Surya Australia Ethical Slow Fashion Clothing Pieces from Nepal

Slow Fashion exists in opposition to fast fashion

The slow fashion movement has been emerging among conscious designers for a little while now rejecting the fabrics, ethics and styles of the fast fashion industry. Born alongside the slow food movement, they both advocate for similar principles such as clean materials, minimal wastage, superior quality and care for producers.

In Michael Pollan's 2008 novel 'In Defence of Food', he allowed us to grasp the almost tribal simplicity foodwise, of what we all need to do for our own future and the future of the Earth herself.

He said, "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants".

Applying this manifesto to slow fashion, we say, "Buy better. Treat it well. Wear it more".

Surya Australia Slow Fashion fabrics

Our Fabrics

A slow fashion brand uses fabrics that are sustainable and of a high quality as opposed to the cheaper, synthetic fabrics used regularly by the fast fashion industry. Our goal is for your pieces to last you many years, and when no longer wearable can then be repurposed or recycled, or even composted. 
Our cotton fabric is woven in the Kathmandu Valley, almost next door to where it is stitched. It takes weeks to prepare and ready, and the finished fabric is durable, breathable and has a luxurious feel to the touch. The textured slub finish is unique to natural fibres and is a signature feature of our cotton.
As we weave our fabric in Nepal, our transportation footprint is hugely reduced and our employment opportunities are increased within country.
We dye all our pieces in Kathmandu as well, just around the corner from the weaving and stitching (it's really not that big a place!) We use low impact dyes, or natural dyes as the mordants in regular dyes (aka chemical rich dyes) are harmful to both our body and the Earth. Read more on our eco dyes >
Surya Australia Slow Fashion. Cotton woven in Nepal

Our Design

Slow fashion means buying pieces that will last you more than one season, both in style / design and quality. Forget about pieces that fall apart in the wash or lose their shape, or that you buy simply because they are cheap or trending.
When respected group Good On You describe a slow fashion design, they state "A slow fashion brand will release few, specific styles per collection, which are released twice or maximum three times per year."
We don't release collections at all, instead we work on one or two pieces at a time until they are ready for release. We generally add to our existing collection rather than scrap and start again each year based on trending colours, designs or prints. Our designs are our own versions of respected older, classic styles ... pieces that do not go out of fashion and that you can wear year after year. Whether it's a decent pair of overalls or dungarees, our take on everyone's favourite palazzo pants, or the ever popular cowl neck top - our pieces will lend themselves to any wardrobe and will not go out of fashion for many years. All our colours mix and blend well together, allowing our pieces to be part of a capsule wardrobe.
Surya Australia Ethical Clothing Designs from Nepal in Milton NSW

Our Production

We work closely with our partners and makers during each process in our clothing production. As noted, we do not release 'collections' and instead work with one design until it is ready. It generally takes one year from the initial design to offering the finished piece for sale. Yes, pretty slow!
Our makers are trained and skilled men and women, and everyone on our team has a voice in the perfections of our creations. The stitching of our pieces is of utmost importance to us and we are serious when we stress the need for excellence in this area. This is one simple thing that, when accomplished will make a huge difference to the longevity of an item - our goal is to have your pieces last you as long as possible. We are proud of our tailors and feel very lucky to have a team that places importance on the same values that we do. 
Surya Australia Slow Fashion Production in Nepal

Our Packaging

Early 2019 we turned our attention to our online postage options and made the switch from the Aus Post plastic bags to these amazing Better Packaging  compostable biodegradable satchels. Made from corn starch and other plant based waste, you simply pop your satchel in your home compost after receiving your order and within 6 - 8 months you will be planting new trees in it's soil.
We frankly LOVE this initiative from two New Zealand women, who have revolutionised the parcel postage industry. 
Read more about our comPOST bags here >
Surya Australia Sustainable Packaging

Our 2016 Short Film

Having wanted to document the production of our clothing in a little video for a while, the opportunity presented itself to me while on a trip in June 2016. Myself and videographer Susana followed our clothing from the weaving of the fabric to the stitching of the individual piece, and everything in between. 

I also wanted to showcase our beautiful Nepal, and the customs and culture that we have held so dear for 13 years now. The end result is an homage to Nepal and her people, and how our clothing fits into that. Please read more about our day, or watch the film below.

Surya Australia: Committed to Ethical Trade