As part of Fashion Revolution Week 2018, we interviewed the husband and wife duo that makes up RIYKA. Read their interview to learn what minimum standards they expect from suppliers, and the team behind RIYKA when we asked: Who made our clothes?
RIYKA prides itself on asking suppliers how and where products have been made, as a way of abiding by your mission to have minimal negative impact on the people making your clothes. What are the minimum standards you expect of your suppliers when it comes to staff welfare?
The minimum standards we expect are simple: fair wages and fair working conditions.
You send some of your studio waste to charities to be upcycled - which charities are you currently working with and what are they making with Riyka's leftovers?
We have recently been sending to the Hinge Charity—they have some sewing and making classes run by the centre, including making patch work blankets. Based on an estate in Bridlington, the Hinge Centre offers a wide range of support to the community, including benefit and welfare support, job club, after school clubs, holiday clubs, art for health, independent living, community support and resettlement support.
If we were to ask you 'Who Made my Clothes?' - who would we hear about in the wider team at Riyka, working alongside the husband and wife duo?
We have a seamstress called Ruta that comes in twice a season to help with technical work. She helps with patterns, sampling, and generally helping Rebecca realise her designs. She also helps us with ‘Made to Order’ items. For production, we work with a small atelier in Sofia (Bulgaria) run by a lovely lady called Stefania.
Talk us through an average day at Riyka.
An average day will be Rebecca in the studio, and Vedran working from home. The studio is just five-minutes from home, so we often find ourselves changing locations throughout the day, depending on what we are doing. Anything to do with admin will be more Vedran's responsibility, and anything to do with creative, design or making will be Rebecca's responsibility. Some days we will work together in the studio for a few hours.
We are very flexible and try not stick to too much structure, instead going with the flow depending on orders (wholesale/retail), deadlines, and how we feel on a certain day.
What five words would you use to describe Riyka?
Fun, wearable, comfortable, cool and timeless