Our adventure began in 2011 on a small patch of green in East London, where two puppies decided to play together. Wolf a terrier had recently been rescued by craft development expert, Bee Friedmann and Shiba Inu, Hiro belonged to designer, Amy Fleuriot-Reade. The two humans quickly discovered a common love for design, animals, and sustainability and set off together on a 6 week adventure to East Africa. It was this trip that provided the inspiration to start AARVEN (formerly Artisans & Adventurers).
Amy designs AARVEN’s collections in collaboration with small-scale artisan groups whom Bee has spent many years building close personal relationships with. The brand now works with over 30 such groups and individuals across Africa and in India.
Sustainability and ethical production is at the heart of what we do. We produce our collections in collaboration with small-scale artisan groups. Elevating their craft and providing access to the international market.
The nature of the global supply chain means our decisions as consumers affect people all around the world. At AARVEN we strive to create products which bring as much joy to their creator as they do to the end customer through sustainable and ethical production. In the words of Orsola De Castro, “Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the lives of people who make them.”
Bee is the adventurer behind AARVEN, passionate about people and building long-lasting relationships with our artisans. She oversees the process of crafting our goods, from production through to the products you see in store and online.
Almost all of our products are original designs from the wonderfully creative mind of Amy. She collaborates with our incredibly skilled artisans to create new, original designs you won’t find anywhere else.
In August 2017, AARVEN opened a store in the vibrant sea-side town of Margate, home to the Turner Contemporary art gallery and stunning sunsets. Community is always at the heart of what we do, whether it is our local community here in the UK or the wonderful communities we work with overseas, we believe collaboration is the key to a more connected future.
We are constantly striving to improve as a brand, monitoring our impact on the planet and ensuring we are making positive steps towards a more sustainable future. All of our packaging for in-store and online orders is made from from 100% recycled and recyclable materials. Many of our artisans and producer groups are too small to be able to afford official certification. We therefore always carry out our own in-person audits, following the 10 principles of Fair Trade
, to ensure our high social and environmental standards are met. Our designs are all made using either natural or recycled materials. We consolidate orders from all of the small groups we work with across Africa so that products can be shipped by sea. Almost all of our products are already vegan friendly and we are always looking at ways to expand these ranges.
In addition to always paying a fair wage to our artisans, set by them, we have partnered with education charity, African Promise. AARVEN donates 2% of all sales of our Kenyan-made products to support African Promise's schools in the region of Kenya where our baskets are woven. We are actively looking for similar charities to partner with in all of the countries we work in.
If you have any questions about the way we work or would like to discuss a new collaboration please get in touch