Sudara: Beautiful Clothing that Helps Change the World

This is the third installment in my ethical fashion series. A few months ago, I kicked off the series with why I care about ethical fashion, followed by a post on finding plus-sized ethical clothing. This week, I will be spotlighting one of my favorite ethical fashion companies, Sudara!

I love pajama pants. I used to own approximately seven pairs, all for different occasions. Hot summer night? Cute shorts with polka-dots. Cold winter evening? Long pants with snowflakes. Christmas morning? Something cozy and good for photos.

But in recent years, I’ve stopped wearing them. I couldn’t find a pair that fit just right, was as cute as they were comfortable, and, most importantly, met my standards for ethically-made clothing.

Enter Sudara.

Sudara - a clothing company that helps women rise out of sexual slaveryBackground photo courtesy of Sudara’s Facebook page.

Sudara makes gorgeous, ethically-produced pajama pants and shirts for women, men, and children. I’ve been a fan of theirs since several years ago, when they were still called the International Princess Project.  After I started my ethical fashion series, I reached out to them to ask if they would be interested in having me write about them and the work they do. In exchange, they sent me a pair of their Sunetha full pajama pants.

Sudara - a clothing company that helps women rise out of sexual slaveryPhoto courtesy of Sudara.

The pants are beautiful and incredibly comfortable. They stretch at the waistband and also include a drawstring so you can adjust them to your own size. I love that they have large pockets that fit my phone and other day-to-day items, which many other pajamas don’t have!

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One of my absolute favorite features, though, is how light and soft the fabric is. I can wear the pajama pants on a summer night without getting too hot or sweaty. While some pajama pants can irritate my skin if they are too clingy or heavy, Sudara’s pajama pants are really soft, and airy enough that my skin stays happy and healthy. The fabric is also bright and truly beautiful. I absolutely love them.

I kind of want to wear them as normal clothes. Like, all the time.

Best of all, though, is how they are made. Sudara’s goal is to help women rise up from sex slavery in India. To do that, it works with existing companies in India to employ women looking to leave the Red Light District and teach them the skill of sewing. Sudara employs hundreds of women who have left the sex trade and intense poverty, teaching them sewing and entrepreneurial skills and providing housing for both the women and their children. By paying them, on average, double the baseline for fair-trade pay, Sudara prevents its employees from having to return to the sex trade in order to survive. It gives these women the opportunity to work in safe and sustainable conditions and live in freedom from sexual slavery.

The women, in working for Sudara, have created a wide range of beautiful pajama pants, called “punjammies,” for women, men, and children. All their women’s clothes range in sizes XS to XXL, and I found their larger sizes to be nice and roomy. They come in a ton of beautiful prints and colors, which can be seen here.

In addition to the Sunetha pants that I was sent, I especially love these Sardha punjammies, which are made of cotton and come in a beautiful minty blue pattern, with fuchsia and gold trim. I may buy them in the fall, when I’ll need another pair of long pajama pants.

Sudara - a clothing company that helps women rise out of sexual slaveryPhoto courtesy of Sudara.

I couldn’t be more excited to be writing about Sudara and sharing the incredible work they do If you’d like to learn more about their clothes and how they’re changing the world, you can check out their website here.

As I mentioned, Sudara sent me a pair of their pajama pants so I could use them for this post. However, I was not paid or compensated in any other way. I reached out to their company myself, and all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Thank you!

Sara Laughed

Author: Sara Laughed

I'm Sara, a blogger, programmer, and American abroad. I live in the Netherlands my boyfriend and our 11 plants, and in this space blog about my life, discoveries, and mistakes. Follow along here or on social media!

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  • Hi Sara! Thank you so much for your post!!! Because of you, I am getting pretty serious about ethical fashion. I have a question for you: How do you ask companies to review their products? My blog is still pretty young, but I really want to focus on writing posts about companies like Sudara and their products. I just don’t know how to go about reaching out to them. Could you give me a little advice? Thanks!

    • Hi! I’m so glad that you’re getting interested in ethical fashion. I’d love to help you out. My big piece of advice would be to start growing your blog before reaching out to companies to ask for products or clothes to review. It’s important that you have something to offer the companies that you reach out to – maybe a social media following, or a regular readership base. I know that it can be daunting to grow a blog, but if it’s something you’re passionate about, it won’t feel like work. Start by reviewing ethical products that you already own, or would have bought anyway. Once you have these as “samples” of your work, you can start pitching companies you care about to ask them for products to review. Introduce yourself, talk about your blog and what makes it special, and offer them some stats on how many readers you get. Tell them why you want to write about them and why you would be a good fit! If you would like an example of an email I’ve sent out, please feel free to email me at sara@saralaughed.com. Thanks!

  • Hi Sara! I love Sudara and loved this piece. <3 It is so nice and refreshing to hear that more and more women are feeling empowered to make more ethical and sustainable choices when it comes to fashion! So much love from us at milo+nicki 🙂

  • No offense, but dont you find everyone of their ads disingenuous. The language is demeaning…and the ads are stereotypical. In a promotional piece, the indian women did not speak or even look at the camera. Also, how did you find out the pay. I read an article that tried to get that info. However, much more specific info. And were unable. Is that what the company told you. I would like more than Sudara’s word. It is just ironic that you would support this company when there ir really no info out there on them except bloggers and themselves. There ads all show white women and show no photos of their “work”. India is very far away to be vouching for a company that so blatently steals their cultural references for profit.

    • Hi Liz! Thanks for your comment. If the ad or promotional piece you’re referring to is recent, I hadn’t seen it at the time I wrote this blog post, which is several years old. I looked for the article you mentioned where someone couldn’t find Sudara’s pay rates, and could only find this two-year-old Jezebel thought piece. Luckily you can find more detailed information and actual numbers with a quick Google search!

      I was not told by the company about pay rates at the time of this article. I got the pay information from Sudara’s page, but if you’re looking for more specific information that is not from the company, the 2016 annual report (that’s a download link) for the Sudara Fund is available through Guidestar, a database that reports on non-profits, and you can see Sudara’s tax returns if you sign up for a Guidestar account. There’s also an article from the Pulitzer Center about Sudara and other ethical companies manufacturing in India, where you can read about exact pay and benefits and how they compare to similar jobs, as well as the pay for working in the sex trade in Kolkata. Guidestar will tell you about the exact breakdown of Sudara’s costs, and the Pulitzer Center article can give you numbers on individual pay as well as benefits for the employees.

      It’s great that you’re looking to make sure that the companies you support are, in fact, benefitting their employees in a fair and honest way. If you have any pajama companies that you support that are more transparent with their financial information, please comment back and I’d be happy to feature them here, as well!