Ocean Tide: a summer story
The summer season has come around once again and we’re so excited to introduce a fresh edit to welcome in an abundance of long sunny days - Chapter 9, Ocean Tide!
As always, a new chapter means fresh consciously crafted silhouettes as well as a story close to our hearts which this time, as the collection name suggests, focuses on our long-love of the big blue seas and all its inhabitants. This season, however, will be a little different from others. We have a few new slow craft techniques and communities to introduce you to but, more importantly, we have also developed our green intentions with this collection that we hope will instil a new standard for how we design and value the clothes we make for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about our 2022 SUI summer.
About Ocean Tide
The oceans have been a source of inspiration for SUI for many years. In fact, before we began our journey as a sustainable clothing brand, they were a constant and recurring muse that inspired our writings, transforming our ordinary days into special moments that stayed with us. We have often drawn inspiration from them for previous collections, dedicating a few pieces here and there to their beauty, however, this will be the first time we focus on them throughout a full edit.
Moreover, in our journey and our commitment to constant learning, we grow more and more aware with each passing day just how important our oceans are and how human impact greatly affects it. They are an integral part of our entire planet’s ecosystem, they regulate our climate; are a resource for food and medicinal ingredients; produce more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe; and provide shelter to millions of marine species - our connection to them is deeper than we may realise and our survival greatly depends on their health.
And so, throughout the season, we’ll be bringing attention to these factors, showing how important it is for us as human beings to understand our connection to them all while showcasing the beautiful, mysterious, and vast place the oceans are.
As we delve into our 4th year as a brand after crafting several Chapters so far and, within that, found a greater love for the crafts and fabrics of India, our goal from this year on is to question each piece we create for you. We want to consider not only where it comes from but also where it goes and what use is it to you as our customers - ultimately, we want to consider its full journey.
Our solution is to focus on helping you build a sustainable wardrobe, designing pieces that would be staples in your closet, that are crafted with longevity in mind. They would be:
-Pieces that last
-Pieces that have a low environmental impact
-Pieces that were created ethically
-Pieces that you love to wear regularly
-Pieces that are practical
Hence this season, though our story shells from the heart of nature, we’re moving towards bringing you pieces that will remain classics & moving away from a collection based approach. We will bring new and old designs to you in the form of capsules where in each set, each piece will find a way to compliment each other while also telling a unique story of its own.
Colors, Silhouettes & Motifs
Our colours this season remind us of our favourite beach days, building sandcastles and diving into deep blue depths.
Beige = colour of the sand
Meesa Rose = coral colours
Sage Green = seaweed and colour of nature
Bottle Green = colour of the deep blue ocean
Our silhouettes this season are a mix of old and new, and they carry one theme - simplicity. We believe that a wardrobe that’s simple, with touches of craft, is a wardrobe that’s made to last and this chapter we truly wanted to honour that.
When it comes to our motifs, we are back with new prints and signature embroideries. Our aim with every one of them is to bring out the intrinsic beauty of the seas, to make it so that with each piece you feel you are carrying a piece of nature with you while continuing on your everyday journeys. Our textile designer, Anukriti, describes how she envisioned the Ocean Tide concept that influenced her prints (and sets the tone for all our motifs!):
“The ocean is made of SALT, WATER and AIR and so are we - humans . There are so many similarities between us and the ocean. We carry so much with us - humans carry thousands of emotions and oceans carry entire livelihoods within itself. The depth we are always looking for is within us. The emotions we all possess keep us calm and, at the same time, give us energy. We can be as tranquil as the ocean and as furious as high tides.”
The fish represented in this print is a flying fish, Flying fish are tropical and temperate marine species that can be seen off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. They are also found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. The tropics are so close to our heart and brand identity, we had to pick the flying fish while we were brainstorming on the motifs for our Ocean Collection.
Quick fun fact: Flying fish have pectoral fins that are highly modified “wings” which enable them to leap out of the water and glide above the surface. When they encounter a predator, the wings help them make a hasty escape.
The idea behind this print was to depict harmonious undersea life and the mystery of the seas depths. The biodiversity existing in our oceans is incredible and abundant, while estimates on the number of species that live in the sea exist spanning into millions, no one knows with absolute certainty what that number is. Through this print, we wanted to depict the importance of marine life and motivate people to help protect it.
