It’s finally here. Our SUI summer is back and we are overjoyed to be able to share it with all of you and spread the joy of summer far and wide. This year, our focus is all about those summer days we all know and love, the vacations we treasure in memory, the anticipation of summer fruits coming into season and a time of freedom and fun.
This time round is also going to be a little bit different as we’ll be introducing pieces throughout the month! Each week, we’ll share some new surprise looks in a variety of fresh silhouettes as we enjoy the slowness of the month so we can celebrate each one.
Without further ado, here’s what it’s all about...
Nostalgic & heartfelt
This season, we celebrate the summer wardrobe, light and airy summer textiles, and the yearning of simpler times - summer is more than just a season, summer is a feeling.
This year, we especially wanted to capture the emotions from the summers of our childhoods and so, Mahima mentions what summer means to her:
“As a child, I used to look forward to summer for the free time and holidays - the swim lessons, the summer clothes and play dates. As I grew older, the meaning of summer always brought along moments of slow time with friends & family - creating memories, with those who mattered the most to my heart. Nature, automatically, became a massive part of it. And eventually, SUI was born with that love in my heart. Summer is the heart of our brand, because it was beneath the sunshine and by the sea that I realised the deep love I shared for our world.”
Being a proudly Indian brand too, what summer means to us also plays a big part in our 7th Chapter. For a lot of us in India, the season brings about the first smell of mangoes, the first ray of the hot sun, the planning of that next escapade to your favourite spots because it’s a bit too hot in our cities, it’s the swim in the ocean and it is the ease of longer days under the sun.
Sunshine brings along a bloom within nature, bougainvilleas being a large part of it - there is often colour all around us too! And although summer today is a little different than others, especially when it comes to travel, it still stands true as something that brings a lot of joy and more importantly, hope, that the sweetness of balmy afternoons enjoying cold drinks and lazy breezes will fill each day. And so, as we spend most of our 2021 summers in our homes, within our safe spaces, memories of moments gone by flooded through our mind, bringing us cheer where the comfort of nostalgia reminds us of happy moments.
This summer, we take you on a journey all about memory and moments from our journals, to remind you that little moments have the power to shape us.
Fabrics old & new
Summer gives us a chance to enjoy our breezy dresses, our light fabrics, and our glowy prints and, most importantly, it allows us to slow down even if just a little bit with the people we love and with a green heart.
In years past, summer brought out breezy kurtas and cotton fabrics known for their breathability and texture. We wanted to celebrate this kind of summer wardrobe with our own ode to textiles that have our heart.
As always, we have our constant sustainably crafted fabric favourites that we have been using for some years now that including:
- Organic cotton knit (LAUNCHING MID-JULY) - this is provided by our ethical partner, Aura Herbal who we have been collaborating with since almost the very start of SUI. The fibre is grown without the use of pesticides making it healthier for farmers, you and the planet.
- Handspun and handwoven organic cotton - since 2018, WomenWeave have been handcrafting this fabric for us. Their method requires no electricity so their carbon footprint is immensely low. Moreover, they focus on empowering women particularly in the handloom sector.
- Hemp - provided by BOHECO, this fibre also does not use pesticides in its production process, moreover, it is quite durable in its fabric form meaning it stays your friend for years to come if you take good care of it.
- Tencel - this fibre is sourced from the Lenzing Group, and it is a fabric created from wood cellulose fibres grown in sustainably managed plantations - this ensures as little waste as possible is created within its process.
But we also have some new ones that we’re so excited to show you - some of which will be introduced very soon and others, later in the month, so keep an eye out on our platforms!
Kala cotton is also known as the original Old World cotton of India. The fibre is native to Kutch and is organic due to no use of pesticides or synthetic fertilisers in its production and it’s rain-fed - good for farmers and good for you.The fibre is provided by green vendor, Karghewale, who are an ethical NGO focused on connecting with a variety of craft communities and aid them in bringing their goods to a wider consumer base while sharing their stories and art.
Jamdani (LAUNCHING END OF JULY) is a fine muslin fabric also provided by Karghewale. It is a cotton in which each motif is woven intricately by lifting the yarn one by one and inserting the threads and is also handwoven - meaning it is created slow, needing no electricity, therefore reducing its carbon footprint immensely.
Summer motifs, prints & embroidery
Those who have followed our story even for a little while, will notice that embroidery is a signature of ours. It’s a craft we have utilised right from the start of our journey in 2018, both hand and machine, as we always found it to be both a conscious art that helps us help the planet, and perfectly represents the beauty of nature.
