The New York based design label Suno, and british-born artist Shantell Martin have recently teamed up to design a limited-edition T-shirt and dress in efforts to raise money for their local community. The garments will be sold exclusively on the label’s website, and 25% of their sales will go to the Apple Arts foundation, a Brooklyn-based charity that provides free arts education to children living in homeless shelters throughout New York City. Both the T-shirt and dress feature graphics inspired by a mural that Martin had originally painted on a large blank wall in Suno’s new studio space back in April. The cotton T-shirts ($75.00) are being produced in southeast Kenya by Wildlife Works, a small sustainable factory that provides carbon-credit income to local landowners, while the silk dresses ($395.00) are being constructed by a local factory in New York City.
Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty founded Suno five years with the intention of creating new jobs in Kenya. Today, their garments are produced in Kenya, Peru and India, but the altruistic team wanted to do something to give back to their own community as well. After doing a search on New York City charities they selected the Apple Arts foundation because they felt that is was small enough where they could really make a difference. As for the design, Osterweis and Beatty had a specific yet open-ended request for Martin, “We asked her to draw what inspires her, and her impressions of the brand, so you’ll see happy little people, scenes in Peru, the name of the brand, her name—it’s all of those things mixed together.” They were more than pleased with the result, and so are we!
Synonymous with the brand, Suno continues to apply their ethically minded business practices to the art of designing beautiful clothing, and this project is a great example of how these two concepts can be fused together.