“People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth's life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth's water is there. It's the blue heart of the planet - we should take care of our heart.”
- Sylvia Earle
Sui’s love for the ocean has always run deep. Many of our collections are inspired by cities and places we admire that are also often coastal, with the sea being a big part of the cities’ green charm. We then further celebrate our admiration for them through our pieces with our design choices and motifs depicting the blue paradise in many different ways, whether that’s through colours, silhouettes, embroidery and so on.
Our love and focus, however, isn't just due to its beauty but also because we know that the oceans are an incredibly important part of our world and affect much of how our ecosystems behave. Did you know plankton produces much of the oxygen we breathe and the health of the seas affects the weather? This means that how we treat them is something we all should think about and take action on, which is what World Oceans Day is all about!
To celebrate World Oceans Day this year, we took to Instagram to start a conversation this past week where you would’ve noticed lots of ocean related content and on Monday itself we had a chat about the importance of the day with marine biologist and executive director of ReefWatch India, Nayantara Jain that you can check out here.
What is World Oceans Day?
World Oceans Day, hosted on the 8th of June, is all about celebrating our blue planet and encouraging as many of us around the world as possible to do so. It asks that we all consider the effect we have on our oceans and what we can do to help it. This year’s focus was also particularly on conservation action, in their words:
“World Oceans Day is uniting conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This critical need is called 30x30. By safeguarding at least 30% of our land and ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure a healthy home for all!”
Fashion also plays a big part in the condition of our oceans. It’s currently responsible for about 20% of global water waste, moreover, just last year, it was estimated that 1.4 million trillion plastic fibres existed in the ocean that come from simply washing our clothes. 10% of carbon emissions also come entirely from the fashion industry. The emissions contribute to global warming that then warms up our oceans, often fatally affecting marine life and coral reefs. We can see the effects of global warming in the present day with coral bleaching and loss of marine life. It shows that what we do to lessen our negative impact is vital because we are all connected, a healthy ocean is important for healthy ecosystems.
We have a choice, to be a part of the change. A little positive step goes a long way. In our chat with Nayantara, she mentioned how when we make a negative impact on our ecosystems it reflects in the oceans health and so taking positive steps and action will provide positive results.
If we were to take our fashion and clothing care choices as an example as to how we can make small steps to create a positive effect, we can make a real difference by educating ourselves and doing the following:
- By switching to better, azo-free dyes we can reduce the amount of toxic chemicals going into the oceans while also being kinder to our skin.
- By being conscious of the fabric we wear, washing our clothes less and using natural fabrics over synthetics, we reduce the amount of microplastics going into the oceans while also wearing fabrics that are breathable.
- By being conscious about where our clothes are made, how our clothes are made, buying closer to home and wearing fabrics created with a lower carbon footprint (handmade or certified fabrics), we help in reducing overall carbon emissions, in turn helping our oceans stay cooler and benefittng our entire ecosystem.
Little steps, have the power to make big changes. One of our key pillars at Sui is “Love your world / Responsibility towards the planet”.
What does this mean?
It means that we believe that as individuals we all have a responsibility to strive for a better world. At Sui we work towards this pillar, each day and each chapter, striving to find ways we can do better.
If you didn’t know, here are a few ways we are helping the oceans :
- We use herbal and azo-free dyes that are free of toxic chemicals that can harm marine life like reefs and the thousands of species that live in them.
- We craft with natural fabrics like hemp that uses less water to produce; recycled fabrics that utilise fibre scraps; and handmade fabrics that use little to no electricity to be created.
- At our workshop, we instill a minimal waste and plastic free policy so that fabric doesn’t go wasted and our packaging is either recycled or biodegradable.
- We always seek to share knowledge within the team, educate ourselves, each other as well as our customers.
SUI X ReefWatch
Last year for World Oceans Day, we had the pleasure of collaborating with ReefWatch Marine Conservation for the first time. ReefWatch works in protecting our oceans and the life within via three of their pillars: education, management, and action. We worked with them to launch our “I speak for the oceans” and “Be turtlely awesome, save the oceans” t-shirts and pledged to donate our profits from each sale to their Ocean Art Sundays program that educates underprivileged children in coastal villages how to appreciate and conserve marine life.
Through the help of our community we managed to raise money, and are doing our second round of donations next week. If you’re keen to contribute, you can purchase the t-shirts here.
Sui’s Ocean Love reflected on our outfits
Our love for the oceans is present throughout our other collections as well. Our founder, Mahima, calls the ocean her happy place, which is why many of our outfits, colors, embroideries and stories are based on the seaside. Here are a few of our outfits, inspired by this wonder.
One of our earlier chapters, ‘You Me and the Road’ was all about the Golden State, California. Some of our favourite flowy, breezy tops from this collection perfectly embrace sunny ocean days relaxing while the waves crash on the shore.
From ‘Granita’, our collection inspired by Italian coastal towns and summers, we loved adding more relaxed silhouettes into our range, using vivid colours that really bring out the spirit of summer and the playfulness of the sea.
Our most recent collection, ‘Tropical Sunshine’, is inspired by Singapore and all it’s island beauty. It was where Sui was essentially born, where our founder first delved into the sustainable fashion world and envisioned being a part of it, and so has played a very important part in our journey. It’s tropical charm resonates deeply with us and their love of slow always inspires.
An Ocean Education
To learn a bit more about our oceans, here are a few things you can look up!
- A Plastic Ocean
- Mission Blue
- The Cove
- The End of the Line
- TED Talk: A love story for the coral reef crisis
- TED Talk: Can seaweed help curb global warming?
- TED-Ed video: Underwater farms vs. global warming
- TED-Ed video: What really happens to the plastic you throw away?
- Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia Earle - Written by veteran sea explorer and marine biologist, Sylvia Earle, she recounts three decades of undersea exploration while giving you a cohesive introduction to marine conservation, pleading for urgent action.
- Song for the Blue Ocean by Carl Safina - Scientist and fisherman Carl Safina examines the world's changing seas, telling his own story while including the science and political analysis of it all.
- Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols - A look at our personal connections to the ocean and it’s ability to connect us mind, body and soul. Nichols speaks to people of all walks of life to show just how the seas affects us all.
We hope we’ve helped spread the love and encouraged you to take care of our blue oceans with us. Have a wonderful weekend!