SiiZU: Sustainability Styled

November 12, 2018

SiiZU is steadfast in its commitment to achieving the impossible. It delivers gorgeous, high-quality apparel that is crafted with sustainable practices by fair-trade artisans—all at competitive prices. Its origin story is honest and uncommon.

Kay Wen, one of the brand’s masterminds, shares the backstory, “The idea of SiiZU came to us on one cold spring night in 2016, while we were having bowls of warm soba noodles after taking our Japanese friend on a disappointing day of shopping in Soho. With the array of fashion brands on offer in New York, we were surprised by the genuine lack of eco-friendly options available for average shoppers like ourselves—who are looking for sustainable pieces that are stylish but not exuberantly expensive.” This is a challenge that all CAUSEBOX partner brands seem to tackle — the disconnect between style, ethics, and affordability. SiiZU’s solutions are as innovative and dashing as any we’ve come across.

Wen continues, “We began to envision a brand that can tempt the average shopper away from fast fashion companies by offering modern and stylish pieces of sustainable clothing to our customers at an affordable price range.”

The founders recognized that delivering quality, sustainability, and relevant designs at competitive prices was a tall order, which is why SiiZU is a direct-to-consumer company. By removing the middle link of retailers from the supply chain, the additional costs incurred by sustainable materials and fair-trade practices are offset by a lack of retail markup.

Kay explains, “We started SiiZU knowing that our founding principals were really ambitious — that’s why we spent a huge amount of time and effort on planning our brand before the first dress was ever produced, or even designed. We've done exhaustive research on best practices in pattern making, design, and packaging, while we have made it an essential point to source for the best fabric and manufacturing partner we can find. Not only are we not compromising on our promise of producing exclusively eco-friendly fashion, we had to made sure that our partners are able to produce pieces that meet our quality standard, while also meeting our ethical standard.”

From fabric made of wood to wool made of oyster shells to organic versions of common fabrics like cotton and silk, the array of materials for SiiZU reads like an earth-friendly sci-fi script.

The brand’s quality and ethical standards are impressive and educational. It sources fabrics from a variety of innovative regions, and each material has a story and a purpose. From fabric made of wood to wool made of oyster shells to organic versions of common fabrics like cotton and silk, the array of materials for SiiZU reads like an earth-friendly sci-fi script.

“Our team spends a good part of our time traveling and fabric researching in order to source for the best fabric for our need. As a young brand, we are willing and able to utilize a wide range of eco-fabrics that are lesser-known. Fabric such as Tencel and LENZING™ Viscose, organic cotton from Japan, Bluesign-certified silk, and, most recently, Seawool made from recycled oyster shell—these are just some of materials that we have used in our recent collection.”

“We believe in these fabric choices because they truly make a difference to our environment. Organic cotton, for example, uses no pesticides during its production process, which in turn limits the pollutants that get into our water supplies. Our Seawool is another ingenious fabric that upcycles a disposed item, and repurposes it to make beautiful clothes.”

Fair trade business practices and ethical material sourcing requires transparency and commitment that is not convenient for business. But SiiZU exemplifies the possibilities of a brand that does not compromise on its values. “We have learned that it is tremendously important to work with suppliers and artisans that share the same set of values as your own company. Since we have started SiiZU, our relationships with our vendors have always been beyond a simple transactional relationship. We truly believe that we are all partners in this business—and we are all in the business of making better, more eco-friendly clothes. It’s a tough path, and it really helps to have great partners along the way.”

All of these elements conspire to make the amazing, Winter-ready product in this season’s CAUSEBOX. Wen shares, “The exciting CAUSEBOX exclusive poncho features one of our most popular botanic fabric: LENZING™ Viscose. This fabric is derived from renewable source wood and is manufactured with an environmentally responsible process. This versatile fabric magically delivers the hand feel and warmth of wool, and is entirely biodegradable (not that you'd want to compost it anytime soon!).”

The poncho can also be worn in multiple ways depending on your mood and styling. You can choose to wear it classically over your shoulders, cozily be wrapped in it, or be playful and drape it around your neck like a scarf. No matter how you wear it, the soft, stylish design will inspire you with its magic materials and thoughtful backstory.

For more about SiiZU:

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John is the managing editor at CAUSEBOX and a traveling writer who lives on the road with his dog, Hank.