W’MENSWEAR / HOW WE MAKE OUR CLOTHES.

Our first season for W’menswear has closed its order books to our new retailers around the world. We couldn’t be more chuffed with the response to our debut Fall collection, and to give you an idea of what goes on in the underbelly of the rag trade, we have already finished our designs for Spring Summer 2017.

In our world, closing the order books means the next delightful stage of the journey, the making process, and we have our denim tailor pal Ben Viapiana to get the ball rolling. The core of this project is about making good quality clothes, and that’s what Ben is all about. His workshop, a fully decked out shipping container with ex-workwear factory machines is a fully running miniature factory, and our workwear garments are made here from start to finish. The fabrics are all cut by hand, which is a little time consuming but it also means that Ben can control the amount of wastage by alining his patterns in a tessellating formation on his cutting table. Picture a giant game of Tetris.

As our friends at (re)vision society pointed out to us, a lot of unused material goes to landfill in the garment industry, thanks to a lack of responsibility and cost cutting that has untouched end rolls of fabric being thrown out rather than re-purposed. That’s why we are not interested in growing our business like light speed because we want to change how people value their things, as opposed to making wasteful, underpriced clothing that takes advantage of workers and our environment.

On a personal level, I have battled with the idea that I am producing more ‘stuff’ into the world, when we should be re-using and re-purposing our things. But at the end of the day, W’menswear is not about releasing meaningless garbage into the world, it’s about educating the womenswear consumer to buy more thoughtfully, and to support my immediate community with care. We are using all locally made, non-petrochemical derived materials (synthetic fabrics have seemed to saturated the Asian market), as well as supporting my neighbours like Cambodia and Myanmar who hide in Thailand’s manufacturing shadows. Expect some incredible banana fibre fabrics from Cambodia from us next summer, and the most technical natural fabrics from Myanmar made from lotus fibres which provide an amazing softness and warmth. I have enjoyed every bit of the adventure and the idea of continuing the journey keeps me buzzing.

– Lauren.

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