Dress: c/o The Summer House
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Today, we’re all stuck in a constant cycle of complexities- be it in our relationships, career, or just about anything important in life. We complicate everything, because all that is worth having or achieving CANNOT be simple, isn’t it? We set out on a journey to make life more interesting by pursuing challenging goals until the layers seem to get added and then it seemingly becomes “too complicated” to be solved simply.
So, keep it simple and take it slow.
Simplicity means living deeply and shedding those extra layers of fear, guilt, seriousness, drama, stress and the rush to complete everything at a certain pace. Modernization, urbanization and technological advancement has not only taken a toll on our lives but also made it one directional. We’re all living a prescribed way of life- doing things mechanically without being conscious or fully aware of the moment. We need to move from pursuing happiness to pursuing fulfillment, by uncomplicating and embracing a slow-conscious lifestyle.
Turning from life to our closets (which takes up a huge space in our lives), that’s been binging on cheap quality clothing from fast fashion houses, we’re now becoming aware of the impact it has on people and our planet. Without a doubt this transition has been a slow one and still has a long way to go. With more brands entering the sustainable-ethical space of fashion, it is definitely an exciting time ahead for the consumer and the industry as a whole.
T H E S U M M E R H O U S E
T H E S T O R Y
Today, I bring to you one such brand, The Summer House– started by Shivangini Parihar in 2012. The Summer House, is a brand that seeks to fill the void that fast modernization has left with the consumer. A lifestyle brand with a kinfolk-y aesthetic that believes in being inclusive, fair and responsible.
Shivangini Parihar says “The Summer House was really born out of nostalgia”. For someone like her who grew up on a farm, making the big move to a city for better life and opportunities was an obvious choice. But soon enough, this big change left her longing for the simple-slow life that she had left behind. That missing sense of being, prevalent in big city lifestyles, gave birth to this sustainable apparel brand.
The Summer House started out as a brand designing and producing homeware pieces by directly working with the craftsmen and artisans. The shift of expanding into the sustainable-ethical clothing space occurred when now business partner, Rekha Datla joined in 2014. The duo decided to fulfill the needs of conscious buyers by creating a label that is ethical, sustainable and made with love.
S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y
A W A Y O F L I F E
This Bangalore based brand, works with organic cottons, handspun silks, natural dyes and also tries to source it’s fabric from the surplus stock of large export houses- leading to a reduction in their carbon footprint. The Summer House studio, is an embodiment of their values- by housing and using only bio degradable office wares to putting scraps to good use, this brand makes it clear that sustainability is not some marketing strategy but a way of life.
“The essence of slow and conscious buying is in the details, in celebrating the process and investing in items that tell a story.”
T R A N S P E R A N C Y
The Summer House is not only a carrier of the slow, sustainable and conscious ideology, but also strongly believes in being a transparent brand. All their clothing is made in their own production studio ensuring a full control over workmanship. Unlike most fast fashion brands that don’t have a clue about their suppliers or who made their clothes, TSH is fully aware of it’s resources. Even though this process increases their cost of production, it also ensures that all workers, craftsmen and artisans are directly benefitted instead of the middlemen.
C A P S U L E C O L L E C T I O N
The Summer House, like I mentioned earlier was born as a result of an imbalance in mass produced clothing consumership seen today as opposed to buying/treasuring handmade items in the old-world. The Summer House label makes clothes that are an elegant amalgamation of handwoven textiles with urban silhouettes, through their unique capsule collection approach. An intentional small batch of clothes made seasonally, while taking utmost care of all their resources.
Capsule Collections are a way to preserve uniqueness by applying the slow-simple-conscious approach. It involves being deeply involved in every step of creating a piece- right from sourcing the fabric to selling it in the market. Every collection at The Summer house, is assigned with an interesting name making it an important and recognized part of their space. If you look closely, the folds, creases and pleats on the fabric holds a story waiting to be told. It’s this connection with our clothes that needs to be nurtured, as they’re are worn on our bare bodies for an entire lifetime!
Although, The Summer House’s collection is made in India, it doesn’t carry the usual Indo-fusion theme. It instead boasts of a more globally appealing aesthetic including vintage patterns and clean simple silhouettes, that are truly timeless.
S Y L V I A
Sylvia’s rather forgiving and non conforming silhouette was love at first sight.
Sylvia is accepting of your imperfections without a qualm. Handcrafted from organic cotton fabric, Sylvia is a vision in white. Her front is elegantly graced by structured pleats running vertically from the top to bottom. Stitched as a double layered dress with two seam deep pockets, that can easily hold a handful of your secrets. Sylvia is perfect for the Indian summer and can be styled in several different ways. For this post, I decided to keep her untouched and let the simplicity speak for itself.
P R I C E
The Summer House, is definitely one of the few affordable sustainable brands that is currently available in the market. Prices range anywhere between $23 – $70, in return you receive products that are high on quality and also the satisfaction of buying from a brand that is socially and environmentally responsible.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post, thanks for stopping by.
Photography: Nikhil Adke
Concept and Editing: Swati Dixit
This post has been sponsored by The Summer House. All opinions here, however, are honest and my own.