Functionality meets style with local online store Sora's line of beach and yoga towels. Expect quick-dry, lightweight beach towels and non-slip yoga mats that are not only aesthetically pleasing—pastels with tropical and floral prints, anyone?—but also eco-friendly. Do your part in minimizing single-use plastic with every Sora towel you purchase; each towel is made from eight post-consumer plastic bottles. That's a win-win for you and Mother Earth!
Preview got a chance to catch up with one of Sora's owners, Tini Dahl, to shed more light about the brand. Read all about it below.
Can you tell us about Sora? What's the concept behind the brand's name?
"At Sora, we make multi-purpose towels from recycled post-consumer plastic, often used for yoga, beach, and travel. [My business partner and I are] actually friends with roots in Norway, Japan, and Australia. 'Sør' in Norwegian translates to south, and 'sora' in Japanese means sky. Sora is all about staying light, being grounded, while always reaching for new heights."
Could you describe Sora’s design aesthetic and philosophy?
"We wanted to incorporate the simple and functional design ethos of our home countries into our brand. So as much as aesthetics were important, our towels were also created with functionality in mind (quick-dry, lightweight, compact non-slip for yoga). For our first collection, we collaborated with a local artist Mercedes Olondriz to come up with botanical prints in muted colors, as well as two solid colors."
Sora claims to make towels from at least eight recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. Why did you decide to make your products eco-friendly?
"We’re both passionate about doing what we can for the planet, so using recycled material was always at the forefront of our minds when it came to product design. We wanted to work with and support suppliers that have invested in this technology. Aside from the towel itself, we’ve decided to use eco-friendly packaging (like our organic cotton bags and recycled paper wrapping). That being said, we’re always looking to improve our product and business operations to be as eco-friendly as possible.
"We also see a big shift in consumers’ mindsets, and that people are now looking to make smart, informed choices when they buy. There’s definitely a demand for it, and it's exciting to see many brands catering to this need. Hopefully eco-friendly will become the norm."
Where do you usually draw inspiration from? Can you walk us through your creative process as you make your towels?
"For our first collection, we collaborated with local artist Mercedes Olondriz to create botanical prints. She photographs leaves and flowers and digitally alters them to become our final print. We wanted our first collection to be inspired by nature, and have it seamlessly take you from city to sea, yoga mat to beach. We also found that a lot of yoga and beach towels were bright and colorful, so we decided to go for a more subtle approach and use muted colors."
How about the production process? How long does it take for one towel to be finished?
"It can take months for us to come up with the final towel. There’s a lot of back and forth when it comes to the artist collaboration, and there’s traveling to our supplier to make sure the colors are transferred exactly as intended."
What makes a Sora muse? Could you describe the lifestyle that fits your design philosophy?
"We’re definitely attracted to people with positive attitudes and those who actively pursue their goals in living their best lives. Ultimately, people who live the Sora life are those who have an appreciation for beautiful things, all the while living mindfully and making conscious decisions. We tend to gravitate towards those who travel often, as our product was designed to move freely with you."
Where can we buy your pieces?
"Our towels are currently available online for P1999 with free shipping countrywide, and are also available in Aura Athletica (R2 Level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati, Metro Manila), Frankie & Friends General Store (2/F SM Aura Premier, BGC Taguig, Metro Manila0, and Loop (Unit 30, 68 Don A. Roces Avenue, Quezon City )."
What can we expect from your brand in the future?
"We’re looking at developing some new prints and have some exciting collaborations in the works!"