Teamwork is a theme around GAIA. We believe that together we are better, and that partnerships between like-minded brands can truly amplify the goodness we're all trying to put out into the world! The last six months have brought all kinds of opportunities for us to create special things with and for special people. Let’s take a look!
Custom Collections: Wisteria, Raven + Lily, and Rachel Roy
Our partnership with furniture and home decor brand Wisteria is an ongoing effort launched in 2016 (read all about it). We’re delighted to continue creating pillows with purpose for the company’s Gifts That Give Back collection. GAIA refugee artisans use one-of-a-kind textiles — exclusive GAIA-designed ikat and hand-dyed African mud cloth — to sew pillows that are available exclusively on Wisteria’s website or at their Dallas store. online.
New this season: We designed a special collection of pillows and pouches for Raven + Lily. The Austin-based brand sells fair trade clothing, accessories, and home furnishings with the mission of empowering women around the world. Founder Kirsten Dickerson currently provides meaningful work to more than 1,500 at-risk women, helping ensure they have safe jobs and access to health care. The company is a natural fit for GAIA’s work.
“We both are passionate about employing women with dignity, using traditional textiles, and exploring ways to be sustainable in our production practices. Most of our designs are developed in Austin through our direct artisan partnerships in 10 countries, but sometimes we find a company like GAIA that is a perfect partner for a co-branded design collaboration. I think the collaborative spirit promotes the overall mission of both our companies in a beautiful way,” Kirsten says.
Giving back is also key to the Rachel Roy mission. For the last two holiday seasons, GAIA partnered with the L.A.-based brand for its Gifts for Good effort. Now we’re taking things a step further with the thought of creating products together all year long. Soon to be released: text pouches and pillows exclusive to the brand. What can you expect from this partnership? Design-driven products that are colorful, fun, and functional, says founder Rachel Roy.
“Both of our organizations are ... run by women who truly care about the world and making it a better place. We both are the type of organization that does not wait for someone to give us the answer, we go out and create answers to challenges ourselves. I’m proud of our commitment to each other to keep creating work for refugees,” Rachel says.
Collaborations: Melt Goods and SZ Blockprints
We couldn't be more excited to introduce our first collection of hand-cut brass earrings, all produced in collaboration with Melt Goods. Like GAIA, Melt is a small Dallas-based business that employs resettled refugee women to make fashion accessories. The work we do is similar and the synergy is strong. Collaborating with Melt was a no-brainer for us, and founder Meredith Lockhart felt the same way.
“We are all about encouraging and uplifting refugees, and I think the cheerful colors and bold designs really coincide with our message and goals. Though GAIA and Melt are making different products, we have the same mission in mind,” says Meredith. “I adore everything GAIA makes. It is so fun, upbeat, colorful, and bold — all of which are qualities that we like to incorporate in our jewelry and brand.”
Another recent addition to the GAIA lineup: a children’s collection incorporating the gorgeous fabrics of SZ Blockprints. Founder Sarah Zellweger works with artisans in Jaipur, India, to create colorful hand-printed fabrics. She also works to educate and empower women and girls in India. We're crazy about her prints, but also really love her mission — and how it aligns with ours.
"We are so thrilled to be working with GAIA, a brand whose mission and ethos we admire so much," Sarah says. "The fact that our textiles are ending up in the hands of refugee women all over Dallas, rebuilding their lives through their sewing and design skills, is such a beautiful joining and a continuation of a story."
So far we've incorporated SZ Blockprints fabric for a Mini Heart Purse, Bib & Booties, and Diaper Pouch. We’re also working on a Zipper Pouch/Clutch collection and — perhaps most exciting of all — we’ll launch our Butterfly Top this spring. It’s GAIA’s first foray into clothing, and we think you’re really going to love it!
Also, in case you missed it, check out our earlier post about our exclusive collaboration with another woman-owned, Dallas-based company Perennials©.