The Broken System

It all started way back when I watched a number of fashion industry exposé documentaries. The award winning True Cost, which highlights the harrowing prevalence of unethical fast fashion in the production of clothing for high street brands, particularly resonated. It showed the cold reality of the mistreatment and degrading injustice to our fellow humans, and the raw abuse of our environment – all in the name of fashion and profit.

It challenged me to ask questions about my own purchasing habits. Who made my clothes? In what conditions? Were they paid fairly? And what impact did this have on the planet?

Then in my early twenties I worked for a couple of different high street fashion retailers and got to spend time in the head offices. Alarmingly I found that my questions about ethics, transparency and sustainability were met with vague answers and awkward silences. As if they were taboo subjects. Elephants in the room.

The Catalyst

Soon after I travelled to Romania, to volunteer with a charity that works with disadvantaged Roma communities. One of the charity’s projects, Dece, was teaching locals how to hand-make knitted products, which would then be sold through established networks, ensuring a living wage, which helped feed and support the locals’ families.

I saw the difference this was making to the everyday lives of these people, creating a sustainable income – helping them out of the vicious cycle of poverty; and to flourish.

It blew my mind. I saw so clearly that this is how all clothing could and should be made: in a way that is liberating, that gives people dignity, and that benefits everyone in the process, not just the tiny few at the top.

I knew then that I had to start something new.

"It was just a side project that got out of hand. It’s been a personal journey – a fusion of my values and creativity, and my thirst for travel and being out in nature."

Mark Musgrave, Founder & Designer

Another Way

I wanted to provide an alternative to unethical fast fashion. Because the old system is broken, and slow fashion is the future.

I wanted to create an example of how clothing should be made. Clothing that is proudly made by fellow makers who are respected and paid fairly for their skills.

Clothing that is made using natural, organic and recycled ingredients; working with nature, not against. Clothing that is designed to last a long time and that can be enjoyed for many many years.

As a designer I wanted to collaborate with other skilled artists and makers to create products that are beautiful and functional. Products that are inspired by mountains, waves and forests. Products for work and play – for the commute and wilderness pursuit.

Fast fashion is a broken system and there are no quick fixes. To me, the way forward has to come from both brands and customers: from brands taking responsibility for making their products in a way that is respectful to people and our planet; and as consumers we should recognise the power of our ‘voting tokens’ (money) and aim to support responsible brands only.

It’s a slow process, but slow fashion is the only future.

And slowly, we are getting there.