Born in the state of Assam in India's pristine northeast region, Unmana Rynjah rediscovered the beauty of her native land in 2018 when she took a break from almost a decade of working in the corporate world. Unmana, who loved wearing her mother's elegant mekhala sadors and sarees, was curious as to why the rich handicrafts of the region were not as well known in other parts of the country.
After months of journeying across the state and building relationships with artisans, she started Arras as an extension of the principles she stands for and to highlight the pressing needs of today's society- being a tribal woman leading a business, working towards the livelihoods of the skilled but disadvantaged communities in India and promoting ethically made, cruelty-free clothing.
"The name Arras was inspired by the English word meaning a tapestry made of rich fabric that is typically used to conceal an alcove.
Arras is, thus, synonymous to the craftsmanship of textile artisans of India's North East- rich and intricate, but yet untapped and unexplored."
A traditional Assamese gamusa, a symbol of respect, being woven on the loom.
Our work is founded on the premise that the fashion industry is not just about how we look in our clothes. When fashion is created responsibly, it creates benefits for everyone along each step of the value chain. This includes the large population of workers involved in textile production (including farmers), indigenous weavers, tailors and end consumers, while keeping our responsibilities towards the environment at the fore.
"Peace is the ultimate religion." Painted on the loom of our weaver, Mainu Das.
A quick fact about our origins:
The North Eastern Region of India, a cluster of eight geographically and culturally diverse states, is home to over 220 ethnic communities each with unique customs and traditional designs.