SICA: textile crafts based in Germany, proudly made in Bangladesh
Upcycling design, empowerment of women and councious fashion are core values of Sica, a brand borned in Brazil
Origins: from Brazil to Germany
The label SICA found its feet in 2006 in Curitiba, Brazil. Creating unique clothing and accessories from the vibrant textile waste from local factories in South Brazil. Emerging from selling SICA products on a Sunday market, to owning its own concept store. At this time SICA provided a platform to not only sell its own creations but to provide opportunities and partnership for fellow makers, artists and seamstresses.
In 2014 the upcycling label expanded into Berlin and Bangladesh with the ‘Clipping Up’ line. SICA outsources textile clipping-waste from the Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry (RMG) and brings into the hands of the skilled craftswomen in rural communities from Northern Bangladesh. It has been vital for the founder Simone Simonato, to spend a lot of time in Bangladesh, nurturing the relationship with the makers and local organizations. Personally researching and living within these communities, Simone explores with the artisans in order to help develop their skills, while providing fair employment and support.
The role in Berlin does not only give support and visibility to Bangladeshi crafts, but also to connect and collaborate with it’s thriving sustainable design community.
SICA continues to work as an initiator, acting locally and thinking globally providing positive solutions in the fashion industry.
A solution through traditional crafts
SICA understands that it is within the early stages of design is where the most important decisions are made, which further impact and influence others and the environment down the line.
Problem solving is at the heart of the up-cycling design process. The discards from throwaway fashion become objects of a conscious fashion.
In a world endlessly consuming our natural resources, causing catastrophic damage to the environment and human well-being, recycling and reusing is of rising importance on many different levels as a global human solution.
To find solutions SICA starts with an in depth research process. Looking into current environmental and social situations within the textile sector. Highlighting on problems such as resource waste, life cycle of a product and poor working standards. Searching for ways to motivate more responsible and transparent working methods.
It is both within the production processes and the behaviour towards a products life cycle that an abundant amount of textile waste is generated. This textile waste is most likely to rest on a landfill or -small percentages of it- sold to fiber recycling. As waste just keeps building up, it becomes more key for designers to utilize these materials.
SICA focuses in diverting textile waste from landfill back into the hands of its same industry makers. By collaborating with skilled craftspeople to both support them as individuals within a fair working environment and to help preserve their traditional craft.
Through harmonizing conscious design with traditional craftsmanship and mutual cooperation, which creates rich unique products.
The sales of SICA’s products provide the support needed for the maker’s community to sustain itself and grow. Helping the artisans to develop their skills while raising employment and labor standards.
Simone plays a vital role in continually training and mentoring local artisans to produce its label products.
Awareness and longevity
Making the gap between maker and wearer smaller.
The main product line Proudly Made in Bangladesh makes functional bags, acessories and homewear from its unique handwoven textile.
Sourcing the textile clipping waste from mass garment production and putting it into the hands of the skilled craftswomen. SICA’s partnership with these craftswomen has lead to the innovation of a unique durable and upcycled textile.
The textile clipping waste is woven together on the traditional hand looms. These looms have a simple set up compared to alternative industrial recycling techniques. This low energy manufacturing process requires no water or extra dyes instead SICA uses the original colors and textures of the clippings to enhance the vibrancy of each weave.
The craft knowledge gained through generations of weaving is important for developing each product line. They will contribute on defining shapes, colours and textures becoming the unique interpretation of the weaver shown within each weave.
The exploration of types of looms and techniques are also influencing the product line. The SICA homewear line is processed on Satranji looms, a slow and careful process of tapestry.
The results are thicker and stronger pieces, very close to art pieces not only by how they are made but also to the uniqueness of the designs. The fellow makers decide how to combine and build each pattern in a process of trust. A fair trade partnership that gives to the local artisans the opportunity to explore and develop traditional crafts and to pursue contemporary designs.
It’s key for SICA to tell a products story before it has even reached the hands of the wearer. Telling the story with transparency. So each product can provide with confidence it’s manufacturing process.
Unique and functional product for the individual.
Timeless staple pieces intended for years of wear.
SICA strives to fully utilize its materials. From zero-waste clothing to creating no waste patterns on the weaving looms, carefully considering the energy used through each products process.