In keeping with its on-going mantra, “buying better, inspiring change”, Selfridges steps forward with a storewide concept named Material World – a multipronged affair conceived to inspire responsible consumption and sustainable thinking. “Through Material World, we want to invite consumers and the industry to refashion the way we think about our clothes, and how we talk about sustainability,” said Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director.
Examining sustainable textile development – with focus on stories centering on social, local and global production – the scheme explores the darker side associated with consumption and the impact it has, while presenting solutions and ideas in an engaging way. During the course of the project, Selfridges will encourage established brands housed in-store to share their “material stories” in a bid to position provenance and production at the forefront of fashion retail.
The work of eight green-minded designers are highlighted in-store and online, celebrated for their considered ways with materials ranging from denim and leather to plastic and wool. Swedish label Deadwood, for instance, caught Selfridges’ eye due to its use of repurposed leather while Amsterdam based eyewear purveyor Dick Moby made the cut for its eco-friendly frames made from 97 percent recycled plastic. LA denim brand Tortoise, meanwhile, has developed its own Wiser Wash method, which eliminates the use of harmful chemicals while reducing water and energy consumption – yet achieving the vintage look that is so coveted by consumers today.
As part of the initiative, Selfridges has dedicated pop-up shop spaces in each of its stores (in London, Birmingham and Manchester) to Community Clothing – a manufacturer cooperative founded and run by London designer Patrick Grant (he of E. Tautz fame). Community Clothing strives to make affordable but well- made clothing for men and women, creating jobs for skilled workers in the process and ultimately restoring pride in Britain’s textile communities.
Material World launched today (January 9th) and will run until the end of March.