All of Sui’s pieces are a product of the slow process. We do our best to make sure each stage of production has been thought through, from where our fabrics are sourced to how everything comes together. Our Maria top and trousers are an example of this.
That Summer Feeling
Our creation of Maria started with our head green designer, Preeti. She began conceptualizing the Maria top as an experiment, a chance to bring something new to the table and add an element of “wow” to our collection. The pleated look was a venture into creating something unique and bold that embodied the carefree, summer-inspired spirit Granita is all about. Once the idea was brought forward, this lead to a series of samplings to accomplish what we have now. Achieving the pleated look in handwoven organic cotton wasn't easy, but as proud patrons of natural fibres, we worked hard to bring you a dynamic and sustainable piece.
For our Maria trousers, we had been playing with different silhouettes since our first season and the idea behind them was based on pairing a summer crop top or an oversized, tucked-in work shirt with it, showing off the beautiful belted embroidery (a signature since Sui's first collection), making it versatile and fun.
When it comes to the embroidery, the design for the trousers was picked out of our journals from southern Italy - specifically from the flowers that hang by the beautiful windows that light up every Italian town. Our signature journaling was also used to embroider our top. We wanted to incorporate text that brought out the essence of the collections’ inspiration. For Granita, it was our love for Italian summers so what's better than "gelatos and sunshine".
A Handwoven Creation
When looking at the material, the handwoven organic cotton Maria is made of is a testament to the slow fashion model. We use the fabric made by WomenWeave to create the pieces. WomenWeave is a Charity Trust based in Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh, and the NGO is dedicated primarily to supporting women in the textile industry, specifically through handloom weaving. They seek to create a safe, sustainable and profitable environment for women so that they can earn a living wage to support themselves and their families.
Our green founder, Mahima Gujral recounts, “I found this fabric while I was travelling for a field trip to WomenWeave in Maheshwar and was looking through their discarded fabric section where some fabrics were put aside because of weaving defects. I instantly loved the handwoven organic cotton's feel and brought it back for sampling to be potentially used in our summer edit. The team fell in love with it and were excited to work with WomenWeave, so after working with it for our samples, we decided to go ahead and use it for some of our key pieces.”
The material WomenWeave create are handspun and hand-woven. Cutting out the large-scale use of machinery often used in fast fashion processes greatly reduces our carbon footprint and also means we fully control the quality of our pieces. The NGO also opts to dye their materials naturally as much as they can, meaning they avoid putting harmful toxins into our environment. For Maria, however, we chose to keep it natural. The handwoven fabric in its natural form is beautiful to begin with so Sui saw an opportunity to create a few of our pieces in this state, cutting out the need for a dyeing process – simple and minimal.
Slow & Steady
Once we receive the fabric from WomenWeave, Sui’s slow process begins. Like all our clothing, every piece is put together by hand, we cut only the fabric we need using pre-made patterns and any fabric that may fall to the floor is repurposed for our upcycled accessories so that we keep our waste to an absolute minimum.
First, Maria is measured out and cut by our master, Tahir, and in our regular production now, is stitched together by our talented threadspeller team of 4. They half stitch each piece then hand-embroider them. In its initial creation, the Maria top was first embroidered by threadspeller Ismyle and the trousers by Sanjay. The pieces are then fully stitched and put together in its final form.
Like all our pieces, Maria is a collective effort fueled by conscious thought. Connecting with NGO’s like WomenWeave means we are able to support our communities and effectively incorporate a slow, sustainable process. By working together, our steps will hopefully mean we are journeying towards a greener future.
For more information on the women who create our handwoven fabric, check out WomenWeave and their projects.