Welcome to OlaRe



OlaRe is not just a fashion brand, it is a life philosophy: respect towards nature, culture and fellow human beings. OlaRe accessories are light, easy to travel with, practical & match any outfit. The colours bring joy and energy into the daily routine.

Behind every scarf, necklace, belt, pouch visibly unfolds the life of an artisan workshop, a weaving community. Real people are behind every item. Look for the QR code on the label of the silk-organza sacrves to reveal the exciting story of an "endangered species", an island community.




Philosophy & Oragnisation

Philosophy
The single most important "ingredient" of OlaRe is the key to any success: people.

At OlaRe we

  • link the busy, travelling life of modern women and the centuries old culture of silk artisans via easy to wear travel silk accessories
  • work with existing artisan groups, weaving communities to secure them a sustainable life
  • minimise environmental impact by safeguarding tradition & handicraft

OlaRe is not just a fashion brand, it is a life philosophy: respect towards nature, culture and fellow human beings. It operates as a social business.

We mediate between two worlds: (1) the demands and tastes of modern women in Europe and the US, and (2) the practices and culture of silk artisans in a developing Asian economy.

We work with small artisan and weaving communities, and actively search for those who hasn't received external support. We collaborate to develop timeless designs, encourage stringent work ethic and provide training. We embrace hard-working people who struggle to survive because of lack of opportunity, but who are able and willing to give their best.

At OlaRe people are in the centre, both the consumers and the producers, because we believe that it is people who make the difference. All we have to do is give a chance.

To learn more link to OlaRe on Facebook.

Zsuzsa V. Hutton Sophea Sok Chomnab Ho Anne Lankinen Tayching Ear
founder, designer coordination, training production, logistics marketing IT support
Switzerland Cambodia Cambodia Finland Cambodia

Letter of the founder - the start

Letter from Olare Founder

My married life unexpectedly took me to a distant destination, Cambodia, where two features particularly struck me during our stay there:

    1) The incredible culture and tradition around silk. I was astonished that the local names for a silk fabric referred both to the weaving technique and the occasion it was meant for, reflecting huge respect towards the work of weavers and the material.

    2) I met some wonderful people who worked hard, but were on the verge of complete poverty. Despite vast presence of international support, few initiatives addressed the "grey masses" who simply tried to survive with dignity from their daily work.


None would argue the importance of saving children from rubbish dumps, offering shelter to victims of land evictions or HIV infected children, saving women from sexual harassment, or helping disabled people or victims of acid attacks. Equally, none would argue against the fact that people should be able to have a decent life through their work. Yet, those who simply try to do just that, hardly get any attention. These are the people I wanted to work with, to help survive and grow.
 
Then we moved away and I forgot about it all. One day a lady I hardly knew but respected enormously said: "Go back to this profound desire of yours to give. You can make the link between us, modern women and these women artisans. You have the talent, go and make a connection." I was taken back by this confidence and decided to give it a try. I analysed at length the capabilities of the artisans and weavers to secure that the designs would match their know-how. I experienced first hand how lengthy, cumbersome and costly the seemingly simple product development process could be. Yet, I became convinced that this slow process was the path to long-term sustainable development. In a miraculous way I met two fantastic women, Sophea and Anne, who shared my vision and were willing to help launch OlaRe.
 
Since launch OlaRe products are present in various boutiques and magazines in Switzerland, in both the French- and German-speaking parts of the country. We also developed alternative ways to secure work to our partner groups and at the same time educate consumers of future generations.
 
Zsuzsa V. Hutton


OlaRe - your favourite travel companion

Watch this short film to see our products and where they originate from. Get ideas how to wear OlaRe accessories on your travel, to the office or for leisure.



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Fashion News Live on OlaRe

Ton Reth is a weaver of silk and organza. She and her family live in Cambodia on an Island of the Mekong that in the rainy season can only be approached by boat, and weavers like Ton move their weaving chairs to the upper level of their houses for shelter.

Read the full story by Jewel Mignon on Fashion News Live