The bird that helps lift spirits — Sunbird
Sunbird and the story of Samira Kenward Tharani
There is something special in Bangladesh's air, something extraordinary with its people! Why else would countless expats like Samira Kenward Tharani call this place a second home?
"Seriously speaking, I can't tell why I am here over and over again! But, every time I am back, I know that I am home. Bangladesh is home for me!" admits a contented Tharani.
Carrying on with our conversation, she revealed being taken by the saris of the street women. "I simply loved the prints," she confessed.
Even if it was a self-interested idea at the beginning, Tharani wanted to do something unique with the Bangladeshi attire.
Being a development practitioner, she was already associated with a NGO in Mirpur, where female sex-workers and victims of violence were getting psychological therapy. Tharani involved these women into kantha stitching on the patterned saris of her liking, helping to meticulously pave way for an alternative income generation method.
"I began with a handful of women, and later I was able to expand the business with girls from a training centre at the Korail slum and more from Sylhet," Tharani said.
So what does Sunbird actually sell?
Jackets, caftans, capes, boho-poncho, shirt dresses and so much more are included in its ensemble.
All materials are sourced locally and embroidered by underprivileged women. "I procure all the materials for them and help in matching the threads.
"After the kantha stitches are complete, the apparels are taken to a professional tailor for the continuation of design," informs Tharani.
The end product is a fantastic boho-chic material that is absolutely 'deshi', super trendy and extremely comfortable to wear.
The best thing about the clothes is that they are absolutely 'value-for money' attires, which can be worn even inside out! Both sides of the garb look incredible and can be interestingly alternated for different events.
Sunbird's dresses are eye-catching and developed for every season. The winter jackets are slightly thicker with five layers of sari, while summer shirts have two to three layers to give the ultimate comfort to its wearer.
More on Tharani
Tharani does not just stop there, she is also the initiator of a popular Facebook page, 'Fempreneurs in Dhaka,' through which she wants to promote entrepreneurship at large, especially in women who are housewives and unable to work outside in the corporate world for understandable reasons.
With time, Tharani hopes to do more work for Bangladesh as according to her, this is the country that matches her soul.
Styles and patterns
Sunbird has the most amazing patterns on its saris. All the saris are personally selected by Samira Kenward Tharani. It is evident, that all the materials have been handpicked since every single piece echoes the resplendent Bangladesh.
The patterns are bright and beautiful and can easily help in lifting spirits. The styles are modern and meant for both casual and formal wear.
Why the name: Sunbird?
The owner Tharani always wanted to associate her initiative with freedom. And in her eyes nothing else resembled freedom more than 'birds flying high-up in the sky.'
The simile Sunbird came from the idea of a bird flying close to the sun. "Me and my friend developed this name based on an inspiration, we wanted the girls – who supported us in this project, to be free like birds and have all the inspiration and energy resonating from the sun," admits Tharani.
Online Address - Sunbird: https://www.facebook.com/sunKathawear
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Riba, Risila
Make-up: Farzana Shakil's
Location: Lotus Etang