Dear Samfu is a Singapore-based label that makes nostalgic clothing for the contemporary woman. Aimed at bringing back Grandma’s values of thoughtful consumption and sustainability into this generation’s wardrobe, Dear Samfu puts a modern spin on Grandma’s favourite silhouette, the Samfu.
Dear Samfu partners with small factories around Southeast Asia to manufacture their designs. Most importantly, every factory prioritises ethical production, fair wages and a safe and healthy working environment. While the team has not been able to make visits due to the pandemic, their partners send them pictures and frequent updates of the production process.
Dear Samfu works with local tailors in Singapore to produce samples before manufacturing in Cambodia. The brand makes their garments from deadstock fabrics, sourced from Thailand and Cambodia. To minimise waste, they produce in small quantities and create accessories from offcuts. The designs they create are inspired by the Samfu, cantonese for 衫裤 (“shan-ku”), which is light suit consisting of a plain high-necked shirt and loose trousers, worn by Chinese women. Designed for maximum comfort in the tropical heat, it allows for ease of movement without compromising modesty. Thus, it became a highly popular everyday style in Southeast Asia in the 1950-60s.
Dear Samfu packs with sustainability in mind, with as little packaging as possible. They refrain from using virgin plastic throughout the supply chain. Instead, they use recycled paper. They also print their stickers on FSC certified paper printed with soy based ink, and their garment labels are made of 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified organic cotton.
Dear Samfu uses deadstock fabric to make their clothing, and prioritise natural fabrics such as cotton. They also save fabric off cuts and turn them into accessories, such as masks and scrunchies. The brand is careful to eliminate plastic in their supply chain as well as in their packaging. As a slow fashion brand, they are able to minimise the waste they create by limiting the number of pieces they produce.
Dear Samfu believes that slow living, just like in the old times, can help to tackle the problems of fast fashion. Inspired by Grandma, who values prudence, modesty and simplicity in her fashion choices, Dear Samfu do not follow traditional fashion seasons. Instead, they launch seasonless styles in small batches. They are transparent and share their value and honest pricing on their social media and product pages. Thus, customers are informed of the inspiration and what goes behind the prices.