Tell us about yourself – family background, personal story, education, and previous professional capacities.
I was born and grew up in England. I spent a lot of time in Brighton, Glastonbury, and Southwest England. When I left school, I qualified as a hairdresser. I started travelling at the age of 20. I went on a trip to Australia. I was travelling, meeting amazing people, and studying philosophy and spirituality.
I went to India at the age of 21. I started making jewelry and leather accessories. The business has expanded after that. I have always been into working with natural fabrics. I have one brother and one sister. Both are younger than me. They are in London. My parents live in the countryside.
What is the importance of ethical fashion?
It is to support the communities and not sweatshop labor. My ethic is that we work in an environment where everyone is happy and paid well. We a have a relationship with the people producing our line, our clothing.
Also, we are working more with natural fabrics. We are trying to find more sustainable fabrics. Fabrics that can be more of a solution rather than part of the throwaway fashion industry. We aim to make clothes that don’t fall apart. That doesn’t go out of fashion. Fashion is such a quick industry.
What is the importance of sustainable fashion?
It is making clothes that don’t fall apart. That are biodegradable and won’t pollute the planet. Cotton pollution is one of the biggest polluters in the world. It is finding more natural fabric solutions rather than contributing to the problem. We don’t want polyester fabric. (Laughs)
What is the inspiration for Sundari Creations – and its title?
Sundari is a Sanskrit name. It was given to me about 10 years ago. When I was doing yoga in India, it means “Beautiful.” The whole Sanskrit name means “divine mother of inner beauty.” It is more commonly known as “beautiful.” When you break down “beautiful,” it means “Be-You-To-Full.” The whole concept of the line is to feel complete, to feel themselves to the full, and to feel confident.
What makes Sundari Creations unique?
It is to have more cutting-edge designs and using natural, sustainable fabrics. A lot of the natural clothing is often plain and simple – not so creative. It is our mission to create cutting edge designs with natural fabrics. It is targeting a wide range of people, too. For people that live in the cities, practice yoga or dance. It targets adventurous spirits as well.
It supplies wholesale clothing, jewelry, and accessories. Why these products in particular?
I am creative and love using different materials. We are more specialized with the clothes and the jewelry. The accessories are a fun product to make. It’s, for me as an artist, a fun material to make products with. I use leather because its strong lasting and natural and a by product. That’s part of the idea. It is working with natural fabrics. Fabrics that is strong. It’s because I am creative and like different materials. (Laughs)
You have an offer of $1,000 for minimum orders. How does this improve the livelihoods of small businesses?
We give a small starting price because it is not a huge investment for small businesses. We do have to have a minimum because it’s easier for our production house and everyone involved. We have to dye the fabric and print it. We need minimum orders to keep it realistic.
You have a close relationship with pattern makers, seamstresses, and tailors, and do not have products from sweat -shops. How does this improve the ethical considerations for the products – consumer and suppliers?
It helps to pay more attention to the way that our clothing is produced. A lot of the stuff from the high street stores these days we have no idea where the products are coming from. I know that when something is sold for less than a fiver (£5). It costs me more than that to make.
So, whoever is making that item, they may not being paid that well. When you’re buying clothes, it is important to consider how that item is produced. Animals have been mistreated, especially when demand is high. It is important to start noticing where our clothes etc coming from, where they are made, the fabrics etc.
The main value seems to be fairness. If someone is working in a condition, making a product, they should have adequate pay and fairness is part of that. Also, it is important to know what conditions are like for the person – to be more involved at that level. Obviously, the consumer can’t be involved at that level, but they can do some research at least – if they have the time. (Laughs) Support smaller labels and local designers.
What is the importance of that close relationship with the producer to you?
I love the people that I work with. I support them. Not just because I love them. I want to have fun, have good communication, and know everyone’s happy. Like in England or America, you want everyone to feel happy and feel appropriately paid for his or her work. In Asia and other places where a lot of clothes are made, there are people that are mistreated. Conditions aren’t always so great. Everything these days in made in Asia, China, and Vietnam.
For me, I enjoy having the good relationship with my staff and know that they are happy, enjoying what they are doing, and everyone is getting paid right.
What other work are you involved in at this point time?
Mainly, I am working on clothing and designs. Also, I teach yoga, which I do volunteer for deprived children in the community and the neighborhood. I do some healing work.
What meaning or personal fulfillment does this work bring for you?
I love being creative. I am more, and more, working on the ethical and natural fabrics. I am trying to support the market for Eco ethical clothing. For the clothes, I feel that it is hopefully going to be part of the solution to the environmental problems that the fashion industry is creating.
Fashion, without plastic materials. I like that aspect. I feel like I can help be part of the solution making sustainable clothes. I love to express the creative side. I love to express my spirit and sharing what I’ve learned. It is being healthy and present. I think yoga is great for everybody. If you do a bit each day, you can feel vitalized by getting the circulation and energy moving. The healing, its good to help one another.
What is this healing?
I do many healing modalities such as Reiki and Theta; it’s a life style and adds to healthy living.
With regard to ethical and sustainable fashion companies, what’s the importance of them now?
It’s great. They are promoting ethical fashion. It is important in the current times with consumerism as the reality we’re living in, where things are mass produced and not really made to last. Trusted Clothes is great because they are supporting the same beliefs as me. They are making a change for people to be more aware of what they’re purchasing, what the materials are made from how it’s made, where it’s made. Is it what they really, really want or is it because it is a bargain and cheap? It changes the way we look at things to something more serious.
Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion?
I don’t know. (Laughs) I think I’ve said it all. I promote holistic healthy lifestyle. That my label and designs are part of the holistic lifestyle. It is all, in essence, the same thing. It is looking good and feeling good. Eating well, everything is part of that.
It is good to eat well, eat healthy food, and know what you’re wearing. Be healthy. That’s what
Thank you for your time, Sundari.