REGENERATIVE:

/rɪˈdʒɛn(ə)rətɪv/

ADJECTIVE

TENDING TO OR CHARACTERISED BY RENEWAL, RESTORATION, AND GROWTH THAT CAUSES DYNAMIC ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE.

 

AS AN ASPIRING, FULLY-ACCREDITED B-CORPORATION, OUR BUSINESS AIMS TO MANAGE THE BALANCE OF PROFIT WITH PEOPLE AND THE PLANET AND TO CREATE FASHION THAT PEOPLE CAN ENJOY WITH THEIR EYES OPEN.

 

WE AIM TO IMBUE EACH PIECE WITH A PLAYFUL, INTUITIVE ELEGANCE THAT TRANSCENDS SEASONS AND ARE IN THE PROCESS OF DESIGNING OUR FIRST COLLECTION USING REGENERATIVE WOOL, SILK AND COTTON, DUE TO LAUNCH IN AUTUMN 2021. 

“A NEW TYPE OF FASHION BRAND FOR THE LOCALLY-MINDED AND GLOBALLY-CONSCIOUS.”

REGENERATIVE
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REGENERATIVE

THE STORY OF OUR BRAND IS REALLY ALL ABOUT FRIENDSHIP, PIZZA AND ‘DYNAMIC SYMBIOSIS’… 

ONE EVENING IN EARLY 2019, WE FOUND OURSELVES ON THE TOPIC OF SUSTAINABLE LUXURY. OVER OUR FAVOURITE PIZZA WE DISCUSSED THE BIG QUESTION ON BOTH OUR MINDS – WHAT PROCUREMENT PRACTICES IN THE CURRENT FASHION INDUSTRY, WERE TRULY WORTH ‘SUSTAINING’? 

‘NOT MUCH!’ WAS THE RESOUNDING ANSWER FROM BOTH OUR PERSPECTIVES.

WE AGREED THAT CONVENTIONAL LUXURY PRODUCTION THAT INCREASED ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION DIDN’T FEEL LUXURIOUS AT ALL.

AS PART OF HER RESEARCH FOR A MASTER’S IN SUSTAINABLE VALUE CHAINS, ELIZABETH ASKED CAROLINE IF SHE’D BE INTERESTED IN BEING ONE OF HER CASE STUDIES. CAROLINE AGREED AND ELIZABETH PRESENTED HER FINDINGS BACK TO CAROLINE SEVERAL MONTHS LATER, WITH AN ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS OF HER USE OF UPCYCLED PLASTICS, AND SUGGESTIONS AROUND HOW THE BRAND COULD BECOME EVEN MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY BENEFICIAL. 

THIS LED TO CAROLINE PROPOSING THAT THEY RE-LAUNCH THE BRAND TOGETHER WITH AN EXCITING NEW VISION FOR THE FUTURE BASED ON ELIZABETH’S RESEARCH AND CAROLINE’S ‘RESOURCE-LED DESIGN APPROACH’ - WHERE DESIGN FOLLOWS THE LUXURY MATERIALS THAT ARE AVAILABLE SUSTAINABLY , NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND. 

THE SEEDS WERE SOWN FOR WHAT WOULD BECOME OUR COLLECTIVE EXPERIMENT IN CREATING CLOTHES THAT FUNCTION IN SERVICE TO LIFE ON EARTH, RATHER THAN AGAINST IT. WE BELIEVE THAT FASHION SHOULD HAVE A ‘DYNAMIC SYMBIOSIS’ WITH THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT. OTHERWISE - WE REASONED - WHAT IS THE POINT OF GETTING DRESSED?!

 
 

OUR PHILOSOPHY & APPROACH

EVEN THE MOST LAUDED ‘SUSTAINABLE’ BRANDS HAVE NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IN THE ORDER OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS WORTH OF ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE ANNUALLY. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, FASHION NEEDS TO FORGE A NEW PATH THAT SERVES TO BENEFIT PEOPLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT.

