The Creation of our Clothing
Our 2016 short film
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Can you believe Surya turned 15 recently? Neither can we, it went SO fast. Instead of forgetting about our anniversary this year though, we went and had a little big milestone party.
We are Mel and Yo, the founders of Surya. We began Surya after traveling throughout Nepal during an extended stay in 2008. We had left the security of our long term jobs and spent one year traveling through Bali, India and Nepal. Yes, a teeny tiny bit late to have a gap year at the age of 30, but well ... we did it anyway.
Drawing on backgrounds in eco tourism and hand crafted design, we were hugely impressed by all the amazing fibre we were seeing on the streets of Kathmandu; hemp, stinging nettle, recycled silk, beautiful organic and brushed cottons ... and we wondered why nobody was crafting pieces from them yet in Australia. So we dove and did it ourselves.
We began our collection with just a few simple designs, and focused on unique fibres and eco dying options. We may have only had one or two great sellers but it was enough to get us started and wanting more.
It became pretty obvious to us pretty quickly that the more Surya grew, the more readily there was food on the table in local Nepali households.
This inspired us to reach greater heights; we operated at more and more events (now with two handmade set-ups), we delved into wholesale and trade events, and in 2009 we started our website. We were trying to take Surya as high as she could go ... the more we sold the more we ordered. And so in 2014 we went and got ourselves a little big shop in Milton, NSW.
Ultimately though, with one of us anywhere between South Australia and Queensland at any given moment, and the other over-run with local markets, online orders, a seven day a week shop and two beautiful rescue dogs at the homestead, we had to let something go. The decision was easy in the end, as there is only so much one can do. So we went and sold our shop in 2016.
After selling our store we were able to laser focus our business, and chose to narrow our product range. We decided to mainly concentrate on our clothing designs, and do that one thing really well. The difference was evident, and we haven't looked back since. We thank you all for your wonderful support!
When people have regular, well paid employment, they have the ability to affect not only their own lives and well being, but they are able to contribute to the economy of the entire local community. They can support the vegetable sellers, buy school books for the children, new clothes and shoes and eventually a home and vehicle.
"Ethical trade benefits the entire community through the empowerment of cottage industry producers" - Mel and Yo
Our 2016 short film