A Winter Chapter: WILDFLOWER
"I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one." - Edna St. Vincent Millay
Chapter 6 has been a long time coming, it’s a story we began working on back in February, however, with the year we had, our experiences and moods moulded itself and shaped the story we now tell you. What began as a hope to share the strength of a wildflower now holds extra meaning and heart from our shared experiences from the year, all in the form of beautiful colours, silhouettes and, of course, green processes.
Today, we are excited to introduce our newest edit: Wildflower.
As told by Mahima, she writes here of when she first fell in love with the modest beauty of wildflowers…
“It was May 2018, I’d recently gotten married and was on a trip to California for my sister’s graduation. My journey as an entrepreneur had just begun with SUI being only 2 months old at the time. This was my second time visiting the Golden State and I’d always remembered California with one specific memory, driving down highway 1 as an 18 year old. This time around, we were visiting my sister in her university town, Berkley. It’s a beautiful, quaint, oldschool town that reminded me of classic American movies like Back to the Future. Nature and I always have a special relationship during our travels no matter where I am so, as we explored this new place, I hoped to find moments where I could immerse myself in the surroundings whether in a park or by the sea side.
In the end, Berkeley introduced me to the most beautiful blooms of wildflowers in areas around their neighbourhoods and in their parks growing freely. I’d heard of wildflowers before and was sure I had come across them during my travels in Italy, but they’d never made me feel the way they did this time around. I’m not sure if it was the journey I was on or the fact that I had been journaling about nature a lot more deeply at the time but from that day on I was on an adventure to snap all the various wildflowers we’d find along the way. My favourite then and still is today is the sea-side daisy. “
MORE THAN JUST FLOWERS
Sui’s journey with wildflowers first began with ‘You, Me and the Road’, our 2018 winter edit, inspired by Mahima’s initial road tripping experience in California where she came across fields of wildflowers. They resonated with our green hearts and we knew that sooner or later we’d work at creating a chapter dedicated to them. Wildflowers are effortless yet bold, powerful yet elegant, and those are the values we hope to bring forward with our 6th Chapter. Even the most quaint fields are brightened up thanks to these beautiful flowers and no matter the circumstance or harsh conditions, they find a way to bloom. More than ever the characteristics of the wildflower share a lesson of enduring strength that we have especially needed this year.
2020 has been a strange year we have all experienced together. During the lockdown months, we worked hard as a team to keep the conversation going around our mantra of living with a green heart and what this did was bring us closer to our purpose, giving us time to focus on building and interacting with our community.
(Seen here: a zoom call between the Sui team while working from home)
It showed us how resilient we could be by supporting and encouraging each other to continue our journeys, whatever they may be. Through this experience, it gave us immense hope for the future of our industry, that with the right amount of care, passion and good design, we can continue making a difference.
(Seen here: behind the scenes at the Sui workshop, top & right, and the Bagru Textiles workshop, bottom)
We believe each one of us has emerged as wildflowers during these unprecedented times as we spent time amongst ourselves and our families and re-discovered the little things we loved to do. Some of us found connection with nature, some realised it was time to do better for the planet, others took time off and regrouped – and it all resulted in raw, uncultivated growth which in its own way strengthened our foundation and connection with the planet.
A STORY IN BLOOM
Every time we sit down to write a chapter at Sui, we think about our journey so far and what we’d like our clothes to represent. Each story and outfit shares a special story that starts with nature and connects further to the various people involved in the making process. This season is no different as we aim to tell you more about the making of our pieces and the communities who collaborated with us to create them.
This winter, with 2 new colours inspired, as always, by the colours of nature and designed to feel like a warm hug.
Our olive was a colour we had experimented with a year ago inspired by various shades of green. We fell in love with the warmth the herbal coloured version brought out and each fabric we dyed with it, took a unique character to this colour.
(Seen here: The Earth slip dress)
The rust was inspired by the colours of the flowers and was also a specific colour our founder had believed helped us light up the winter months gloom. Although we’ve worked with a similar tone before, this earthier version, like our green, was created to bring warmth and vibrancy to our pieces.
