Ethics

Syra Brownlock’s philosophy is to create beautiful, unique, bespoke pieces that promote body positivity and traditional craftsmanship.

I design everything at Syra Brownlock, I make all the patterns, and I do all the sewing.

It's also a collaborative process with you - your style, personality and vision go into each piece. Tailoring should be a partnership and that's why I love it. 

The aim is to support a community of caring, passionate activists who join the slow fashion movement from a place of love for planet and people. 

My upbringing in India inspires me to support artisans and craftsmanship across the developing world and this is mission is fundamental to Syra Brownlock.

Unique

Everything is made to order, meaning your piece is unique. It can be made either to your exact measurements, or to your general size.

Choose a design you like, pick a fabric and I’ll get started immediately. 

Ethically-Sourced

If I can't trace its production transparently and fully, I don't use it. Wherever I can support women in the developing world, I do. 

All my fabrics are sourced directly from producers who dictate their own terms and their own prices. Nothing is mass-produced in a factory, unless that factory promotes ethical values, allows its employees to unionise, etc.

This involves cultivating relationships with specific cooperatives, textile traders, ethical wholesalers, and smaller shops. I’ve been doing this for more than a decade and I’m thrilled to bring their work to you!

Transparent

I share all the information I can on my blog, and with customers.

You'll know exactly where everything that went into your piece came from. I share the cultural story behind your item's design, the story of the people who made the fabric, all of it. 

That includes information about production techniques, and my partners. And there'll be lots of info on textile anthropology too! It is interesting, I promise. If you want to learn more, check out the resource page!

Fair Trade

Everything I create is made entirely by me - the designs, patterns and your clothes. 

I charge a fair wage for my work and for the higher costs of these materials. But I also know that price is the biggest deterrent from slow fashion, so I try to be fair to you too so rates are competitive with the high street. Check out this blog post for more!

Eco-friendly

All of my work contributes in some way to a zero-waste and circular economy. No plastic is used in any of my work - even in the packaging of products I buy online. 

No synthetic materials are used in any of the fabrics, so everything is bio-degradable.

Because everything is made to order specifically for each customer, there's also no waste or excess fabric, or rails of clothing taking up space in a warehouse.

If alternative fibres - such as lyocell - are used but the fabric hasn't been spun, dyed, or traded ethically, that still counts as a win and I will still support it. But I will also be clear about what it doesn't provide. 

I also use deadstock and remnant fabrics. These are the final few metres on bolts of fabric, often disposed of (or burned!) by large fashion houses. These may not be ethically created, but in salvaging them, our environmental impact is lower.

Indigo fabrics drying in the sun in Morocco. Credit: Flickr