What is The Paper Rain Project?
We are a New Zealand based social enterprise which specialises in hand-crafted and ethically sourced art goods. Our artworks and products help to raise funds - as well as awareness - for a number of social and environmental Causes. We are super passionate about doing GOOD with our business. We originally began with custom painted recycled boards, and then began to produce and print our own apparel. Our work is complimented in store with a few other select brands that also share our ethics. Click here to browse our collections.
What is this about?
We believe fashion should not be fast, nor be produced at the cost of the Earth or people along it's production line. We exist to provide a high quality alternative to the fast, mass-produced and unethical items that are too common in today's marketplace. Everything we sell comes from sustainable and ethical sources. We create in-house, or via fair trade producers that have incredible stories of their own. Our staff earn - at minimum - living wage. Our collaborators are paid fairly. We believe that high quality, creative goods are created as locally as possible or - produced using transformative trade overseas. Production lines can change communities, for better or for worse, and when we have transparent, honest and supportive creation, we can do good with business. To put it bluntly, choosing fair trade simply equates to the acknowledgement that someone else's life has equal value to yours. Using recycled and sustainable products, always looking to do better where we fail... To us, this is business the way it should be.
Where are you based?
Our workshop and HQ is in Marlborough at the top of the South Island in New Zealand. However, we are known to roam so watch out for a pop-up store near you ;-) 2018 sees us at 68 Manners Street in Wellington. November 19th - December 2nd at Ponsonby Central in Auckland. Queenstown & Picton? *Coming Soon*. But hey, we're online 24/7.
Are you a Collective?
No, we produce about 80% of the product in our store as well as some of the artworks. At our Marlborough-based HQ, there are just the four of us as well as our 2 new pop up store staff. We do work with around 30 talented artists to complete our apparel and board art range. We still make art, as well as our boards in-house but feel we make a better whole through collaboration. We work with extra-ordinary people to produce high-quality, ethical and creative products. Our art collabs give the guest-artists creative freedom whilst fitting the bill for our ethics and brand. These products also give back via our Cause range!)
Are your art boards rideable?
Some of them! Most of the boards displayed are generally purchased for art, but our soon-to-be-released Blackwood and Eucalyptus series are designed to ride. this includes our mini 'Bullet' boards as well as stainless steel strengthened bespoke drop-through decks. We currently have Full Sets Ups (trucks, wheels etc) available for our wine-barrel classic but will release new rideables Spring/Summer 2018. Click here to see all of our rideable boards.
What kinds of boards do you sell?
UPCYCLED MAPLE: Some are recycled maple boards which have already lived a rough life. These are often used for painting one of one artworks which are not for riding.
HAND-PAINTED ONE OF ONE: With any of our hand-painted one of a kind boards we recommend you hang it on the wall - it'd be a shame to kill it! These are unique, bespoke and collectable art items.
WINE-BARREL ART BOARDS: Our signature art board. Hand-built from recycled French oak wine barrels in our workshop, each deck is crafted from wine-soaked wood. After several years of refining and perfecting, our signature barrel board makes a bespoke piece of art with a unique history.
MACROCARPA ART BOARDS: Crafted from locally grown sustainable lots of macrocarpa, these blonde coloured beauties are our take on the retro skateboard - an ode to a classic which is specifically design to look great on your wall. Laser etched or hand-painted artworks.
RIMU ART BOARDS: Created from recycled native wood which has been reclaimed from house renovations throughout the South Island. Polished up and shaped to create unique artworks with a range of hand-painted works from select guest artists.
BOARDS FOR RIDING: This section will grow soon! All of our rideable boards have been made and designed in-hosue by designer, Wills Rowe. Watch the space for mini bullets and drop-throughs made from locally grown eucalyptus and macrocarpa (to be released Spring/Summer 2018).
Are you a Charity?
No, we're a social enterprise. This means we are a for-profit business that chooses to donate some of our profit to carefully paired charities or causes. We are a business for good and hope to inspire other businesses to do things this way too. We're really passionate about how our products are produced and where we work with others, we need to know that it is a fair relationship. It is really important for us to support charities, groups and suppliers which help society and the natural environment.
Can I submit my artwork or be featured in your store?
You are welcome to submit your work but please know that we're not currently looking for any new artists.
Who makes your apparel?
The majority of our apparel is made/sewn & sourced from a Kiwi company based in Kolkata, India who help retrain women out of the sex industry. The tees are 100% fair trade & organic cotton. More recently, we have started working with two new suppliers. These honorable Kiwi folk make sure our production teams are well cared for and that profits from every purchase goes towards community services such as sanitation, clean water and education. They seek to “make good a little more common in the neighbourhood”. Although we've spent the last three years printing in our garage, our t-shirts are now hand-printed by Wellington and water-based companies that make sure no nasty chemicals make their way into our waterways. Ideally, we'd be producing NZ grown hemp, NZ made tees.... watch the space.
Do you create custom designs?
We no longer produce custom design for boards BUT we collaborate with many different artists to produce unique boards and we hope you will find something special to you in store. After a design we have but on a different type of board? E.g a Tobias Illustrations Wolf but on a wine-barrel board - Let's talk. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org :)
Do you wholesale your clothing, boards or tote bags?
Like the option of something ethical and totally unique? Awesome. We have commercial and wholesale options, for sure! Interested, touch base via our contact page. We'd love to hear from you.
How often do you get new t-shirt designs?
There is no set system to this. We support slow fashion, not fast fashion. Our design timelines depend on the speed of sales of our existing designs (which we hope to give time & space to be appreciated). We don't like to over-stuff our store either! We hope to eventually roll over our artwork more often, with a wider range of shapes and sizes but currently focus on generating longevity in supporting the causes we donate partial profits to.
Do you screen-print commercially?
Due to workload and the size of our team we don't screen print commercially but we can recommend a local organisation who can screen print your designs.
Can I swap or return my tee?
Absolutely! You can return or swap out the design or colour of a t-shirt - so long as the cotton has no marks and has not been washed or worn. As we are the only producers of these garments we are happy for you to make this change with us without a receipt. Please contact us at email@example.com to organise an exchange. See more on this on our Sizing & Returns page.
Will I have to pay international customs/ duties on my shipment?
Potentially! This really depends on which country you are in. NZ/Australia - heck no. Further abroad? Please check with your local post office to determine these charges. Read more on this over on our Shipping page.
Where do you get your Courier Bags from?
We are so happy to share this information with you! We get these great shipping bags from R3 Pack right here in NZ. They are matte black, home compostable and made from plants. So much awesome.
Do you offer Lay-by on boards?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about options.