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Artisanal is the model for slow fashion and changes our relationship to clothes. Understanding how artisans interacts with their social environment shows us how to be more compassionate toward the world beyond ourselves.


Artisans will never be able to participate in the world of fast fashion. This is because given the principles and seasonality that come hand in hand with artisanal production. At RISA, our business model takes into account this inherent slowness and we solely adhere to timeless styles. Trends are never completely unoriginal and are not observed at RISA, as they always disappear fast or copy a previous fashion era. The definition of an artisan is a skilled labourer who “works with traditional techniques”. These are techniques that they have established and preserved for centuries by passing down the knowledge through generations. When clothes were made by hand they inevitably and purposefully were made to last longer and to be mended if torn.


The entire process of production is tied to variables like serendipities of weather, harvest cycles, religious festivals, celebratory customs, and the heavy, inherent reliance on the artisan themselves.

At RISA we value the exquisiteness of handmade pieces that are made to last a long time and are intentional in their commitment to sell what they value. This inherently means that at RISA we have a completely different design process as well. A lot of thought goes into the design as we strive to show respect to the craft of the artisans above everything. One way to honour their skill and the rich history of the textiles we use is to reinterpret textile heritage into clothing that tell stories of where and why they are made. With this we hope that their heritage and the symbols that their stories carry will positively influence the women who will wear these garments.


Compassion for your clothes arises as you start recognising, appreciating and admiring the patience, labor, and skill that gave a life to your garment. To own a piece made artisanally, is to value craftsmanship and it teaches us that clothes are not mere commodities that are easily disposable and replaceable. The craft that artisans demonstrate is much more than slow and handmade, it is heritage.  A heritage that lasts as long as they last, and today, this is disappearing. It would be a tragedy to lose a heritage which testifies a culture’s unique identity which without it, we wouldn't be one of the most diverse and complex species. With this in mind, it becomes urgent to preserve and boost the local economies of these artisans. They are essential for the continuity of the tradition because only them are part of the generational knowledge of the craft.


RISA not only educates consumers about the cultural significance of the crafts but also humanizes the artisans. This approach establishes a deeper connection between consumers and the creators of the products they purchase.


When working with artisans, the process is a deeply collaborative one. What can you make using those weaving techniques, those patterns, those colours?  With artisans, the designer has to respect the parameters that traditional artisanship imposes on a design, as well as respecting the knowledge of the artisan that they will not have without the presence of a certain lineage.

So this is for the artisans, it is a love letter to those who bring us this awareness, these new senses and consciousness linked to what we wear.  A love letter to the origins of artisanship – a love letter to slow, to the quality of making clothes which involves the hands, the eyes and the creative brain.

Their memory retrieves patterns created from ancestors and their muscle memories also remember decades of practice which was passed down. All these factors make their skill an art, it is not something that an algorithm can pick or a machine can control, this is what humans do; they make art as an expression and gratitude of the beauty of life.

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