In trying times, our wish for the planet is that we give back to our communities who are at their most vulnerable at this moment. At Sui, we have always led with a green heart and that always included uplifting small, underprivileged communities and ethical NGOs who do their best to support those who need it by providing safe workspaces and liveable wages.
(Seen here: The Sui team with a few from, our green partner, WomenWeave's team)
By supporting us, you have taken a step in doing just that as we have proudly partnered with NGOs such as WomenWeave, Pins and Needles, and, most recently, Bagru Textiles who we will be talking about more here. And to further support various communities, please take a look at our list at the end of this blog.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about our new partner and their green methods!
Earlier this month we launched our latest edit, Tropical Sunshine, which is inspired by our second home, Singapore. This special place was integral to Sui’s beginnings and it was what first inspired us to delve deeper into the slow fashion world and craft consciously ourselves. While moving around the city, we couldn’t help but get inspired by all the natural beauty that unfolded before us. The island is thriving in bountiful greenery, blue skies, flora and fauna, all elements we encompassed within our summer 2020 edit. In the past, we have been able to express our love for these motifs through our silhouettes, herbal-dyes and embroidery, and are excited to introduce a new method: the Indian block printing tradition.
THE SUNSHINE WITHIN
One of the core teams behind the process of our lovely outcome, is Bagru Textiles. We have always believed in partnering with associations who have the same passion as us - that is to do no or minimal harm to our planet. And in this new journey we have a new partner on board, who brings with them years of experience and knowledge in their craft which they have handed over through generations. The exquisite prints which you have seen in this collection are block printed by Bagru Textiles, it is a community located in Jaipur that has been block printing for five generations. We have been lucky to witness exceptional craftsmanship from them in their process, seeing how the hand-done, manual process starts from beginning to end, from carving their design blocks to applying them onto fabric with azo-free and herbal dyes.
Whenever we spend time with the craftsmen we partner with, we try to know a little more about their life. We ask them not just about their work, but about their dreams and hopes. If they could, no conditions or restraints attached, what would they do. Every single time, their answer is related to their craft.
Bagru has been home to this clan for the last 400 years, who are known by their handicraft - Chipa, which when translated in Gujrati or Neplai means ‘to print’. The village is covered with drying fabrics in bright hues of yellow, orange & blue. Vijendra (‘Viju’) Chhipa continues this community tradition. A fifth-generation dyer and a Master Printer, Viju is founder of Bagru Textiles (seen in the second image above) – a company which builds upon the legacy of his family’s cloth dying and printing business. The members of the company work together as a family, and give back to their village, benefiting the community as a whole.
ALL ABOUT THE TROPICS
The prints of the season are all about tropical flora. So far, we have introduced orchids and will be launching later with a wider variety of motifs that include hibiscus, monstera and our all time favourite palm trees - so stay tuned!
We particularly looked at the Vanda Miss Joaquim, which is a hybrid orchid with violet-rose petals. This beautiful flower was chosen to be Singapore’s national flower due to its vibrant colours and resilience. It has the ability to bloom throughout the year, a spirit which we resonate well with the city. Did you know Singapore is the only country to have a hybrid as her national flower, chosen to express the country’s own uniqueness and hybrid culture!
Our prints have been created in house by our Sui team and we were also particularly drawn to the orchid due to its special symbolism. This flower represents many traits we aspire to always express in our pieces, that being love, beauty, charm and thoughtfulness. We hope that those who choose to wear the orchid wears it proudly, spreads love and positivity wherever they go, especially in such turbulent days, and practices the green mindset they preach with their clothing always.
So far, with Bagru Textiles’ help, the print has been used on two of our green fabrics, one being handwoven organic cotton - seen in the left image on The Orchid Garden gilet - one of our favourite, much-used fabrics that is entirely hand-loomed and hand-spun into being. And the other fabric used is Tencel - seen on the right image on The Orchid wrap printed dress - one of our newest additions to the Sui sustainable fabric family that is created from wood cellulose fibres. It is sourced from the Lenzing group, which sources its wood and pulp from certified, controlled sources like sustainably managed plantations.
We have loved translating our favourite aspects of the botanical gardens of Singapore into this new print method and have had an amazing experience collaborating with Bagru Textiles. It’s always a joy to show off what we love through a new medium and invite in another green mind to our Sui family. As mentioned we would love you to check out all our pieces made with their help to support them and their craft, see them here.
And, as the world locks down due to COVID-19 prevention measures, many communities are not so lucky to be able to stay home at all times and need to continue supporting their families. To support these communities and those who are vulnerable and need support, check out these charities!
The Adhikar Foundation is providing COVID-19 relief that provides cooked food packets for daily wage labourers affected by the lockdown.
Give India is providing hygiene kits to help thousands of poor families, abandoned elderlies, urban slum dwellers, poor cancer patients and many others in need.
The Uday Foundation is providing relief to India’s homeless and asks for donations that will provide them with materials such as hand soaps, sanitisers and one month’s supply of food.
Save the Children India are providing the necessary information to parents, teachers and so on, so they can educate their children on keeping safe and how best to take care of children.
Hasiru Dala is a social impact organisation focused on justice for waste-pickers and are collecting donations to support them in a time when they are vulnerable to COVID-19.
The Migrant Workers’ Centre have created the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund that provides support for migrant workers, helping to educate and keep them safe.
You can also donate to The Singapore Red Cross that are providing all sorts of relief and support to various communities.
An update on shipping & deliveries:
In these tough times, only a selection of pieces are available for local shipping in Singapore. For orders placed in Indian and rest of the world, there will be a delay until April. Keeping this in mind, an extended exchange policy is made available.
Remember to lead with a green heart, and soon we’ll be basking under sunshine and palm trees. Stay strong, and stay safe!