Where does one begin? The past year has been one of a roller coaster, and if you’re reading you’re possibly about to find out why. About 12 months ago, I was in search of a steady job in Singapore – where I was going to move after my wedding. Little did I know, that an idea sparked in a conversation – one that was on my mind for quite a while would pave it’s way and become what we now call “SUI”
So how did it all begin?
Well my story starts with Sue Mue, long before my love for fashion or the industry – I was a child growing up with my maternal side running a small business where I’d found myself spending a lot of my childhood, you all know it now as "Sue Mue". As a granddaughter and daughter I was a curious child and visited the store and workshop a lot, I grew up watching my family treat every aspect of Sue Mue, with love, respect and care. My nanu (grandfather) who I consider my very first mentor, taught me a great deal about work ethics. His learnings stuck with me all along this journey.
Travel is and has been my Dad’s influence on me. Via Dad and our travels, I learnt to love and appreciate where the journey takes you, to seize the moment and to dig deeper while you're in a new place. When I got older and had the opportunity to explore – my itchy feet couldn’t stop. Till date, the joy of seeing a new place or going back to that place you once explored is inexplicable. My deeper love for travel began in 2014,I haven’t stopped since. For me, there’s never been a better way to open your mind and learn.
My turning point
The fashion industry had always been a part of my life as I grew up in the trade. My respect for it grew over the years, and when I turned 18. I chose to follow in the footsteps of my family and find a career in the industry. However,my curiosity for a greener industry began 5 years later, when I was studying for my masters in Italy.
While in Italy we visited a few fabric leaders, such as Albini and VBC, hearing about their green principles was the exact time my mind started wandering. I wondered - If there’s a better way to do this, then why is it that the bigger players still hide? If there’s a way we can contribute to saving our world and be better people – then why is it that we aren’t?
Although I spent that year learning more about luxury and fast fashion, working on a project for industry giant adidas – somewhere the mix between the love for quality and slow fashion and the dearth of fast fashion brands around me in Milan got to me. The Italian way to fashion, was slow and I knew inside my heart that that story, that love for clothing was the way one needed to carry forward.
As much as I loved fashion, I admired it’s power way more. Fashion has the voice to reach out to people, to speak to individuals in the way that they may like to hear. It is connected so strongly to buyer, that somewhere, somehow I needed to be a part of this, I needed to learn.
It took me a year of exploring and studying in Milan, but I knew it was time for me to give up fast fashion. That being my first step. This was honestly a personal decision, I really wanted to see where this journey would take me. Rightly so, it lead me to researching, trying out brands which are pushing for positive fashion and people who are fighting for the same.. My mind opened up, and a path for me came forward.
While I was looking for a job in Singapore in 2017, I got the opportunity to volunteer for the fashion revolution team here. This was another step that changed a lot for me. It helped me dive into the issues and see where I could contribute and maybe make that .5% difference. Struggling to find the right company to work for, I wanted to relate with principles that align with mine or rather have the chance to learn more about a green path to an industry I have admired all my life – and so the journey of Sui began.
And finally Sui...
What was beautiful about Sui’s first step was that our production partners remained my family business – Sue Mue. The family my grandfather had built, is the pride I wanted to carry forward. It wasn’t a need for him, it was out of his love for his work and his people. Everyone referred to him at “Bauji”, and till date if we brought him up, they would all bring up fond memories.
Being lucky and humbled enough to have Sue Mue backing us, my years and year’s worth of travel became my journal. The story I wanted to tell, was the connection I’d felt with the world. I wanted to bring that to people, and hence Sui became the brand that connects travel to clean design.
And so began my research for our first story, forming our team, finding our fabrics (which we will write about soon) and yes introducing the idea of sustainability to our existing team.
Fast forward 5 months, and it’s humbling to see where we are. It’s a slow growth, but it’s steady and now our Sui family is growing
The journey has just begun...