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Scerendip Project

About Scerendip

If you want to read about a young woman who never gave up on pursuing a hobby she struggled to master and instead turned it into a self-sustaining small business; we have a story for you. Meet Suhara Malwattege whose slow fashion brand Scerendip (meaning Serendip and Scenic) focuses on upcycling and reducing the carbon footprint that comes with creating new clothes.

The Journey

It was an uphill journey, Suhara says. Having been on the lean side and never finding clothes that would fit, it was on a whim that a 16-year-old Suhara announced to her parents that she wanted to stitch her own clothes. Her enthusiastic father gifted her an overlock and domestic sewing machine just two months later.

Fast-forward to a few years later. The pandemic has hit the world and a 20-year-old Suhara is stuck at home in the lockdown. “I had completely given up the idea, right? And then I felt guilty because my father had got me these two machines. I thought, ‘maybe I should, you know, learn something out of this since I had nothing else to do’,” she says.

Turning Passion into Business

That is when Suhara began experimenting and creating new pieces of clothing. Her friends pushed her to start her own small business as they loved the clothes that she was making. So began Scerendip, a brand name she had surprisingly carried with her as a child wanting to start her own small business one day.

Sustainability Efforts

Suhara also uses offcuts, material which would normally be burned or burried under the earth, to create other items such as scrunchies, bucket hats, and cardigans. She reduces much of the waste she produces and gains even more profit as she uses a piece of fabric to its fullest potential. Even the discarded pieces created after using offcuts are saved to create a cloth mannequin (dress-form) at Suhara’s workshop.

Supporting Local Communities

Suhara handpicks biodegradable fabrics from suppliers who sell dead-stock materials, supporting other small business women as well. With a degree in Business and Psychology from the University of Northampton and reading for the final stage of CIM, Suhara now employs a four-person team that includes a lady from Anuradhapura as well as her two aunts helping her part-time to meet the influx of orders.

Scerendip x Ethic& Co - Our Mission

We create a project together where we donate 40% of the margin of the sold products made by the women from Scerendip to the women sewing scrunchies and bucket hats. This initiative is aimed at empowering women and supporting sustainable livelihoods. We are hoping to grow this initiative and employ more women in the future. Sri Lanka is a country with huge poverty and a lot of issues. However visiting this country, was breathtaking and heartwarming. Poeple from Sri Lanka are very welcoming. Therefore we wanted to create this initiative.

Learn More

For more about Suhara and Scerendip, you can read this article and follow Scerendip on Instagram @scerendip.