Refugee Artisan Initiative

RAI partners with refugee and immigrant women to foster an inclusive, prosperous transition to the US through artisan skill training and micro business development. RAI engages women from around the world to handcraft 60 unique products to sell.


Refugee Artisan Initiative (RAI) is a nonprofit at the intersection of the circular economy and social justice that helps immigrant and refugee women (artisans) start micro businesses. RAI’s flexible, strengths-based programs - RAI Label and Partner Projects - increases fluency in small-batch sewing manufacturing, decreases financial struggles, and diverts textile and other reusable solid waste from the wastestream. RAI sells artisans handmade crafts on RAI’s online marketplace, wholesale to businesses or through bulk orders. RAI has trained 30 women from Bhutan, Burma, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Morocco, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and China. All designs are inspired by industry-donated fabric/garments, diverting 5,000 lbs. of fabric from the wastestream. Income from products is passed through to artisans as wages and seed funding for home-based, creative businesses. 

RAI delivers training program that give artisans a deep, yet practical introduction to commercial sewing. The program includes a combination of written, verbal and hands-on training to meet artisan where they are in terms of English language proficiency. Completion of the program positions artisans to sew garments, manufacture RAI Label products, or find their own clients.

Services offered by this organization are listed below. This provider specializes in the areas listed in bold.


Services Provided

Human Resources, Workforce and Talent

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (Specialty)
  • Workforce Training (Specialty)

Internship Programs and Student Services

  • Internship Program (Specialty)
  • Student Marketing Projects
  • Student Research Projects

Manufacturing, High Tech, Life Sciences Development

  • Small Scale Manufacturing (Specialty)
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Industrial Symbiosis
  • Pollution Prevention

Networking and Associations

  • Demographically Based (Specialty)
  • Home Based (Specialty)


  • Conference/Meeting and Event Space
  • Makerspace / Hackerspace (Specialty)
  • Retail Space

Product Development

  • Product Assembly and Packaging (Specialty)
  • Product Design and Development (Specialty)
  • Prototype Development (Specialty)

Selling to the Government and Large Corporations

  • Supplier Diversity

Technical Assistance

  • Design Services
  • Clean Materials
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Triple Bottom Line (Specialty)


  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Home-Based Business Training (Specialty)
  • Startup Classes

Accelerators and Incubators

  • Incubator (Specialty)

Events and Community Building

  • Conferences, Fairs and Festivals (Specialty)
  • Meet-ups/Social Events
Contact Information
Referral Contact
12337 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125