āsum is a line of sustainable elevated basics that strives to be inventive in design yet effortless in style. It is quiet creativity with timeless practical sensibilities. āsum is about slow fashion, not trends; it is about creating distinctive pieces to complement casual staples in one’s wardrobe season after season.
This project is about freeing the classic elements of a sweatshirt into a less expected form. After seeing my mother produce sweatshirts for decades that all appeared a bit too similar, this is my attempt to bring a new artistic perspective to the Canadian/American wardrobe staple. The collection is domestically made and eco-friendly—crafted in Canada with sustainable G.O.T.S. certified organic cotton.
An artful play of luscious cottons and linens intermixed with rich quality full grain leathers. See Kickstarter story here.
The leather is sourced from a reputable “ECO friendly leather” manufacturer that complies to REACH & RoHS standards. (Due to my limited knowledge and the conflicting components of various sustainable leather sources/alternatives (ie. vegan leather is plastic), I purposefully left this note out of the Kickstarter launch as I did not wanted to make it a selling point.)
standards & sustainability
Apparel manufacturing is more than just an industry I work in; in fact, I grew up in it. My mother is a veteran in the industry. To help pay my way through school, I worked all odds and ends in garment factories. The people that sew the garments and cut the threads—they are my neighbors as they have watched me grow over the years. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to learn tailoring and couture techniques from skillful masters at FIT. Thus, with immense respect for the backbone and artistry of the industry, āsum only seeks to partner with manufacturers that uphold a high level of quality and respectable ethical practices.
āsum strives to contribute to our world in a sustainable and considerate manner. From eco-friendly materials to a slow fashion approach to design, āsum is consciously thoughtful to its impact and contributions to our world. āsum is committed to small batch production and local manufacturing where possible, avoiding the endless cycle of over-production, heavy discounting and overwhelming waste the fashion industry is used to quietly accepting.
Since I was young, I chased creativity in clothing. The artful ways fabrics drape and fold on our bodies, it intrigued me. Naturally, I had big dreams to become a fashion designer. However, facing harsh financial struggles at a young age, with a first job packaging sweaters for pennies, I grew to be very practical and followed a career in computer engineering. Nonetheless, my dreams never faded. For a decade, I juggled working as a techie by day, and designing and sewing by night. I proved my talents winning FIT's Outstanding Design award for Draping Specialization in 2009, a finalist spot in Charleston's Emerging Designers Competition in 2012, and in 2014, a stint on Project Runway season 13. I finally launched āsum in 2016 with a successful Kickstarter bag collection.
As an engineer turned designer today, I seek to bring the same balance between creativity and practicality as I had throughout my life. āsum is genuinely a reflection of my life and it is my dream to share it with you :)
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