A NEW VISION OF FASHION
Welcome to GUNAS New York, America’s first 100% Luxury Vegan Handbag Brand!
I'm Sugandh (Sue-gun-d), the Founder & Creative mind behind GUNAS. As an Industrial Designer, an activist and a fashion addict, I’m dedicated to utilizing my skills and business acumen for a cause very close to my heart. Being a life-long vegetarian and now vegan I found a deep disconnect between my eating and fashion choices. Having grown up in India, a country where cows are worshipped and ironically also slaughtered for their meat and skin, I knew in my heart that I had to do something about it.
So on a cold wintery night in 2009, GUNAS was born in the warmth of my studio apartment in Manhattan. With an intention to do everything “right” and making a product that was not only vegan but also ethically made in a sweatshop-free environment I began with a modest 8 piece collection made in NYC. Unable to maintain affordable prices, I pursued production in China. Uncomfortable with non-transparency and the working conditions in factories I set out to start my own studio in India where I trained artisans and worked closely with them to make the collections. Finding my path to “doing things right” has not been easy.
In an industry that is practically non-existent, no formulas to follow and being self-funded, I’ve had my challenges but my drive to continue doing what I have been has not dulled even for a moment. In 2014 the US Government handed me my permanent residency to the United States based on my work as a Fashion Activist. I could now continue developing the brand and striving to achieve my “American” dream. A dream where the world is full of kindness, everyone is free to live in harmony and our choices (whether food or fashion) don’t embody any form of cruelty towards people or animals.
THE STORY BEHIND THE NAME
Believe it or not. This is a true story!
As I sat on my apartment floor, brainstorming with my husband the name of the brand, little did I know that I was about to experience a small miracle. Wanting to have an essence of my name in the name of the brand, I wrote the alphabets S-U-G-A-N-D-H on pieces of paper and started rearranging them. I stumbled upon GUNAS (pronounced as Goo-naz); it sounded interesting.
I googled it up only to find that it has deep spiritual meaning. The 3 Gunas, the essence of all our being. Tamas, Rajas, Sattvic. If you are familiar with yoga, you must have heard this term. I was ecstatic! I had found the name. Or rather, it had found me. I truly belive that when you set out to do good and put your heart to it, all the forces in the universe help you achieve it.
Meet my little girl who is the main
inspiration behind everything I do.
GUNAS is my vision to leave a legacy of
kindness and prosperity for her and
all our future generations.
#GUNASGIRL is my source of artistic inspiration. She is a strong woman who stands for her beliefs. She loves Fashion, cares for the environment and does not want cruelty to be a part of her lifestyle choices.
LOVE EARTH . LOVE PEOPLE . LOVE ANIMALS
With Good vibes, Sugandh