abacaxi: An Ethical Brand Full Of Vibrant Color, Art and Travel Diaries

Fashionista writer, Whitney Bauck, wrote a stellar piece asking the question “Why Does So Much Sustainable Fashion Look The Same”? Although neutral colors and earth tones dominate the ethical fashion space, we are always trying to illuminate women of color who often bring elements of art, culture and vibrancy to conscious collections.

We had the honor of chatting with Sheena Sood, founder of abacaxi (pronounced uh-bah-ka-shee). This brand was created with the philosophy that wearing beautiful, handcrafted pieces that are imbued with history lead to a happier and more inspired human. 

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Sheena started her brand in 2013 after working full time with another job as a designer. She left and went to India for a couple of months (where her parents lived at the time), and she really took a break to explore and figure out what inspired her.

I was in India and collecting all of these beautiful textiles and embroideries - when I came back, I had all of this fabric and ideas - and my collection started there.
— Sheena Sood

Her first capsule collection was inspired by her trip to Rajasthan, India and infused vintage embroidered textiles with bold and playful colors.


abacaxi is a proud independent ethical designer who works on limited edition small quantity pieces all made in NYC! Focused on small production, all of her pieces are made by hand she minimizes waste by using all of her excess fabric.

For example, with her latest collection - Shibori Collection- each fabric is dyed by hand and excess fabric is used to make pouches which carries each set of overalls.


Sheena works to source textiles from artisans whenever possible. She loves using traditional textiles from all over the world in very wearable and modern ways. Although she is not 100% sustainable and still uses chemical dyes, she aspires to use all natural dyes in the near future.

Color for me is huge - across all of my work. I started as an artist and I have always been driven by color and my love for textiles that I had throughout my life. I grew up in Minnesota, but I grew up traveling to India with my parents and visiting family. I was very inspired by those trips … seeing the way women dressed, seeing all of the colors and going saree shopping with my aunt was very inspirational. Even now - my collection is inspired by traditional textiles and also the traditional shapes and drapes that can be worn in a modern way.
— Sheena Sood

Her current Tie Dye collection was inspired from an artist residency in which she started working on Shibori techniques while silk screen printing on top.

The residency was amazing because I had access to a loom and silk screen studio. I was exploring different concepts of the rotations of the moon and the way that sunlight changes.
— Sheena Sood

We love that all of abacaxi’s capsule collections are inspired by travel and just life in general. She designs for herself and her community in mind. Keeping consistent with a unique urban-island aesthetic, each collection has it’s own beautiful language.


We also love how transparent Sheena is about openly sharing that she is a Woman of Color.

The brand is very much me and I embody what the brand is. It makes sense for people to know who I am and know that I’m a woman of color and I think that a lot of people do look to support WOC businesses so I think people should know - there’s no secret.
— Sheen Sood