MR: Every product image we post on our social media will also have a website link, either in the description or in our bio. As we expect your purchase decision not to be based merely on the price, we request you to go through some of the important information about the product and its processes on our website. As a habit, we do not reply to PP.
2] Can I come to your studio to check out your products?
MR: Due to the pandemic, our studio is not open to customers yet. Moreover, for the last two years, we have switched to an only-online business module, wherein, we produce only after your website purchase. Hence, the physical inventory in our studio is negligible.
3] Will the MRP be the same if I come to your store? Is the price different to those who live abroad?
MR: The price of our product is the same both on our website and exhibits. We price depending on the cost of making the product and not on who is buying it. It's what we call universal pricing. Shipping within India is free, but we charge extra for international shipping.
4] Why are your products so expensive?
MR: A lot of thought goes behind the pricing, & you can read more about it on our blog. Our price not only reflects our belief in paying living wages to our craftspeople but also in being fair with our consumers. We suggest you buy less, buy local, from small brands which stand for authenticity, and ask questions before you indulge. After all, how and where you spend money reflects your values and life choices.
5] How soon can I receive the parcel?
MR: Our products that need tailoring gets shipped within three working days, and those with embroidery would take seven working days. Afterwhich, it should take 3-4 working days to reach within India and 10-15 days abroad, depending on the destination code. Sarees, towels, stoles and such are ready to ship.
6] I don't know how to decide on the size of the garment on your website. If it doesn't fit, can I return it?
MR: Every product description carries the "garment measurement" and not the body measurement. We suggest you measure any of your comfort-fit garments and compare them with our size chart, you will find a match. We do not offer refunds on any order placed as most of our products are either made for you or a small batch of exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces. If you wish to exchange for another product or size, do mail us right away and enable us to keep that piece aside for you.
7] I run a boutique/an online aggregator. Can you provide us with your products on a consignment basis for resellers, and what's the markdown?
MR: Our scale of business does not allow us to provide our products to resellers on a consignment basis. Be aware that we have not burdened our customers by including the re-sellers margin. However, if you are willing to purchase our products, the discount we offer to you as B2B would be minimum. Nevertheless, we would love to engage with you to collaborate creatively and reach out to a broader audience. Don't hesitate to write to us.
8] Why have you stopped using the word 'khadi'?
MR: Respecting the government guidelines, we cease to use the KVIC trademarked word 'khadi' on any of our product descriptions.
9] Is Metaphor Racha a cooperative society or an NGO?
MR: Metaphor Racha is a proprietorship owned for-profit company working with many weaving co-operatives and craftspeople across the state of Karnataka. Our tailoring studio is in Bengaluru.
10] What does Metaphor Racha mean? Is it Trademarked?
MR: "Metaphor" is a figure-of-speech English word applied to work or an object, whereas "Racha" is a short form of the Kannada word 'Rachane' meaning 'to create'. So the name Metaphor Racha signifies "A platform which is a metaphor to all the creative minds amongst rural craftspeople and urban artisans to reach to a wider audience". Yes, the company name is trademarked.
11] Is the cotton which you use is organic?
MR: Our cotton is not organic yet, but the rest of the work is. We are doing our best to be as eco-sensitive as possible. We foresee using organic cotton textile in the future.
12] Are all the colours used at Metaphor Racha natural?
MR: Unless specifically mentioned that it is naturally dyed, it is not. We predominantly work in north Karnataka, where the skill of natural dyeing and the amount of water which it requires is a challenge. Hence, we have been using Azo-free VAT dyes and reactive dyes. Though these are chemical dyes and considered safest, we use colours cautiously and only where it's required. We encourage consumers to opt for more Kora instead.
13] Do you customise our design and size?
MR: Almost all the designing involved in dyeing, weaving, garment making, printing, and embroidering are done by the craftspeople themselves joyfully, and we do not want to take that away from them. Hence we do not custom design for our consumers.
As of now, we have four sizes ( S, M, L, XL) which most of our clients are comfortable with. If needed, we would introduce a few more sizes. But, our small team in Bengaluru is not armed to custom stitch size-specific garments. But, we can alter the size for you wherever it's possible.
14] Do you offer COD?
MR: No, we don't. We have been paying all our crafts-people upfront, on time and equitably. As we consider you as a part of this value chain, we encourage you to follow suit and pay ahead. We accept various cards, a few UPI options, NEFT transfer, etc. If you need some time to GooglePay or bank transfer the amount, do message and let us know. We will be glad to keep aside the product for a stipulated time.
15] Do you recommend dry cleaning?
MR: Like any handmade item, our products need care too. But, we do not encourage dry-cleaning. Wash the textile in cold water separately with mild/eco/no detergent and dry it under shade.
16] Approximately how many people are employed by Metaphor Racha?
MR: People who are employed permanently with us are 12. They include spinners, weavers, tailors, and office staff. Apart from them, we regularly work with many local block printers, hand embroiderers, and dyers. At any point in time, we are dependent on more than two dozen families for our work.
17] Why should I buy from Metaphor Racha?
MR: Buy from us only when there is a need. But remember, Metaphor Racha is just the front-end face of many craftspeople coming together with their design sensibilities, skill, and aspirations. As a small scale business, we are mindful of the commercial approach and the economic empowerment of people involved with us. We approach our work foot-on-ground with sensitivity towards the eco-system, sustained effort in popularising 'Handmade in India' and sharing our experience with all of you. We encourage conscious consumer in you, who is aware of the impact of purchasing decision on the environment and consumer health. It's a voluntary simplicity.