Our hand block prints are a newer craft we have been working with for more than a year now but have quickly become a SUI staple as we continue our partnership with Bagru Textiles, a community in Rajasthan who have been operating for 5 generations now. They help us stay green by using an art that is done completely by hand from start to finish as well as show our audience just how beautiful traditional artisan craft can be.
This season, we bring motifs created through prints and embroidery that remind you of summer days and moments.
Nimbu, aka lemon in Hindi, is a summer staple. Every home will have these humble fruits ready in their fridges specifically to make a drink called Nimbu Paani, an Indian lemonade - the perfect drink to soothe yourself from the heat of the sun. This motif is an ode to that feeling, one that many of us remember fondly and look forward to every year.
As a kid, the most joyful time of the year was the summer holiday, and with it came the season of the beloved fruit, mangoes. The joy of seeing fresh, brown leaves sprouting on mango trees and then the smell of dipped mangoes in cold ice water truly completed an Indian summer.
The pulpy, yellow fruit has a history in India that dates back to several million years and was first discovered (in fossils) in north-east India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, from where it traversed a journey down south. Today, it is beloved by many of us, holding fond memories of our childhoods and bringing the excitement of balmy summer days.
The radiant cream and yellow hues of the champa flower, also known as plumeria or frangipani, is one that accompanies us on summer’s day as it blooms brightly under the heat of the sun. Recognised fondly by most in India, the flower is a humble beauty with a sweet fragrance.
In eastern India and Bangladesh, the flower is associated with Krishna as it’s said to adorn his heavenly home. In Karnataka, the bride and groom exchange garlands of cream-coloured champas during weddings. The champa is truly much adored and a bright symbol of love and new beginnings.
Bougainvilleas (PRINT LAUNCHING MID-JULY)
The pink, white, and yellow bloom of bougainvilleas can make you fall in love with summer. Even in harsh conditions, these flowers grow beautifully. As summer continues on, the ground becomes covered with their fallen petals and drop like snowfall while bougainvillea tree branches still weigh heavily with their flowers.
According to BC Katiyar, emeritus-president of the Bougainvillea Society of India, bougainvilleas give flowers throughout the year, the maximum bloom comes out twice a year — before and after winter. The flower also symbolises protection and spiritual connection, whilst others see it as a symbol of peace.
Our signature motif and a symbol of summer days, the palm tree. We often bring back the image of the palms because it reminds us of our journey and green promise to the planet as well as being our constant friend in the heat of summer. They hang over us and provide shade, line the streets we travel on, and sway in the breeze as if enjoying the moment with us.
Depending on the region, palm trees symbolise a variety of things some of which being victory, triumph, peace, and eternal life.
Final little notes
The whole team is so excited to finally get a chance to bring in our SUI summer with a lot of green heart, it’s been a long time coming and we hope you love the pieces as much as we do!
“It was fun to be part of this nostalgic collection, the styles are very easy breezy and very comfortable yet stylish. All the prints that were made by Anukriti, our Textile Designer, have a lot of thought put into them of all the summer things that matter to us. The mango prints and champa embroidery (which i can’t wait for you to see, personally) give you the vibe of a sunny summer and the feel of fabric is so soft and lightweight as it will feel like second skin.” - Shalini, production manager.
“A Summer's Day is a collection very close to my heart as it takes me back to old glorious summer days. Relishing the memories of childhood and creating something special for the customers was my favourite part of the whole design process. Brainstorming was one the most exciting parts where myself and Mahima spent weeks picking up the best elements from our childhood summer memories. Mangos, nimbu paani, pool, bougainvillea flowers, sun, beaches, nani house visits, summer vacations, mountains - we discussed and laughed on it over long long zoom calls, like opening up a photo album looking for those captured moments. When it comes to designing prints - designing and justifying the prints that reflect summer memories was an interesting yet nervous task. But with the support of such a great team and Mahima nothing seems difficult. I really hope our customers enjoy wearing these summery, nostalgic prints full of our childhood summer memories.” - Anukriti, textile designer.
With new fabrics on the way, we are also excited to tell you more about all the green processes and methods involved (old and new). By crafting slow and leading with sustainability in mind at all stages, we know it’s incredibly important to share how we create and be transparent with our community so you know that we stay true to our values. Our next few blog posts will be covering these topics, giving you an in-depth look at how we incorporate sustainability from fibre to fabric, discussing green methods like hand embroidery, block printing, upcycling, and more - so, stay tuned!
And , lastly, also keep an eye out for our Real People series where we spotlight other green minds within our community to tell their story and conscious philosophies - and if you have a story of your own you’d like to share with us, reach out, DM, e-mail, we’d love to share it.