KNOWING THAT THE LARGEST AREA OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN LUXURY FASHION OCCURS IN THE FIBRE FARMING PHASE OF PRODUCTION, WE REASONED THAT EXAMINING AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES WAS A GOOD PLACE TO START WHEN SETTING UP OUR SUPPLY CHAIN. WERE THERE FARMS THAT PRODUCED FIBRE IN BETTER WAYS THAN OTHERS?

THROUGH OUR RESEARCH, WE BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND THAT CONTEMPORARY CAPITALISM’S FOCUS ON JUST ONE FORM OF VALUE (FINANCIAL) FOR JUST ONE INTEREST GROUP (SHAREHOLDERS) WAS MISSING A TRICK, NOT TO MENTION UNFASHIONABLY STUCK IN THE 20TH CENTURY. WE WANTED OUR COMPANY TO EMBODY AN EXPANDED UNDERSTANDING OF VALUE, SO WE STARTED TO ASK WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE - ALONGSIDE HEALTHY FINANCIAL RETURN - TO TRULY PRIORITISE HUMAN, SOCIAL, ECOLOGICAL, CULTURAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH. EXPLORING THE SOURCES OF LUXURY FIBRES LED US TO UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT OUR ‘ENERGY ORIGIN’ WOULD BE IN CREATING THIS NEW KIND OF BRAND.

EVERYTHING PRODUCED ON EARTH DEPENDS ON A ONE-WAY FLOW OF ENERGY FROM THE SUN AND EVERY SOURCE OF ENERGY HAS A DIFFERENT IMPACT ON FINANCIAL, HUMAN, SOCIAL, ECOLOGICAL, CULTURAL AND PHYSICAL VALUE. ‘PLASTIC CLOTHING’ FROM ANCIENT STORED ENERGY DEEP UNDER THE GROUND, FOR EXAMPLE, NOT ONLY UNDERMINES THE ENVIRONMENT BY NOT DECOMPOSING BACK INTO THE EARTH AND RELEASING PLANET-WARMING GASSES, BUT ALSO UNDERMINES REAL COMMUNITIES AND THE REGIONAL ECONOMIES THAT IT BYPASSES. THIS POINT WAS BROUGHT HOME BY SPEAKING WITH ENGLISH SHEEP FARMERS WHO EXPLAINED THAT THE ONCE FLOURISHING WOOL INDUSTRY THAT EMPLOYED PEOPLE IN RURAL ECONOMIES ACROSS BRITAIN AT ITS HEIGHT, WAS DECIMATED DUE TO FOSSIL-PRODUCED CLOTHING. WE ALL LOVE A GOOD 70S PRINT, BUT IT WAS HEART-BREAKING TO LEARN THAT THE APPETITE FOR CHEAPER, PLASTIC CLOTHING (POLYESTER, LYCRA AND SPANDEX) HAD DECIMATED BRITISH LIVELIHOODS AND COMMUNITIES OVER THE PAST 60 YEARS.

WE DECIDED THAT WE HAD TO BE A ‘FOSSIL-FREE’ BRAND IF WE WANTED TO ACHIEVE ‘DYNAMIC SYMBIOSIS’ WITH NATURE AND WE BEGAN EXAMINING SOURCES OF STORED ENERGY (FIBRES) WITH ENVIRONMENTALLY AND SOCIALLY-BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES. ENTER: REGENERATIVE WOOL, SILK AND COTTON.

