“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Solai was created in the wake of the rising Fashion Revolution. With fashion being one of the most polluting industries in the world, it's clear to us that change needs to happen & it has to happen fast.
We want to go beyond sustainability.
By working with Regenerative systems (both nature-based and bio tech) we can actively combat the effects of Climate Change and work towards restoring balance in our environment. We believe climate-beneficial clothing is a possibility and that now, more than ever, is the time to make fashion a force for good.
Sara Seb – Designer
Chief designer and creative director Sara Seb takes charge of the design and creation of each piece from her lovely studio in East London. Her previous work involved the upcycling of vintage clothing, which breathed new life into forgotten pieces using a zero-waste production system. Her style fuses edgy femininity with bold, sculptural influences.
Sarah Krause – Founder
As a passionate advocate for soil regeneration, Sarah made the decision to create Solai back in 2018. With the determination to prove that fashion could be exciting and modern whilst also being climate-beneficial, the business was born.
We are working with local artisans in the city of Erode in South India, to create our handloom crafted, organic fabrics. This technique is very quickly being lost to mechanisation so the work is particularly important to these older-generation artisans, as it keeps their remarkable tradition alive. The well-being of these workers is an utmost priority and is constantly ensured by Nishanth Chopra, who is responsible for overseeing our production in Tamil Nadu.
The handloom technique is something epic to behold. Once sustainably grown crop fibres are spun into yarn, the artisans are ready to weave. Although it’s more time consuming than using a machine, the meticulous process barely uses any power, relying instead on a great deal of skill and experience.
The tailors that cut and sew our pieces are paid a living wage or above and again, their well-being is held as a priority.
Sometimes, the reality of Climate Change can make us feel hopeless about the future.
But what if we could change this reality? What is there was a solution that lied right beneath our feet? Good news. There is. & it can.
Carbon isn’t our enemy. It’s the stuff of life. It’s what we are built from.
But we’ve triggered an imbalance.
By extracting carbon from the ground (fossil fuels) and burning it (CO2) we’ve upset the delicate balance that life relies on.
The way that we currently manage agriculture is (largely) degenerative and is moving even more carbon out from the soil into the atmosphere.
Oceans have absorbed a lot of this excess carbon, but this is leading to ocean acidification and the critical endangering of marine life.
So, how we do stop this? How do we preserve life as we know it?
First and foremost, we need to STOP the burning of fossil fuels…it’s essential that this carbon remain in the ground.
But what about the excess CO2 that’s already been released? Where do we put this excess carbon, in order to restore the balance?
Like we said, the solution lies beneath our feet.
A carbon sink. OUR SOIL.
How does this work?
Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon from the air and turn it into liquid carbon sugars. Some of these sugars are pumped down through their roots and feed a tiny universe of life beneath the ground (earthworms, bacteria, fungi, etc). These guys ingest the carbon sugars and use it to build new, healthy soil. So, unlike in the air, more carbon is the ground is actually beneficial for building nutrient-rich, well-structured soil.
Why is healthy soil so important?
Plants have higher nutritional value and are more disease-resistant
Soil is able to absorb and retain MUCH more water (thus avoiding flooding and drought)
Less water vapour released into the air (the most potent greenhouse gas)
Soil erosion is mitigated, which offers food security for future generations
So what does this have to do with fashion?
Remember that, just like the way we grow our food, the way we grow our clothing fibre either releases carbon into the atmosphere or pulls it down into the ground.
This is the mission of Regenerative Agriculture. By introducing practices like:
Planting cover crops
Not tilling the soil
Not using pesticides
we can build and store GIGATONNES of soil carbon. And in doing so, make massive strides towards reversing Climate Change.
We believe that soil regeneration is the task of our generation.
We're currently in the process of establishing a farm-to-closet initiative, to create clothing made from Regenerative, climate-balancing fibres.
Watch this space!