(Seen here: Daisy Days hemp crop top)
Within this collection, there are many fabrics you may recognise from our previous edits. As usual, our star sustainable fabrics like organic cotton and hemp, as well as variations of these, will appear in many of our designs. With both fibres being processed without the use of pesticides and hemp also being an antibacterial material - safe for you and the planet - there was no question to continue using these versatile, breathable fabrics. Tencel is another fabric we have also brought back and, although we had only first used it in our summer 2020 edit, we fell in love with it and knew we’d design future pieces with it - the green fabric is crafted from all-natural wood cellulose fibres that come from sustainably managed plantations.
This time around, we are also using reused and repurposed fabrics from our fabric stock! If you’re familiar with us, you’ll know that minimising waste in this way is not something new for us to do, however, it’s a method we have typically in the past only used for smaller capsule collections and this will be the first time they are included in a seasonal one.
We’ll also be introducing thicker knits that’ll keep you extra warm as winter goes on so, stay tuned with us on our platforms as we’ll be talking more about them at a later date!
When it comes to the artisan communities we worked with for the season, we chose to strengthen our partnerships with WomenWeave and Bagru Textiles.
WomenWeave is our handloom partner who we have worked with since 2018 and they provide us with handwoven organic cotton. They support women within their community, giving them a safe, beneficial space to work in while giving them due credit for their craftsmanship all while championing a slow method that uplifts traditional Indian craft.
Bagru Textiles, who we started working with this year for our summer collection, help bring our prints to life by hand-carving wooden blocks to then use to hand-print our designs onto our fabrics. This community found in Jaipur has been in existence for decades with their current leader, Vijendra Chippa himself being a 5th generation printer.
Being supporters of the slow method and traditional craft, we are so happy to continue working with these communities while telling you all more about them. Both these communities proudly cultivate their handicraft and share their love for it through their hard work and skill so, we can’t wait to show you what they have helped us create this time around!
As you may know if you have followed us for some time, with each collection, we always focus on particular motifs and images that we think wholly represent our Chapter. These are a few of our main motifs, which as time goes by will feature stories of strength and resilience.
First spotted by Mahima on the California sea-side, the daisy is a classic image of a wildflower we all know and love. The name “daisy” is based on the words “day’s eye”, most likely due to how the head of the flower opens in the morning and closes each night. Daisies often symbolize innocence and purity. In greek myth, it's the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, Freya’s sacred flower, which in turn meant the daisy came to symbolize childbirth, motherhood, and new beginnings - they were sometimes given to congratulate new mothers.
As we created this Chapter in a time of difficulty, we thought it was incredibly important to spread positivity and hope in any way we can. The daisy represents a new, fresh start that we are all trying to create for ourselves as we keep our heads held high to the sun.
- Bush sunflower
Did you know that sunflowers are the only major global crop native to the USA and that it has about 64 species and subspecies that grow wild there? Wild sunflowers often grow in extreme environments with hot summers, cold winters, and not much water and so, plant breeders use these tough plants to improve and protect commercial sunflowers - it’s resilience is a trait that many of us have learned in this year and we thought was fitting for this story so, it felt right to make it one of our major motifs.
Sunflowers are also known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone's day, and they are symbols of good fortune and longevity, all sentiments we want to spread to our green heart-ers.
Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death or rather remembrance. In Greek and Roman myth, poppies were used as offerings to the dead, while in our modern age, poppies are often worn or gifted on Remembrance Day (or Poppy Day), which is a memorial day celebrated in many countries all over the world to honour soldiers who fell in the First World War. It can also be used as a symbol of imagination, beauty, and success. The meaning varies between countries but many cultures share at least one common meaning for this flower.
Though the flower represents a more somber meaning, the strength of memory and properly honouring past experiences is what we want to talk more about in our story. While being optimistic of the future, we’ll also be approaching our winter by looking back on our journey and being grateful for what we have learnt.
There are so many variations of wildflowers we could introduce! Flowers like checker blooms, lupines, and more have also been included in our designs and we can’t wait to introduce you to every single one in this season. Stay tuned to our social media platforms for announcements and launch dates and, of course, we’ll be telling more about our winter story right here on our blog too!
What can you expect this season?
Unlike most of our edits, this one will be different. We believe that we are all wildflowers, with the strength to bloom and learn. With that we celebrate all of you and bring you unique stories of women, just like you and I who’ve grown through this year.
Our silhouettes too will be launched, in a few slots as if our story itself blooms through the collection. We’re looking forward to taking you on a journey with us, where we learn together and share stories with each other. We’ll be planting our very first seeds this week to share with all of you.
If there’s anything you’d like us to share don’t hesitate to give us a shout out!