Behind The Seams
A father-daughter story
We are a small family-run label, carefully crafting bralettes, swimwear and yoga wear for women. Infused with the spirit of light summer days, healthy living, adventures and the outdoors. ESSENTIALS FOR ZULA makes stretch basics that are affordable, comfortable and made to last.
Raised in a family of garment manufacturers, the Austro-Thai born designer's memories of going to work with her father and seeing firsthand the techniques and artistry of tailoring, instilled in her a love of craftsmanship from a very young age. Motivated by her father's drive and compassion for work and her mother's fashionable instincts, she became inspired to test the waters and launch: ESSENTIALS FOR ZULA.
The name ZULA was intentionally chosen for it's unfamiliarity. A unique and alien female name, allowing the concept to be crafted from scratch. Designing essential pieces that belong in every woman's wardrobe - plus, using only the most comfortable fabrics. Since the birth of the online shop in 2015, it was run entirely out of her single room that functioned as a studio, showroom, office and bedroom.
Today, Delie is based in Vienna and Bangkok, working side-by-side with her father, to carefully produce and bring their slow fashion project to life.
Our in-house production
We have an amazingly tight knit team of 6 seamstresses and tailors who are passionate about garments. The average age ranges between 35-40 years old and most of them have been dedicated to the factory for over a decade. There is a balanced mixture of men and women, our cutting team are mostly made up of men (our tetris masters! More on that later).
The garment industry can be a real dirty industry. Low pay, dangerous working conditions and pressure to produce in mass quantities*. We recognise the importance of keeping a close eye on the integrity of the supply chain - that's why we proudly make our garments ourselves. Allowing us to be 100% honest with you.
Our waste? We try to handle it in a number of ways; just-in-time production and economic marker structures* to name a few. A lot of material scraps are leftover after cutting the designs out of the fabric. To manage this tricky situation, we treat the patterns similar to a tetris game. The fabrics arrive in rolls and the marker planner* carefully arranges as many marker's on the fabric as possible. This is to reduce any excess material scraps from being created. Funnily enough, a photographer came in the other week to photograph the factory. He was so intrigued by the way the fabric was cut, he ended up spending hours capturing the cutting process.
Our workplace culture? We are very laid-back. Openly bouncing around ideas, casually walking around in flip flops (thanks to year-round 30°C weather) and when times get tough, we invite the factory for a round of doughnuts.
Curious to learn more? Feel free to write us.
Buy it and try it. It's on us.
We're confident that you'll love our comfortable garments, but if you don't, we'll happily offer an exchange or a refund within 14 days.
Our locally-sourced fabrics
Our fabrics are locally sourced, woven and dyed in Thailand. We are very selective with the fabrics we work with, consciously choosing sustainable alternatives that are uncompromising of quality at the same time. Our cotton is certified with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). It sets the highest ecological, sustainable and social requirements for pesticide and insecticide free natural fibres. Our modal and rayon is made out of a environmentally friendly natural wood pulp, which also has great benefits such as fit, feel, breathability and longevity. But what we're excited about most, our garments are dyed using 100% AZO free dyes - certain specified chemicals that could be harmful to the environment and your skin are eliminated from the paint pot, giving our garments that extra stamp of excellence. But, we know that we're not perfect. As a project, we're always experimenting and looking for ways to improve... so if you know of any alternatives drop us a line.
We're so happy that you're here. We look forward to sending out your lovingly handmade garments.
*a great insight is the True Cost documentary
**marker structures is a term used in the garment industry. A marker is a special kind of stencil that illustrates how pattern pieces of one or more garments should be cut from several layers of fabric. The marker planner is the person who arranges the markers