The Paper Rain Project

Everything has a story. We're so very passionate about every detail of where our product comes from & how it is produced. We do most of our production in-house or through collaboration with artists world-wide, or ethical fair trade producers who have an incredible story of their own. Disclaimer: included below are some rather large hopes & dreams for our business. This is our vision & by writing it here/sharing it with you, we hope to set the standard we are aiming for and to hold ourselves accountable.

What is The Paper Rain Project?

The Paper Rain Project was officially founded in 2013 after years of painting recycled boards & scribbling in notebooks (2009 - current status). Founders, Indigo Greenlaw & Wills Rowe of Marlborough, New Zealand, began life among small trees – Indigo in the North of Scotland on a tree nursery, Wills on a cherry farm in Spring Creek, Marlborough. It is safe to say we both had plentiful childhoods filled with tree-climbing, vege gardens, chickens and mud. It is from these modest roots which our love for nature, the organic & environmentally-friendly grew wild. Apart from wanting to travel far & wide and grow as a business, we would love to plant a native forest and build a shipping container house – all these are far off green dreams. The Paper Rain Project is a big part of realising these. We love it.


The Paper Rain Project co-founders, Indigo Greenlaw and Wills Rowe



We are growing & are lucky enough to work with artists from all over the world as well as some much closer to home (including in our workshop, studio & store). Meet our people here. Big thanks to our closest crew ~ Hannah Heslop and Ailie Suzuki.


Indigo and Wills Rowe of The Paper Rain Project 




It is a key point for our company to produce high quality, sustainable & creative products. Our t-shirts are 100% organic cotton, fairly traded & printed locally using environmentally aware printing methods. Earlier in 2018, we go to meet the lovely women who sew our apparel in India. This group of amazing ladies work for a Kiwi owned initiative (based in Kolkata) which gives opportunity for trafficked sex-workers by offering training in their freedom-driven business. More recently, we have also started working with the great team at Little Yellow Bird who use organic rainfed cotton which is tracked from farm to factory floor. We’d love to explore other green materials such as flax, bamboo & hemp, the growing of a local sourcing/seasonal cafe and food forest. The list grows.


Paper Rain Project Fair Trade Organic Cotton T-shirt NZ


Our boards are mostly pre-loved, upcycled, recycled or hand-shaped from Marlborough Pinot Noir barrels and locally grown sustainable hard woods. Our boards are hand-painted, laser etched or produced in a limited series. In close partnership with local organic & bio-dynamic wineries and growers, we source our board materials within 50m of our workshop. Our boards are finished with plant based varnish. You can read (& watch) the story of our wine-barrel boards over on Kickstarter where - in 2016 - we raised the finances to grow our workshop. Watch the space for a full range of short and longboards made from locally grown eucalyptus and blackwood!


Owl, Tobias Illustrations on macrocarpa skateboard artwork by The Paper Rain Project


Both in store and online, we have complimented our in-house products with brands that have similar ethics and transparency in their production. We are lucky enough to stock brands such as The Loyal Workshop, Dinadi, Duskies Eco Eyewear and Jude Raffills Designs as well as artwork by a range of artworks including FloxMichel Tuffery, Tobias Illustrations (Owl above), Hannah Jensen & more.

 We believe it is best to go as far as possible in terms of sustainability and really believe that’s how things should be done (where possible). If you're interested in the direct difference your purchase can make, buy a fair trade t-shirt or check out our CAUSE range where you can help raise awareness for mental health or aid in native plantings. 

If you'd like to read abut recent trip to visit our suppliers - & how we feel about ethics along our production line, read more with our Interview with Idealog Magazine.  For sustainability, and greener living, check out our feature with Ecostore.... There are a number of companies doing fantastic things to support sustainability, fair trade & organics and we think that's AWESOME. If there's a way you believe we can do better with what we have, please let us know. 


The Paper Rain Project recycled wine-barrel longboards


We want our customers to have access to a little piece of art or old-school hand-craft & know the story behind it's curves & lines. We honestly don't know what we'd do if it weren't for The Paper Rain Project which is the heart & soul of our daily lives, as well as where we pitch our future. We really hope you like it too. 


The Paper Rain Project with Ben Sarten Imagery