The third print took inspiration from our own ethos and love for the ocean. We have been constantly learning how our industry and clothing impact this beautiful part of nature and marine life. Our small steps to reduce this impact and ultimately bring it to no impact clothing is the goal of SUI and we inspire everyone to do so. This print showcases the future of marine life living in a pollution-less ocean.
The last print is all about coral reefs and seaweeds. Coral reefs provide an important ecosystem for life underwater, they protect coastal areas by reducing the power of waves hitting the coast and provide a crucial source of income for millions of people. Coral reefs teem with diverse life where thousands of species can be found living on just one reef - they are home to 25% of all marine life.
When it comes to embroidery, we use a combination of machine and by-hand techniques all done by our own production team, our threadspellers as we call them. Our team comprises men and women, tailors and embroiderers, many of whom we have worked with for the majority of SUI’s existence, dedicated to growing greener and more skilled in their craft.
Craft & Communities
Artisans have played a large part in creating many of our pieces and that continues this season. By collaborating with craft communities who dedicate themselves to upholding and revitalising traditional Indian crafts, we’re able to both shine a light on rural arts, bringing them to the mainstream to repopularise them, as well as make our process more conscious as the methods are often by-hand and sustainable.
Meet the communities we worked with for our summer edit…
WOMENWEAVE - this NGO has been our handloom partner since 2019. They provide our handspun and handwoven organic cotton, creating each by-hand from fibre to fabric. This partnership is also very dear to our team’s green heart due to the fact that the organisation and community is dedicated to uplifting the women in their communities. Established in Maheshwar in 2002, they have since actively provided training and work opportunities for these women who are often, in India’s garment industry, overlooked and underpaid.
KHAMIR CRAFTS - this organisation, in their own words, “works to strengthen and promote the rich artisanal traditions of Kachchh district… it [Khamir Crafts] serves as a platform for the promotion of traditional handicrafts and allied cultural practices, the processes involved in their creation, and the preservation of culture, community and local environments.” Our Kala cotton fabric is provided by them, a fibre that is a native Indian cotton strain.
BIODYE - Our herbal dye colours are created by BioDye, an organisation dedicated to dyeing using natural ingredients, which ultimately means they are safer for workers and safer for our environment. Not only are the dyes sustainable, much of their process makes sure to be conscious of its input and output so that its negative impact on the earth is as minimal as it can be. For example, their cotton yarns are washed with non-toxic biodegradable detergent and then mordanted with alum and tannin, waste-water is mixed, pH adjusted with lime and the precipitated material is settled, and insoluble vegetal matter and sludge are composted and used as manure, just to mention a few of their steps.
ARTISANAL FASHION HOUSE - through this organisation, we work with individual hand block printers and tie dyers that helped us create signature motifs for the summer 2022 season. Sanya, the Founder of AFH, mentions that creating the organisation is “a step towards becoming a community of artisans, designers, culture lovers, seekers from across the world. Imagine a safe space where you get a fair chance to learn, explore and give back to the community in some or the other way. Finally, we have introduced our artisans to you, who are not only talented but well aware of the current scenario of the craft industry.”
Shankar Ji is our hand block printer this summer, he mentions “I have been working as a block printer since 1994. In 2007 I started with my own stitching unit followed by my own printing unit in 2014… The entire process of block printing starting from block making to washing of finished product is my favorite thing. The best part of the entire process is maintaining the quality.”
Chand Ji is our tie dyer. He had seen his family practice the art since childhoodd and was taught to tie dye by his grandfather. “It [my unit] was set up in 1945 by my grandfather. I have been working since year 2000… We reuse water as much as possible and we make sure it is disposed off well, but we are still doing our best to improve our water disposable system to make it better.”
As conscious consumers, a sustainable approach to our closets can be an effective way we make our world greener individually and it all starts with just being more curious about the behind-the-scenes. And so, this summer, we hope you do just that and delve into our Ocean Tide edit with that curiosity. Creating this summer story has been a labor of love so we’d love for you to browse through the collection and stay tuned with us on our social platforms for more information and updates.