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        News

        The Case Against Fast Fashion

        The Case Against Fast Fashion

        The #BlackLivesMatter protests occurring globally over the last year, as well as the recent riots at the capitol building have caused a much needed and long overdue examination of businesses and industries which have historically profited off of the exploitation of people of color. As a whole, the fashion industry has come under widespread scrutiny for its lack of black designers, black fashion models, and growth opportunities for black employees.  Another major issue that lies within the center of the discussion is the popularity of fast fashion brands. This refers to companies that are able to produce cheap and trendy clothing by cutting costs that negatively impact the environment, factory workers, and eventually, consumers. These companies, which are known to operate in developing nations, shift these burdens onto the local population in order to be able to sell at low cost to predominantly white markets

        At Rafi Nova, we are committed to 100% transparency about the origin of our products. We are a fair trade and ethical company that purchases textiles directly from Hmong artisans in Vietnam, always paying a fair price. We are completely transparent in our intentions to clean, cut and re-purpose materials to make our bags and pouches. The cotton used in our face masks is made from preexisting limited run textiles, and we are currently looking to shift to fabrics made from bamboo. Additionally, the plastic used in our smile mask is made of recycled medical grade plastic. In the wake of severe climate change, as well as an increased attention on human rights, ethical and sustainable fashion has become a buzzword in the question of how to salvage the industry. At Ravi Nova, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and enact positive change for our communities. One of the largest influences on our business model has been our goal of uniting families around the world and empowering them to create joy and health for their children. Fast fashion directly opposes this goal. Environmental racism refers to the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards on people of color. This occurs partly as a result of western businesses outsourcing and subcontracting operations to developing countries and using production models that keep wages and safety standards low. 

        The fashion industry is frequently cited as one of the world’s largest sources of pollution. Once a fast fashion garment is purchased, it is worn an average of only five times before being disposed of, which results in 85% of the textiles produced yearly ending up in landfills. These fabrics are often made with toxic chemicals and dangerous dyes that are released into the air and water when washed or thrown away. 80% of the garment workers worldwide are women of color, many of whom are subjected to gender violence from male supervisors and do not earn a living wage. This undeniably makes fast fashion an issue affecting both racism and feminism, and we think time is up!  Many fast fashion brands have posted messages of solidarity on social media accounts in the last year without taking any concrete action or addressing the problems in their business practices. Activists are calling on shoppers to boycott these brands and vote with their dollars. Essentially, brands cannot claim that black lives matter when the people of color in their supply chains are mistreated, and we as consumers cannot support them without supporting these injustices. 

        In addition to refraining from supporting fast fashion brands, there are many other ways to be involved. The 15% Pledge is a petition you can sign that aims at encouraging major retailers to commit a minimum of 15% of their shelves to black owned businesses. The No New Clothes Pledge challenges signers to be cognizant of their purchases for 90 days in the hopes of building more support for black owned and local businesses. The fashion industry, including ethical fashion, still has an incredibly long way to go, and we are only beginning to pave the way to real change. As always, Rafi Nova welcomes any questions and concerns from our community. Please connect with us at info@rafinova.com or on Instagram @rafinova_go

        All about the Welly x Rafi Nova Water Bottle

        All about the Welly x Rafi Nova Water Bottle

        Ask us how we are staying warm this winter. Here’s a hint! It’s the same way we’re staying hydrated! We’ve all had reusable bottles before, but we've never had one this versatile, eco-friendly, and high quality! We are so thrilled to be releasing our collaboration with Welly! Welly is a company backed by social justice initiatives that promotes healthy lifestyles and provides clean drinking water to people in need. Welly bottles are beautifully designed using bamboo and stainless steel, thus providing lasting insulation for both hot and cold beverages. The Welly infuser lets you brew your favorite tea or flavored water on the go! A reliable water bottle is an essential for travel, and Welly makes it easier than ever before. 


        Our Rafi Nova x Welly bundle includes a 18oz vacuum sealed water bottle, a tin of curated Chai Diaries organic tea, and a two pack of our newest masks in a holiday tartan pattern. This set won’t last long, as it’s full of the perfect essentials for the eco-conscious consumer on your list! Rafi Nova x Welly bundle is available in three sleek bottle colors and two tea flavors. (Did we mention the bottles match perfectly with our Supernova backpack and crossbody bags?) Let us know which set is your favorite, and where you’re planning on taking your Welly bottle in 2021! 



        Reflecting on Some Amazing Rafi Nova Partnerships

        Reflecting on Some Amazing Rafi Nova Partnerships

        Giving back to our communities is ingrained in Rafi Nova’s mission. And in this year of extraordinary heartbreak, it has never been more crucial to look for joy. When you can’t find it, you have no choice but to create your own. 


        That is why donating has been a key priority for our business. Our efforts began in Spring of 2020 when we decided to donate one mask to healthcare workers for every single order placed. We donated thousands of masks to hospitals, teachers, fire departments, and other essential workers. But we didn’t stop there. In August, right in time for the back to school season, we decided to take our plans even further. We began donating a portion of our profits to worthy causes each month. As this year is coming to a close, we want to take a moment to reflect back on some of these partnerships and celebrate the amazing work that they do. One of Rafi Nova’s goals for 2021 is to expand our partnership opportunities and increase our donations! 


