By Karilyn Prisco
As a fashion stylist I am constantly being introduced to new brands, trends and products. My love for fashion and my consumer responsibilities have always held a tense relationship. The devastating statistics speak for themselves. A 2021 report from the World Economic Forum identified fashion, and its supply chain, as the planet’s third largest polluter (after food and construction), releasing 5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions (climatecouncil.org). The fashion industry produces 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions and is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply (unece.org). So what does that mean? Well let’s take a pair of jeans for example, it is estimated that a single pair of jeans requires 1 kilogram of cotton. As cotton tends to be grown in dry environments, producing this 1 kilo requires about 7,500–10,000 liters of water. That’s about 10 years’ worth of drinking water for one person (https://unfccc.int).
In a world where we produce more than we can consume, I am always on the quest for responsibly made products that are fashionable, functional and sustainable. Most recently I discovered a NYC-based brand that really hit the mark in each of these categories, Ramati. I was introduced to Ramati when I was given a pair of their trademark, hand-woven raffia moccasins. The luxe craftsmanship, design and comfort of the shoe stood out to me at first. However, as I learned more about the brand and the people behind it I quickly became curious and inspired.
Ramati is Sanskrit for God of Love, also meaning enjoyment, paradise, pleasure and time. All of the components of Ramati’s shoes are eco-friendly and plant based. The colors are vegetable-based dyes and leather alternatives are used to have a 100% cruelty-free product. They have a non-leather sole made out of TPU that is referred to as the bridge between rubber and plastics. It is extremely flexible, durable, water resistant and smooth to the touch. Most impressively TPU is recyclable and biodegradable. The body of the shoe is made from raffia. Raffia is a palm tree native to tropical regions of Africa. Raffia fiber is extracted by hand and produced from the membrane on the underside of each individual palm leaf. The membrane is taken off to create a long thin fiber, which can be dyed and woven as a textile into products ranging from hats to shoes to decorative mats.
Ramati is co-founded by Matteo Prodani and Fernanda Uribe. Matteo, originally from Perugia, Italy, grew up in a multicultural, vibrant environment. If his face seems familiar to you, you are probably right. Last month he opened and manages the fabulous “Sogno Toscano Market & Wine Bar” on 17 Perry Street. Be sure to stop by and say “Ciao!”
In addition to his current main occupation, he graduated in 2019 from the Master in Business Impact and Sustainability at the Glasgow Caledonian College in New York to benefit the Ramati brand and it’s concept.
His wife Fernanda was born in Tijuana, Baja California a city that is a continuous inspiration for her work. She is a visual artist, sculptor, curator and educator that graduated from the New Academy of Fine Arts (NABA) School in Milan, Italy. Through multimedia techniques she creates organic structures that are inspired by the fragility of our nature.
After living and visiting many prominent and multicultural cities such as Milan, London, Sao Paulo and Cannes, they both settled in New York City.
Matteo and Fernanda have a vision for excellence; they appreciate the virtuosity in the workmanship of different cultures and want to help preserve traditional craftsmanship. Social commitment and environment protection are the foundation and the highest reward of their mutual efforts. Both of them follow a meat-free diet, a value that is reflected in the products that they design.
They are also launching an artist jacket made out of the remaining stock of prestigious brands such as Loro Piana and Max Mara. In line with their values and business model they are collaborating with a tailor based in Serbia, a developing country that is coming out from a challenging past.
You can find their products on their website: Ramatigoods.com //IG: @ramati_goods See “Local Finds. Local Love.” product feature on page 27.
Alternatively you can fit them at the SPA of the Four Seasons Downtown or directly in their home/art studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.