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE IS A UNIQUE ALTERNATIVE TO THE CHEMICALLY INTENSE PRACTICES OF CONVENTIONAL FARMING THAT HAS LED TO LOW SOIL FERTILITY GLOBALLY. ACCORDING TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ‘AT THE CURRENT RATES OF SOIL LOSS, ONLY 60 YEARS OF HARVEST REMAIN BEFORE GLOBAL TOPSOIL IS DEPLETED.’ IN CONTRAST, REGENERATIVE FARMING PRACTICES HELP TO “DRAW DOWN” AND SEQUESTER ATMOSPHERIC CARBON, PUTTING IT BACK INTO THE GROUND AND HELPING TO MOVE THE NEEDLE TOWARDS REVERSING CLIMATE CHANGE. IT ALSO IMPROVES BIODIVERSITY, INCREASES CROP YIELDS, AND BENEFITS REGIONAL COMMUNITIES. ACCORDING TO THE RODALE INSTITUTE:

"REGENERATIVE ORGANIC AGRICULTURE IMPROVES THE RESOURCES IT USES, RATHER THAN DESTROYING OR DEPLETING THEM. IT IS A HOLISTIC SYSTEMS APPROACH TO AGRICULTURE THAT ENCOURAGES CONTINUAL ON-FARM INNOVATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING.” 

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE IS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH NATURE’S LIVING OPERATING PRINCIPLES, AND WE EVENTUALLY REALISED THAT AS WOMEN AND BUSINESS OWNERS, WE NEEDED TO TRULY LIVE BY REGENERATIVE PRINCIPLES IF WE WERE TO BE WORTH OUR SALT. WE DECIDED TO CHALLENGE OURSELVES TO MOVE BEYOND THE GOAL OF BEING ‘SUSTAINABLE’ AND ASPIRE TOWARDS BECOMING ‘REGENERATIVE’, USING THE BEST AVAILABLE TOOLS TO DO THIS, KNOWING THAT WE ARE RELIANT ON MANY OTHER EVOLVING NETWORKS ALONG THE WAY. 

IN LATE 2019 ELIZABETH AND CAROLINE REALISED THE POWER THEY HAD TO BUILD A NEW MODEL FOR LUXURY FASHION, AND SET OUT TO BUILD THEIR BRAND FROM THE GROUND UP.

ELIZABETH

KEACH 

“REGENERATIVE SOURCING IS THE GATEWAY TO TRUE SUSTAINABILITY IN FASHION”                                                                                        

RAISED IN THE IDYLLIC FORESTS OF BAINBRIDGE ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ELIZABETH DEVELOPED A DEEP REVERENCE FOR NATURE FROM EARLY ON. GREATLY INFLUENCED BY HER GRANDMOTHER’S LOVE FOR EUROPEAN COUTURE, ELIZABETH PURSUED A CAREER THAT COMBINED HER ECOLOGICAL AND AESTHETIC INTERESTS, MOVING FIRST TO PARIS, THEN LONDON TO BECOME AN ETHICAL TRADE CONSULTANT TO UK FASHION BRANDS AND EVENTUALLY WORKING FOR STELLA MCCARTNEY. PURSUING HER MASTER’S AT CAMBRIDGE (CISL), ELIZABETH’S RESEARCH FOCUSES ON REGENERATIVE FIBRE PRODUCTION AND NATURAL CAPITAL ACCOUNTING.

CAROLINE AF ROSENBORG

“DESIGNING CLOTHES THAT EMPOWER PEOPLE AND PLANET IS OUR GOAL”                                                                                              

IT BECAME EVIDENT BY THE AGE OF SIX WHEN CAROLINE FIRST STARTED MAKING HER OWN CLOTHES - THAT FASHION DESIGN WAS HER CALLING. SHE SPENT HER CHILDHOOD BETWEEN LONDON AND COPENHAGEN AND ENJOYED A MULTI-CULTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS UPBRINGING. HER SCANDINAVIAN HERITAGE AND OUTLOOK GAVE HER THE ‘BUY LESS AND WEAR IT MORE’ ATTITUDE TO CLOTHING THAT IS AT THE HEART OF HER DESIGN PHILOSOPHY. CAROLINE TRAINED IN SAVILE ROW AND SPENT SEVEN YEARS AS A SENIOR DESIGNER WITH VIVIENNE WESTWOOD. THROUGH HER TRAINING SHE DEVELOPED HER SENSE FOR SCULPTING BEYOND THE BODY AND A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF MATERIALS AND FORM.

 

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