Wander through our winter garden: Bloom, Chapter 8
My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. – Claude Monet
Our SUI winter is here and, as always, a new collection means a new story.
Stories are a big part of us at SUI, stories carry memories, emotion and, most importantly, they carry a green heart. And so, whenever we begin to introduce new garments to you, we aim to connect them to things that are close to our hearts in the hope that they connect with you too. Creating these connections and associating them with clothing is how we learn to appreciate craft - we grow to understand that what we bring into our lives has greater value and meaning when we know its journey from start to finish.
Which brings us to our newest Chapter, our winter 2021 edit, that draws inspiration from something we can all relate to in some way, home gardens and the anticipation of winter and spring blooms.
This is our green story…
Our winter inspiration & story
The winter bloom in Delhi is one of the most memorable times for many. The weather cools down and gardens across the city begin to see colour all around them, flowers such as Dahlias, Lilies, Calendulas, and Pansies are all staples of this season.
This chapter, we take inspiration from these motifs, these colours and the entire idea of Bloom.
Nature thrives when it’s looked after, when it’s cared for and so it gives us beautiful trees, flowers and more. The same goes for us as human beings and the same goes for our clothing. The more we care for the things around us, the better we can hope for them to bloom, bloom in ways which work best for our future.
Blooming flowers themselves also carry a special message alongside them, that there are moments of joy that await us, they show us the beauty of starting fresh and growing gracefully. These sentiments are what our own clothes have always wanted to communicate with our wearers - that we all have the ability to build a conscious mindset through our everyday choices and that it’s never too late to do so.
The craft behind it all
With this collection we brought back familiar fabrics and vendors as well as some new ones - we always like to try out some fresh ideas with each collection, it’s how we ourselves bloom with every chapter, by experimenting with conscious design and techniques as we continuously work becoming greener each day.
The essence of our silhouettes are that they are evergreen, comfortable, sustainable and inspired by the very heart of nature. By using techniques such as the handloom, hand block printing, plant-based dyeing, hand and machine embroidery, this season, we bring you silhouettes which bloom for you everyday.
Merging slow clothing with everyday silhouettes is one of our key goals - and we aim to carry that forward this season. You can browse a variety of pieces that range from casual/everyday to formal, from midi to maxi dresses, button up shirts to classic tees. Our aim is to always make our pieces accessible, and so, whether your personal style is relaxed or more fitted, there’s something for everyone.
A journey of a garment begins with it’s design and sensibilities - and one of the main aspects of its journey to make sure we create mindfully is the fabric we choose. This is because the making of this fabric and the process it goes through helps us decide the kind of impact we’d like to have.
This season, we bring our classics along with new silhouettes and handwoven designs including handspun and handwoven organic cotton, handwoven Kala cotton, handwoven silk, organic cotton knit, Tencel and hemp.
Inspired by the colours of nature, this season our main colour muses are purple and mustard - taken from the colours of some of our favourite winter and spring flowers such as Marigolds, Dahlias and Pansies.
These colours have been used in various ways through our collection, from our prints and plant-based solid colours to our custom handwoven fabrics and embroidered motifs. We wanted to accentuate soft, warm tones we often associate with winter and use them in dynamic ways throughout our designs. This way, we are able to bring a little joy to the season and play on the idea of blooming with our wardrobes.
Every season, one of the main ways we tell stories is through our motifs. They are our ode to nature and our way of leaving nostalgic memories on our clothes - things our community can then also take back with them and treasure. To create each motif, we work with slow, sustainable methods - those ranging from hand block printing, hand embroidery and machine embroidery.
This season, we explored many different winter blooms including calendulas, salvias and pansies, but would like to focus on 3 particularly which we developed as embroidery motifs as well as prints.
1.Dahlias - Delhi is full of dahlias as soon as December arrives and so, holds a special place in the hearts of many who grew up seeing them bloom in winter. Our own textile designer, Anukriti, who designed each of these prints remembers her mother growing huge dahlia flowers in as many colours as possible. With this in mind, we knew the motif would resonate well for our winter edit.
2.Marigolds - An evergreen flower that many of our winter gardens feature, you can always spot their shades of yellow and red while passing by Delhi homes. The print inspiration itself comes from Diwali, India’s biggest festive time of the year where many houses and streets are decorated with their blooms, the fragrance of flowers all around. The sight of them always evokes joy, something this season always makes us feel and so we wanted to pass that feeling on through our pieces.
3.Lilies - Another evergreen flower that certainly blooms brightly around the winter period in various vibrant colours. Among its many meanings, the ones that we connected with the most, sentiments we hope you carry with you as you wear these pieces, was that of remembrance - that being appreciative of the journey and finding comfort in heartfelt memories of the season - as well as love and compassion - that which we offer to our loved ones, ourselves and, of course, our planet.
And more on how we commit to our green promise
SUI’s sustainability efforts have and will always be a work in progress. This is because we are constantly learning and evolving.
We began as a brand who had a goal to craft thoughtfully and hoped to change the notion behind sustainable clothing being boring, while that remains, we find ourselves evolving into a brand that hopes to inspire and encourage women to build conscious wardrobes by bringing in sustainably made clothing to their day to day.
This is why the story behind what we do and how we do it plays such a big part. To craft with a green heart has been a motto at SUI since the start and what this means is that every step we take along the way with every product we make has to be followed through consciously. This season, we offer you thoughtful wardrobe choices made by keeping the little things in mind - so that you can shop consciously with ease.
Here are some of those little things:
-Our overall process truly begins with initial designing where we go through various brainstorming sessions and meetings then onto crafting silhouettes - those that we think will las and are versatile.
-We then begin to think about the fabrics and craft we’d like to work with. The staples for us remain, that being handmade fabrics, handmade prints and hand embroideries. These crafts and techniques help us keep the energy we consume low as most of them use human hands to be created.
-Aside from embroideries which are all done by our in-house threadspeller team, we then consider who to collaborate with to deliver the fabrics and prints. We always aim to connect with artisan communities here in India as by doing so we are able to help enrich traditional craft and encourage others to choose handmade textiles. For Bloom, our handwoven organic cotton is provided by WomenWeave, our Kala cotton is provided by Khamir, and our prints are done by Bagru Textiles.
-For all other fabrics, we use sustainably sourced materials from vendors we share relationships with - organic cotton knits, Tencel and hemp. Each of these fabrics are the better alternatives to their conventional form and are processed using safer, more ethical practices.
-Our colours are always derived via a mix of azo-free and plant-based dyes - this is due to several reasons. Our prints tend to be azo-free because of colour limitations with plant-based colours, however, the process of hand printing makes sure that the water wastage is close to minimal.
-Our handmade fabrics are often made with azo-free dyed yarns as yarn dyeing has a lower negative environmental impact than conventional fabric dyeing methods used in industry.
A new collection is always an exciting time for us and we are so happy to have you all be a part of our journey as we keep taking strides forward. This is just the beginning of what we want to share with you this season about BLOOM. We look forward to sharing more about the finer steps in our craft as well as properly introducing our artisan partners we are crafting with this winter.
Stay tuned here and to our social platforms for lots more to come.