        Flyte: Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education 


        One of Rafi Nova’s earliest partnerships was with Take Flyte, a foundation for education through travel. Take Flyte was founded in 2015 by Matthew Kepnes, the New York Times Bestselling Author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day. After realizing the irreplaceable value gained through travel, Kepnes decided to found an organization that helps students realize their dreams and build confidence through adventure. There are undoubtedly benefits to traveling young. Rafi Nova believes that travel builds experience, compassion, and open mindedness. These traits are among those that we wish to foster in our own children to see in future generations. We could not be more thrilled by the work this organization has done, and we hope to see students once again packing their bags when the time comes to travel again. 

        First Descents : Outdoor Adventure for Young Adults Living with Cancer and MS 

        If laughter is the best medicine, then adventure must be the best healing. At least, this is the belief that founded First Descents. First Descents provides opportunities for outdoor adventure, team building, and skills development to young adults whose lives have been impacted by cancer and other serious illnesses. Empowering survivorship through kayaking, paddling and climbing, there is no other program where participants have access to such strong community and impressive medical care all while traversing the great outdoors. We are remarkably impressed by the grit and determination of both staff, founders, and participants, and hope to see more great adventures coming to First Descents in 2021.

        Storytime Crafts 

        There is no joy like a story. And all children deserve to be joyful. That is why Storytime Crafts was founded with the goal of creating diverse and inclusive book-rich environments. By providing books to children in the New England area, and going above and beyond by collecting other much needed  items, like bikes, baby food, and masks, Storytime Crafts is instilling knowledge and confidence to build up a generation of successful leaders. Rafi Nova is so thrilled to be able to give back to local children, since we know they are one of our community’s greatest strengths.

        Mothers2mothers

        mothers2mothers is a diverse international team unified by one goal: ending the spread of AIDS and creating bright futures for women and children across Sub-Saharan Africa. By providing employment to women living with HIV to serve as caretakers, mothers2mothers is improving the health of communities all while providing meaningful work opportunities and correcting stigmatization and gender inequalities. All of Rafi Nova’s textiles are made by female artisans from Hmong villages in Vietnam. We believe in the power of fair wages and the difference it makes in the lives of mothers and daughters. We are proud to support any cause which champions the independence and education of mothers and women everywhere. 



        Holiday Travel Tips for 2020

        At Rafi Nova, we are always looking forward to our next adventure. Even though it’s been much harder to satisfy our travel bug in 2020, the holiday season poses one of the biggest opportunities for getting on a plane or hitting the road. However, due to many states seeing surges in cases and some places heading back into shutdowns, travel in December 2020 and January 2021 has a significant risk attached to it. Whether your plans include staying home or making a cross country getaway, here is some of the most widely recommended advice for keeping your holidays happy and healthy. 

        1. Consider Staying Home 

        Unfortunately, one of the safest things to do this holiday season is to simply stay home. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone given significantly varying circumstances, but the reality is that with more travel and large gatherings, we may see a surge early into the new year. If you are on the fence about visiting family or hosting guests, experts strongly encourage you to consider a virtual gathering. Although the holidays may feel especially lonely this year, there are many things you can do to still feel connected and engaged with those who you cannot spend time with in person. 

        2. Limit the Size of Gatherings 

        Especially for those who have much larger families, or have family traveling from different areas, it will be a good idea to shrink the size of your holiday gathering. This substantially reduces the risk of spreading the virus if one person is asymptomatic. Some states have official guidelines related to holiday gatherings and interstate travel, so be sure to research these before continuing with any travel plans.

        3. Schedule Travel for Less Busy Days 

        Due to working remotely, many of us now have more flexibility when it comes to days off. Consider either extending or shortening your plans to miss out on the more busy travel days. Especially if you will be traveling through airports or entering high risk states, anything you could do to minimize the number of people you come into contact with could have a major impact if you were to be exposed to the virus. 

        4. Get a Test Before Travel and Upon Arrival 

        Even if you have been staying at home, social distancing, and wearing a mask, it may give you and your family some peace of mind to get a negative COVID test before travel and upon arrival. This could be especially beneficial if there are members of your family who are elderly or otherwise at higher risk for a severe reaction to the coronavirus. Be sure to research whether testing is available at your destination, and what that procedure may look like. 

        5. Quarantine at Your Destination 

        Because it is probably unlikely that you will be spending longer than the 10 day quarantine period at your destination, it will be incredibly crucial that you remain at your place of stay as much as possible. If this is not possible, be sure to wear a mask anytime you are entering a public place or meeting other people.

        6. Hold Gatherings Outdoors 

        Unless you live in Florida or Arizona, the cold temperatures make this much more of a challenge. However, it is estimated that COVID-19 spreads much faster indoors. If you can, consider moving your gathering outdoors. Who doesn’t like getting cozy around a fire pit, anyways?  

        7. Cut Down on Travel Related Stress 

        It is a widely known fact that stress lowers our natural immunity. And we know that the holidays can be stressful sometimes! This year especially, do anything you can to avoid travel and holiday stress. Schedule time for accidents and delays, and try not to let it bother you too much if your plans change suddenly. We are confident that you will still get to your destination in due time! 


        What are your plans this holiday season? What’s on your gift wishlist? Leave us a comment and let us know!