment is a long process and working with factories that not only understand your core values but also understand your design aesthetic and expectations is crucial for us. We work with factories with full safety compliance where there is no child labor and where we know they are getting fair wages (and chai breaks every couple of hours :)) We are very grateful to have developed relationships with factories that care about their employees, and that are also actively making strides to reduce their footprint in the environment by being willing to work with brands like us that might create extra steps in the production process to reduce waste. Fun Fact? Once in awhile the owner of one of our factories brings in a Yoga instructor to the factory for the workers to have a moment to stretch and be present. But more than a stretch, it's the intention of generating a more conscious mindset amongst them. We are very grateful for the support we have from our factories. Here is a short story written by Daniella, founder and designer, about her day in the factory.


  

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Going into SS18, you'll notice our new care labels that read "Steaming will generally clean any bacteria and get rid of odors, but if you must, green dry clean only." There's more to laundering than just your simple wash and dry. We found out that 75% of our garments are able to be maintained by steaming, which decreases excessive water and chemical usage from dry cleaning. Linens and cottons can be washed in gentle cycle and laid flat to dry. If the garment calls for Dry cleaning because the fabric or design is too delicate we strongly recommend to try to find a Green Dry Cleaner. A simple google search might help you discover any near you and the Earth will thank you. Some laundromats are also taking initiatives to switch to more sustainable models such as Celsious, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Celsious uses eco-friendly machines with ultra-energy saving technology and detergents with simple, plant-based detergents that don't use sulfate or phtalate. With baby steps, we can all help the Earth bit by bit. 

STEAMING

An easy and great option, especially if you like to keep your clothing fresh, but want minimize your water usage. Steaming will generally clean any bacteria and get rid of odors, while ironing your garments at the same time. 

SPOT CLEANING 
Let's procrastinate laundry day. Some spills are easier to get out than others, but here's an ultimate guide that saves a garment a trip to the wash. 

HANG OR LAY FLAT TO DRY
Waiting for garments to air dry may seem tedious, but it can be worth the wait! For some fabrics, this is actually a better alternative. Many of our garments are made of natural fibers which should never see the dryer. For example, cotton will shrink in the dryer, so your best bet is to lay flat to dry. 

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Our packaging

Moving towards a ZERO WASTE production

 

//THIS IS OUR GARMENT BAG//

Your Ajaie Alaie garment will come inside a custom made reusable mesh bag. The thought behind this was to encourage a shopping experience with less plastic usage. With this initiative we want to encourage you to replace  single use plastic bags typically used in produce for this mesh bag. Or, use it to safe-keep your delicates i.e Underwear, socks, stockings, etc.. Be it for fruits, delicates, or both, keep it around because it will become handy one day.

Since transitioning to mesh bags our business practices have been positively impacted. We have eliminated our plastic use and this on it's own is keeping thousands of bags a year out of landfill (and oceans). We are also going without hangtags and paper receipts for an even more zero-waste shopping experience. Everything is in your inbox, anyways, right? We want your garment's lifecycle to be as sustainable and purposeful as possible. Toss the recycled paper mailer in the recycling bin and done. And going back to the mesh bags, how cute will your fruit look in these mesh bags? That's some stylish shopping.

  SHOW US HOW YOU #MESHYOURFRESH ON INSTAGRAM




Also in OUR PROCESS

Knitted in Peru
Knitted in Peru

September 22, 2018

We're excited to be introducing Knitted in Peru—our first collection featuring a knitwear capsule collection crafted in Peru. Explore to learn more about the fibers we've chosen and what makes Peruvian yarns so great. You'll learn about our wonderful factories, the process of souring the fibers, and our pieces that we've designed.

Read More