All bodies are worthy of looking good and feeling good in workwear

Gone are the days when the only people on a job site would be burly blokes in Stubbies and Singlets; now there are any number of women and non-binary individuals needing quality, well-fitting workwear. But where to they get it from?

This was the question that Mimosa Schmidt – a former labourer and cowgirl – needed to answer, and why she decided to launch a brand dedicated to creating form-fitting and functional workwear for all types of bodies.

“I truly was a labourer, with no interest in fashion design. I liked well-made clothes and appreciated good style, but had no training or deep insight into the fashion world,” explains Mimosa. 

“I came to design my own line because I was working in ill-fitting work clothes. I felt sloppy, and often was in physical pain from the chaffing, so my mind wandered to designing a better solution. Then I started working with pattern makers to develop samples, and I became obsessed with perfecting really good fits.”

Workwear for every body

Mimosa came up with the concept behind her modern version of a workwear brand in 2018, launched it in 2019 and named it Sük: “Sük is a play on the work ‘SOOK’ – An Aussie diss I heard a lot on worksites, often used to casually shut people down when they were showing any sign of vulnerability.”

“I like the idea of poking fun at this, in order to bring some humour to what was often a somewhat brutal dynamic. There is strength in vulnerability, so it felt right to use this word to represent a playful and tough-as-nails workwear brand,” Mimosa says.

Mimosa says that it took a lot longer than she hoped it would to launch Sük: “I launched with a lot of late nights and a lot of help. It took about five years from the first idea to the first sale.” 

“Soon after that the pandemic hit so we’ve been thrown to the wind riding by our coattails ever since, but we are almost at a stage where we have some semblance of calm. With a lot of forward planning, and the right team, you can get through anything,” says Mimosa.

Inspired by Rosie the Riveter 

Sük workwear is mostly made up of classic shapes like overalls, work shorts and work shirts but with a much better fit for bodies of all shapes, and in a range of brighter colours. Mimosa explains that she was inspired by the earliest types of workwear for women in the 20th century, describing her aesthetic as “sexy, classic and wholesome”.

“The period during WWII when women were skilling up to work in labour and industrial roles is a really exciting time for me visually. I love seeing femme workers hanging out together and working hard. A lot of our classic range was subconsciously inspired by some of these fits. I’m also a country girl from a long line of cowboys so I love a touch of western style too.”

“We want to see everyone excited about their bodies and enjoying their work. If we can encourage a handful of people to embrace their bodies and step into work they love, then that’s a job well done. From first-hand experience, I know that sometimes feeling that confidence can start with having the right gear. I want to pass this feeling on, because feeling capable and beautiful is such a great gift.”

The central core of the Sük mission is to provide comfortable, practical and flattering workwear for all body types. 

“Since our inception we’ve worked tirelessly to develop a size chart that would provide the best fit for all bodies. In our full suits that meant introducing long body and short body variations to accommodate bigger busts and longer torsos,” Mimosa points out. 

“With a lot of hard-work and fine-tuning, we’ve also managed to create an inclusive size range, producing all styles in sizes 4-30. We truly believe all bodies are worthy of looking good and feeling good too.”

Zero waste and zero plastic

As with all fashion brands these days, Mimosa has incorporated a number of sustainable practices in the production of Sük workwear. 

“We try to be as responsible as possible by creating zero waste and using zero plastic from our fabric mill to our customers. We have paired with wonderful mills, factories and fabric-recycling organisations with high ethical standards who are willing to work with us to reduce our impact. 

“Our mindset is that ‘sustainability’ is not a standard box you can tick, but a long evolving road that we are committed to walking with as much transparency as possible,” says Mimosa.

Alongside issues of sustainability, like most fashion brands Sük is fighting to stay alive in a rapidly changing economic environment. 

“As a business owner, I want to see the team through this period with the support they need. Next year [2023] we can look at growth, expanding the range and telling some fun stories. For now, there’s not too much long-term talk, just getting over this mammoth Covid-Hump,” Mimosa says. 

“We are very lucky we have a loving community around us that are passionate about our core range, that’s long-term success in itself.”

To shop Sük Workwear, go to sukworkwear.com.au. You can try on and buy the brand at their store located at 167 Nicholson St, Brunswick East, open 7 days a week, and follow the brand at @sukworkwear.

Discover more interesting Australian fashion brands in our Brands & Designers Section.