Lavenham Stories - Made in Suffolk
At Lavenham we are continuously looking for ways in which to improve our making process to reduce our impact on the environment. We do this through constant research and product development and by pushing our suppliers to innovate. We also work on this through collaboration and learning from the practices of other brands, makers and designers.
PHOEBE ENGLISH STUDIO
It was so exciting for us to work with British brand Phoebe English. PHOEBE ENGLISH was founded in 2011 and has since focused on creating clothing with close attention to detail and narrative. The studio has dual roots in textile craftsmanship and reduced environmental impact: aiming to develop ways of working with design, and its surrounding systems, that better fit within the realities of our planetary boundaries.
Consisting of five pieces in total: a coat, jacket, gilet, large bag and small bag, the collection has been developed to have as minimal negative environmental impact as possible. Constructed from patchworked shelf fabric and wadded with a traceable British wool wadding, each piece has been finished with Codelite buttons.
A large part of what we wanted to with the capsule was ‘using up’, something we already do across our collection and a practice we are striving to do more of. That is using what we already have within our factory rather than buying in new or ‘virgin’ materials. Phoebe English’s initial visit to our factory saw her delve into our fabric archives and select end rolls of fabrics used in previous collections. Perfectly good quality fabrics, in the fashion industry these often go to waste as there is not enough on the roll to create a ‘bulk order’.
Traceable British Wool
Quilted in a cross and plus design developed especially for this collection, the outwear has been wadded with a fully traceable British wool wadding also new for the project. Safe to biodegrade back into the soil the wadding is an alternative to down or polyester that brings natural temperature regulating properties. Sourced from HD Wool of Yorkshire who have been in the wool trade for four generations and in recent years become innovators of wool wadding. The wool used in these garments comes from the locality around the Lavenham factory, rooting the pieces firmly in the history and traditions surrounding Lavenham village itself.
The buttons used across the capsule are made from Codelite, a protein naturally occurring in milk. This milk casein is cured and hardened into sheets or rods. The liquid (whey) is used in the cosmetics industry, so nothing goes to waste. Milk casein performs like conventional, plastic but Codelite buttons are biodegradable, sustainable and traceable, these buttons are made in the UK by Courtney & co based the Cotswolds are reviving traditional button making craft combined with new technology.
Made to Order
For this project we adopted Phoebe English’s own method of selling and making. Available in limited quantities due to the finite amount of shelf fabric available, we will be taking orders online over a four week period for delivery in mid November.
The traditional practice of making clothes to order prevents over production and reduces waste.
Get in touch here for more information or order online today.
The Creekside Discovery Centre
The campaign was shot at the Creekside Discovery Centre in Deptford, close to the Phoebe English studio.
Committed to maintaining Deptford Creek which boasts some of the most varied biodiversity in London, the Creekside Discovery Centre promote ways for everyone to become conservation heroes. The social enterprise runs a series of low tide walks, talks and learning activities aimed at schools, the local community and building professionals involved in regeneration developments. You can find out more about the Centre and its work here.
Photographer: Dougal Macarthur
Stylist: Ellie Grace Cumming at Streeters
Makeup: Crystabel Riley at Julian Watson Agency
Casting: Troy Casting at Bryant Artists
Creative Direction: Phoebe English
Research and Development: Clara Jedrecy and Micheal John Kirby