London-based ready-to-wear label Ssōne (pronounced “sewn”) was founded by Caroline Smithson in 2018, and launched in September 2019. The motivation: With 20 years of experience as a fashion designer and creative director, having worked for major fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Proenza Schouler and Peter Pilotto, she felt an understandable urge to break out of the outdated fashion system that continuously contributes to the defeat of this planet, to instead build a brand commitment to craftsmanship and a conscious process.
The first collection drop, titled “The Visible Hand”, is an ode to this undertaking, realising Smithson’s desire to create thoughtfully designed garments using rare, innovative textiles, traditional techniques and sustainable practises. Transparency is a leitmotif, and Ssōne is actively seeking to reduce their environmental impact through a number of initiatives (including: planting a tree for every order). Wanting to simplify the supply chain as much as possible, they’re working with certified factories located in close proximity within Europe to shorten distances; even using British manufacturers for their tweed, knitwear, denim and botanical dying (the latter is done in London-borough Hackney).
It comes as no surprise then, that the Ssōne design team also favores natural, organic, recycled and deadstock materials, and browsing the collection we find some great examples: A beautiful balloon-sleeve gown comes in an European-grown hemp fabric spun and woven in Italy; The utility-inspired denim pieces are all crafted from a blend of organic and recycled cotton supplied by ISKO™ – a mill certified with both the EU Ecolabel and the Nordic Swan Ecolabel – and produced in a factory in Lancashire; A metallic-embroidered blazer is made from a Newlife™ recycled polyester yarn produced from post-consumer plastic bottles collected in Northern Italy.
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