Sutram (the common thread)


SUTRAM, a textile house co-founded by Rukaiya Daud and Kate Fowler, specialises in organic cotton bedwear and home accents. Rooted in the dynamic interplay of colors and the tensions they create, their design philosophy challenges the notion of static bedwear. According to Daud and Fowler, colors serve as a versatile medium that brings life to a space, reflecting and even influencing our inner states.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Kate and Rukaiya, delving into topics ranging from their bedtime attire and current reading choices to the little element that ties it all together: sleep.

When you book your next FENN treatment you'll be able to look forward to getting into our beds and feeling what SUTRAM has to offer....

Whose bed would you most love to make over with a SUTRAM set? (fantasy questions! No wrong answers)

R & K - Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s ‘Bed-In for Peace’ - iconic and still as salient as ever.

Are you an early bird or a night owl and how do you wind down in the evening to prepare for bed?

R: I am an early bird, but it’s a slow ease into the day and not a leap out of bed like some. Twice a week I will have a session with my meditation teacher in India which usually puts me into a deep slumber.

K - I’m a recovering night owl. I always felt so productive during these hours - but less so now that it is a necessity to wake early to get the kids ready. Though I’m still prone to some late night pottering I try to reign it in now so I can wake before the rest of the house. Reading is a part of my wind down routine - the stillness helps. If I’m restless, I practice Yoga Nidra - it’s a sort of ‘yogic sleep’ that shuts down the body one part at a time.

What were the non-negotiables when developing SUTRAM?

While developing these were that the product be environmentally and ethically sound, as well as being a quality product that lasts. Everything else in terms of ethos and creative fell into place naturally and authentically as it has been a creative outlet for us both.

Our seasonless range suits the homeware category, but it was also important to us as a response to constant consumerism and selling cycles. New pieces will be released as they come into fruition. We are learning a lot about different materials, and craft, and hope to weave these into some new pieces in due course.

Current favourite SUTRAM bed linen combination?

R: Canvas with Sulphur. Ochre Red and Half Blue. Ochre Red and Canvas.

K: Maize, Sulphur and Half Blue. Lilac and Ochre Red.

When it comes to choosing the colours in your collection - what inspires you and how do you decide which colour ways to include?

Our palette is based on a primacy colour foundation with other colours. Once decided, we ensured they reflected our intention of being strong-on-their-own but also having the ability to be interchangeable and mixed together.

What are your non-negotiables for skin and body care?

R: Quite minimal, lots of hydrating, with some actives. I could do with more. Niacinamide, a double cleanse at night, sunscreen every day.

K: SPF always, best paired with a hat. Vitamin C during the day and Retinol at night. Proper deep cleansing each night and regular (gentle) exfoliation.

What activity do you do which makes you feel most like yourself?

R: Traveling. Leaving the city. Live music.

K: Dancing. Ocean swims. Singing in the car with my daughters.

In the last five years, what new belief, approach or habit has most improved your life?

R: Reframing my mindset. Reading on Stoicism helped with that. Knowing that while you can’t control what happens, you do have ownership of your response. Being grateful for the obstacles. They all happen for a reason.

K: Taking on perfectionism. Bringing SUTRAM to fruition has been a real practice in that letting-go, definitely aided by the partnership with Rukaiya. Our friendship is longstanding, the trust is there - so the dialogue allows us to problem solve quite seamlessly and get on to executing. Ultimately that translates to confidence, so I’m also glad to now be modeling more of this for my daughters.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do to re-centre?

R: A brain dump! I put pen to paper and get out what is on my mind. That usually creates my to do list, or where the friction points I need to address are. Take a walk, have a swim, sauna, or a conversation with friends or family. I also find getting back to basics coming back to tactile tasks like cooking, reading, or organising are good for centering.

K: A big glass of water. Closely followed by a list. Exercise helps when there is time of course but working through my biggest ‘frog’ tasks for the day is often just as good for finding peace of mind.

Current FENN/ skincare favourites….

K - Chloe Zara Hair Crème for helping me to feign some form of polish without the need for styling tools (hopeless in that department). LESSE facial sculpting tool. Maryse Balm in ‘Dew’ for glow.

R - Maryse, Activist Manuka, ORRIS, and Medik8.

Fenn Store

Friends and Founders, Kate Fowler & Rukaiya Daud

Listening to….

R - The Radiooo app. My favourite app for getting me out of the algorithm and transported into a different time and place.

K - A lot of Amma Piano, a genre of dance music from South Africa where my boyfriend Davie is from. 7am podcast.


R - An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Alder.

K - Swimming Home, by Deborah Levy


K - We’re on the doco channel a lot lately as we’re trying to steer away from the series binges! ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ was such a visual and moving look into the life and work of photographer Nan Goldin, and her activism against the Sackler family.

R -  I am rewatching the Sopranos. I have also found myself watching Animal Planet and Anthony Bourdain on YouTube.

Sleeping in…(pj wise of course haha)

K - My boyfriend’s t-shirts generally. Or Maison Essentiel when feeling slinkier.

R - Boy boxers and a singlet. I have a few robes on rotation, and pick one depending on the temperature and mood.