Christopher Raeburn is redefining ethical fashion and the impact the industry has on our planet. We throw away 300,000 tonnes of clothing every year in the UK, and with fast fashion now becoming a major cornerstone within the industry consumers have shunned the concept of remaking, reducing and recycling.
However, there are a number of brands that are tackling this issue head on. Pentatonic, who turn trash into new products, focus on the starting point by using waste first, as opposed to ensuring it is recyclable, before it becomes a part of a new circular economy.
Finisterre offer a touring tailor service who repair, reproof and revitalise garments that may have originally been thrown out. And Patagonia have set the benchmark in terms of responsibility with swap shops and free repair services being embedded into the brand.
Christopher Raeburn has championed luxury eco-clothing for almost a decade and has become synonymous for his ethics and integrity within the fashion industry. Each collection demonstrates commitment to reinvention of previous unrelated or mundane materials into remarkably functional and intelligent garments.
Remade, Reduced and Recycled are the three main philosophies of Christopher Raeburn with each item needing to incorporate at least one aspect of this trio. Even the fashion show invites have been upcycled and provide longevity, with previous examples including parachuting figurines, wooden toy aeroplanes and messages in miniature glass bottles.
Remade is about deconstructing and reworking surplus materials into new garments, each original material has a different strength and functionality. Whether they are made from parachutes, bomb disposal uniforms or life rafts Remade is a core ethos to Christopher Raeburn, with each piece being reworked in England and becoming part of a limited-edition collection.
Reduced focuses on reducing the impact that the creation of the garment has on the environment both directly and indirectly. Sourcing locally doesn’t necessary mean local to the studio in London though, the material is local to where the garment will be manufactured, minimising the transportation carbon footprint. Directly reducing the material consumption pays attention to considerate pattern cutting planning and the possibility of running smaller batches, going against the conventional industry benefits of economies of scale.
The final philosophy, Recycled, ensures the sustainable sourcing of new materials and employment of green technologies into the production process. Christopher Raeburn as a brand has never been sold on being sustainable, it’s just inherent to the brand. Recycled goes beyond ensuring that the new items can be recycled though, it concerns the up-cycling of existing materials, of which there is an abundance, into new garments helping to create a circular economy.