Did you know that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world? The environmental impact of global textile production costs trillions in water and oil, and billions of pounds of chemicals, which have a damaging and lasting impact. And the worst thing is that 10% - 25% (exact figures are hard/impossible to get) of all clothing made is never sold, going to landfill after visiting all the stores (including the discount retailers). Basically the fashion industry makes a lot of things that no-one wants. When starting Unmade, we wanted to do something about this. What if we made only made things that had a buyer? Selfridges selected us as one of their Bright New Things for 2016 as if all clothes were made the way we make ours, then the benefits to the world would be dramatic.
When given the chance to open a shop in Selfridges, we obviously wanted to do something different. How could we show an alternative way of doing things that still offered the same or better products? What if we made a collection of designs made with the some of the best designers in the world, but actually made them in store just for our customers. This is where the idea for our Bright New Things Collection comes from. Working with the other Bright New Things, we can make great designs that involve the customer and are made just for them. If we’re all committed to the same values, why not work towards the same goal, aka good, clean and fun fashion?
Today we're proud to announce our collection with Martina Spetlova, Mich Dulce, Hiut Denim, Katie Jones and Auria, our Fellow Bright New Things. Also first 10 orders of Katie Jones' designs come with one of her handmade patches for free so you can patch your clothes at home!
Shop the Collection or read below for more on the designs we created together.
While leather isn’t what we usually associate with sustainability, Martina Spetlova’s leather is responsibly sourced with the help of the ECCO leather tannery, one of the world’s most environmentally conscious tanneries, which has strict water and fuel policies to avoid polluting the local environment. Her signature multicoloured leather weave instantly grabbed our eyes and so we worked together to translate this into a knitting pattern which you can modify to make your own ideal sweater.
Mich Dulce, on top of being a super creative milliner that uses sustainable materials sourced in her native Philippines, sings in a couple of bands. How does wearing that many hats and being musical translate into knitwear, you ask? Well, Mich Dulce took some sexy Toile de Jouy-inspired patterns she had created for a wallpaper she designed for an exhibition subverting gender roles that knits out super well as a great scarf or sweater.
Hiut Denim, known for doing one thing (denim) well, have created the perfect complement to their impeccable jeans: a merino wool sweater. The design we made together comes from where Hiut make their jeans. Started by David and Clare Hieatt, their mission is to bring back to life the ailing textile industry in their native Wales, creating high quality jeans made where they've always been made : in Cardigan in west Wales. The pattern for our design was inspired by traditional Welsh blankets and incorporates the Hiut logo (an owl similar to the ones that come back to the farm to breed each year) and our UMd X - See if you can spot them! Oh and all Hiut jeans come with a No Wash Club clause (if you dare). To achieve the perfect fit, you’re not meant to wash your jeans for six months, saving water on the way. Whilst we think you should wash your sweater when required - often hanging it in the bathroom when you're having a shower can relax and refresh the natural fibres and cleans the sweaters without using all the water for a full wash!
Sometimes sustainability comes in the form of upcycling, and that’s where Katie Jones started: in order to reduce waste when creating her pieces, all of her materials come from surplus stock, meaning each of her leather and crochet pieces is completely unique. Her design with UMd mimics the patches she usually adorns jeans with: stars, flowers and hearts which you can place yourself to make the perfect UMd Katie Jones piece!
With a tongue-in-cheek reference to the way us Brits love to talk about the weather, Auria’s designs take inspiration from the familiar weather forecast maps, while raising awareness of global warming. Instead of just talking about it, they put their thinking into practice. All of contemporary swimwear pieces are made out from recycled nylon, made from former fishing nets. As well as looking great in the pool - you can now look great on the way home with our range of sweaters and scarves.
Shop the collection here and below.