Sustainable clothing has become such an on-trend term for brands to throw around that it has become very difficult to differentiate between good intentions and marketing opportunism.
For us, it has always been part of the company’s DNA. It is just who we are and how we think. Our company car is a bicycle (Stanley does not even know how to drive).
Fundamentally, we have always tried to create work that is timeless, out of materials that are as kind to the environment as possible in low volume manufacturing manners. The reasons behind are actually quite simple. Fast fashion trends bore us, fabrics such as organic cotton or bamboo just look and feel better and we don’t like creating ideas that are so generic that they can be made by the thousands.
The thing is that you end up with work that just looks and feels differently because of it. Not to get too deep about it, but there is just a different spirit about it. Does everyone get it or understand it? No. We have become so inundated by mass-produced everything that we are unable differentiate the good, from the bad. We expect our foods to be perfect with no blemishes or imperfections. Hell, we even expect that from our humans (in particular us in fashion).
I have encountered a retailer who looked at our pieces and then showed me a mass produced item and asked if we could not make it look more like that. My response; we probably could, but we won’t. It would be like going to an artisan potter and showing him a piece from IKEA.
By the way this has nothing to do with quality, I can give you countless of anecdotes from people that have bought pieces from us years and years ago and they still are part of their wardrobe.
There are also many little things we do. Some time ago I had grown quite frustrated by the amount of cutting waste we were producing, it was just really sad to see pieces of beautiful fabrics thrown away. So we started creating patch work pieces out of them, one of kind pieces make from cuttings. Sure a bit labour intensive but they have become some of my favourites.
We will continue to experiment, like for example with upcycling, and more handmade items, largely because it is just fun and interesting to create that type of work.
Can we do more and better? Absolutely and we will continue to explore options with just only one mandate: “don’t add to the crap that’s already out there”.