We’d like to think of this as a holistic fashion brand, as they simply seem to have thought of everything. STORY mfg. makes what they themselves call “positive products” that do not only do no harm, but aim to benefit people and planet. All garments are made for longevity – based on the idea that buying less is the most sustainable way to live – and when the clothes are ultimately discarded, they can even biodegrade and enrich the soil. A holistic approach to fashion is also making use of what you’ve already got, which this brand shows great example of when using their own cotton waste and offcuts to make paper hang tags for their clothes.
London-based designer couple Katy Katazome and Saeed Al-Rubeyi (also known as Bobbin Threadbare), founded unisex denim brand STORY mfg. in early 2014. Working in a slow, non-chemical processes means they put huge focus on natural dyes, and you might even call the hand-dyeing procedure their trademark. Mainly using eco-friendly plant-based pigments – with the only exception for deadstock or recycled fabrics – this creates a byproduct that is actually a nutrient, rich fertilizer (which can definitively not be said for toxic waste coming out of conventional dyeing). In their Stories feature on the site, they share inside info about the processes, which is equally inspiring and educating.
While always opting for slow, STORY mfg. is at the same time investing in the development of new technologies that will allow them to scale up – this being one of the key issues for young sustainable businesses today. But as natural processes take time (in order to create a dark indigo fabric, you have to dip, dry and dip up to 16 times over the course of several days), they’ve found that the only way of doing so is by “scaling out”, which for one means involving more people in the process instead of cutting corners with chemicals or unethical labour. It’s as simple as this: you can’t rush sustainability. Or perfection.
Brand to Watch is our regular dispatch of standout labels merging ethics with aesthetics.
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