Behind the Labels – Bohemian Diesel Marketplace
Lovingly handmade OOAK embroidered kimonos, silky pants and amazing flowy dresses in bright colors…. Oh we’re deeply in love with everything ‘The Rags Tribe‘ does and creates!
For their new beautiful collection we sat down with owner and creator Dawn and asked her a few questions about her label. ♡
So who is behind The Rags Tribe? And where do you call home?
I am Dawn Schuster, the founder of The Rags Tribe. I live between vibrant Tel Aviv and Mumbai where my workshop is.
What gave you the push to create your own label?
I always wanted to have a fair trade company and after many trips in India, I was constantly amazed by the incredible colours, embroideries and fabrics. What struck me really hard during all my times there was how women were treated in much of society, and I decided that I wanted to empower women with my business. Which women have no hope or chance of escape? Sex trafficked women, where India is one of the worst places in the world. So I decided to make it my mission to give as many of these ladies hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Tell us about The Rags Tribe and the organisation you work with and support!
The Rags Tribe is an ethical bohemian clothing brand that empowers women who have been rescued from sex trafficking by giving them jobs. Every garment is made by these brave, special women. We use only vintage, upcycled saris which I curate myself from all across India. Each piece is one of a kind with hand embroidery and hand dying. I work with an incredible charity in Mumbai that rescues women and children from trafficking. The work they do is incredible.
Where and when do you feel most inspired?
I feel the most inspired when I am with the amazing women who are making The Rags Tribe clothes. Their strength is unbelievable.
What is the best part of your job?
I absolutely love the process of finding the vintage fabrics. I travel to villages, markets, towns and cities all across India to places where no tourists have been before and at all times of day and night. I love it when I find real treasures.
Is there anything you don´t like about it?
As I do not speak Hindi, communicating on the road can be quite the challenge. Also as I stand out like a sore thumb in India, I am the constant target for scammers (like many tourists).
What are you most proud of?
I am the most proud of seeing the women smile and the light come into their eyes. I really believe that everybody needs a purpose and the fact that these women feel truly needed and appreciated for the first time in their lives makes even my most stressful times worth it.
What makes you sad?
The stories of what the women who work with us have been through are worse than your worst nightmares. Each and every one of them has gone through their own terrible suffering and it is so painful to hear. You can read some of their stories in my blog on my website. They want to get their stories out to the world as most people prefer to be ignorant to such subjects. Visiting the Red Light area where my wonderful women came from is also pretty distressing, especially seeing the children living in this environment.
A message for women everywhere…
I feel we all need to open our eyes and realise that we are all connected. We need to have empathy and compassion for other women and support each other.
Everyone should at least once in their life…
Travel alone. I think that you connect with people and learn things about yourself in ways that you can’t do with friends or a partner.
What’s your vision for the future of your brand?
I hope to keep growing and have many women working with us. I would love to one day expand to other countries also and use the amazing fabrics that are made around the world and help women from more places.