It has been quite some time since sustainability emerged as a prominent topic in the fashion industry. Fortunately, it appears to be more than just a passing trend, as the movement towards a more circular fashion field continues to be a priority for many brands, such as Sui.
Based in both Singapore and India, Sui is a conscious fashion label that aims to produce versatile fashion with minimal environmental impact. “Sui,” meaning ‘needle’ in Hindi, symbolises a brand that threads connections—connections between nature, clothing, and people, weaving a narrative that transcends traditional fashion paradigms. Founder Mahima Gujral, a self-professed fashion enthusiast and nature devotee, birthed Sui with a vision to redefine the ethos of contemporary clothing.
Mahima’s early exposure to fashion came from her maternal family’s involvement in the garment business, particularly in bespoke Indian clothing. This upbringing allowed her to understand the people behind her clothes and to value the effort put into each piece. However, her interest in sustainable fashion and ethical practices grew later when she took a school course on the fashion revolution and its effects. This course led her to question various aspects of the industry, from marketing to environmental impact.
The course stimulated her both emotionally and intellectually, prompting her to seek answers to questions such as: What is this fabric made of? How can that narrative be integrated into a brand to create a better fashion system? How can consumers be educated about both the people behind the production of their clothing and the materials they are made of? These questions, along with the desire to demonstrate that sustainably made clothing can be just as stylish and comfortable as fast fashion, led to the birth of Sui.
Here, Mahima recounts her journey into the sustainable sector of the fashion industry and discusses her intrinsic connection to nature and how it influences her design process.
How would you describe Sui as a brand?
The name Sui itself means “needle” in Hindi. So, a needle, because it is what helps connect the thread to fabric and truly creates a piece of clothing. But a needle also because we believe that our brand stands for connection. Ever since the start, what we’ve always wanted to do is bridge the gap between nature, clothing, and people, and truly build clothing for a better fashion system. The inspiration behind the brand was the whole idea of being able to allow women to purchase conscious clothing.
How does Sui stand out from competitor brands?
I believe a brand like ours can truly vet the journey we’ve bought very closely with our artisans and our vendors. We know exactly where our clothes are made because we have our own workshop. But at the same time, I think our fabrics and textiles are what set us apart. They’re very unique to us. We design our textiles from scratch. Every fabric or print that you see is not something that’s just bought off a rack, but something that we’ve created and then printed on and chosen the colours for.
Are there any exclusive or new launches that we can look forward to Sui?
We do have a capsule launch coming up in March, which is going to be made out of leftover fabrics completely. And as per usual, we’ll be launching summer, which will be a new story altogether in April. Those are the two launches that are going to be coming up. So at the moment we’re focusing on pushing Journey out up till then.
How does Sui hope to make an impact on the local fashion scene?
I really hope that Sui can empower more women to understand why it’s important to think before you buy, or to be mindful when consuming. I hope it also encourages them to consider why it’s important to understand the journey of a garment and how, once you grasp this, you feel a lot more empowered about what you’re wearing.
How do you personally incorporate sustainability into your own life?
I think the biggest thing for me is considering whether you truly need something before bringing it into your life. And when you do decide to make a purchase, try to opt for second-hand or sustainable options, ensuring that what you buy is something you’ll wear and that will endure. Personally, I strongly advocate for shopping from my own wardrobe before considering anything else.