Sudara Travels: Day Three in India

Our team is gathering in India to spend time with our partner sewing centers and the women who make PUNJAMMIES®, discuss new opportunities and ways to empower even more women, and to photograph our Spring/Summer 2016 line. Follow along as we share what’s happening, what we’re learning, and a few of the ways that your continued support is making such a difference here.

Chennai. Before visit to sewing centers

Location: Chennai, India

It’s a funny thing flying to the other side of the world. The time it takes you to get there is such a blurry experience that it never seems quite right when they roll the cart up to serve dinner and you are expecting breakfast and coffee. By the end of the second day of travel, my eyelids had that thick, heavy feeling and I just accepted all of the meals back to back even though it meant dinner 3 times in a row.

But the good news is we made it. The time difference between here and home is 12.5 hours- as in 12.5 hours ahead. Meaning to anyone reading this as soon as I post it will be receiving a message from the future.

Back to breakfast and coffee, we just enjoyed our first official meal in-country. The coffee had a fragrance to it- maybe cardamom. [side note: cardamom is liberally added to everything here from soap to beverages, it’s like a little dash of perfume in every bite, sip, squeeze]. Paula [from our photography team] recommended the masala omelette which did not disappoint. We are all playing it pretty safe as far as food goes because we have so much to accomplish in such a short amount of time, but even with that there is plenty that can be enjoyed.

…these vibrant prints tell such a story. Not only do they represent a woman’s life and journey – but they sing a song about the place they come from. 

We sat around catching up, getting to know each other over little fried balls of sweet bread and round savory wheels I can only describe as donuts. Only half of our team has arrived. The rest come in another 2 days, so for now, we rest up, scout locations and acclimate.

It’s not as noisy here as it could be. There is of course the reliable soundtrack you come to know and accept here: traffic and construction. But it feels a little insulated here between the buildings and trees. I hiked up the fire escape to look out over the city. So many flat rooftops with potted plants and swaying clotheslines. I am grateful. We are here. We are healthy.

We have so much creative work ahead of  us: Tomorrow we set out to scout locations that we’ll use for much of Sudara’s summer lifestyle imagery. The chance to be here – to style and photograph the product these women are producing right here in India feels like a chance to really show people why these vibrant prints tell such a story. Not only do they represent a woman’s life and journey – but they sing a song about the place they come from. And for the first time, that gets to happen right here where it all began.