With his latest collection ‘RAEFOUND’ released at the first digital fashion week, 2020 has been the year of change and we explore the importance of change with the man himself, Christopher Raeburn. BA (Hons) Fashion Communication student, Kiya-Ellen Rose reports…
Christopher Raeburn Interview
Now more than ever, sustainability should be the main driver behind production and design within the fashion industry, as the planet is being aﬀected by its demands at an alarming rate. British Fashion Designer, Christopher Raeburn has shaped his eponymous brand to be a leading innovator in the fight for change, by oﬀering us consumers brand transparency, conscious design, and radical thought.
Released during the first-ever fully digital London Fashion Week, RAEFOUND, is a collection like no other. This capsule of garments is praised to be a radical response to the cyclical nature of fashion – opting to make nothing new in favour of celebrating the resources already available to us.
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RÆFOUND by Christopher RÆBURN⠀ ⠀ Every item is personally sourced by Christopher then quality checked in the RÆBURN Lab. Branding is applied as a badge of authenticity; an acknowledgement for the piece as a valuable resource for the future.⠀ ⠀ "What could be more radical than making nothing at all?"⠀ ⠀ Learn more and shop via the link in bio and in store. Open Friday to Sunday, 12-6pm.⠀ -⠀ #RAEBURN #RAEFOUND
Throwing out the Fashion Calendar
The non-seasonal range consists of camouflage print pants and jackets, flak vests, and accessories that oﬀers price-point accessibility, and all garments are sourced, quality checked, and badged with a Raeburn seal of approval. It is important to note this collection is curated and not designed by the brand – key pieces have been sourced from France, UK, Holland, and Austria. The sentiment of this capsule was inspired by the question, ‘What could be more radical than making nothing at all?’.
‘What could be more radical than making nothing at all?
Since launching his career after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2006, Raeburn has been a consistent force for change – creating collections out of repurposed military parachutes, dinghies, and other once redundant fabrics, fighting the good fight against waste within the industry. However, he is adamant that “there is no one size fits all approach to a more responsible industry” by questioning “materials and making; where did your clothes come from? Who made them? What will happen to them at the end of their first life? All of this is critical” and a positive start to making a beneficial change within the industry.
Fashion as an industry has a lot to answer for, it is the second biggest polluter on the planet following close behind the Oil Industry and according to figures from WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) the industry is responsible for sending £140 million worth of clothing to landfill every year.
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Today marked the unveiling of @theofficialselfridges's #ProjectEarth; a radical initiative that places sustainability at the heart of the wider business. Having worked closely with @greenpeaceuk @woodlandtrust and @wwf_uk, Selfridges have pledged to prioritise responsible materials, repairs, rental and resell, and has put firm commitments and targets into writing. Well done @theofficialselfridges on this pioneering move. Project Earth is a welcome change in an industry that is slow to evolve, and will also challenge further businesses to adapt for the better. We're proud to be a part of this future vision, with an exclusive selection of RÆBURN due to launch in the store in the coming weeks. Let's change the way we shop – more details coming soon. – #RAEBURN #ProjectEarth
“Stop Making More Stuff”
With the recent pandemic oﬀering us all the time to pause, the BoF founder Imran Amed explains that “the crisis is a catalyst that will shock the industry into change,” which is exactly what Raeburn hopes to inspire further.
“Post COVID-19 we’ll be facing a bigger environmental and inventory crisis than ever before. We need to stop making more stuﬀ” but it’s not all doom and gloom, by implementing thoughtful considerations as to where we invest our money within the industry “we have plenty of reason for hope and ambition, and it is an exciting moment for us to be a part of,” says Raeburn.
“The last months have evidenced to us all that what we do as an industry doesn’t make sense, and an increasing number of brands and individuals are taking stock, so the momentum is growing.” There are plenty of young designers that are also spearheading meaningful change. Raeburn cites Bethany Williams, Patrick Mcdowell and Matthew Needham among them.
We expect to see the RAEFOUND collection to be an ever-evolving range within the brand and regardless of the immediate success of the collection, Raeburn acknowledges that “it’s been a unique situation to test, experiment and react – taking those learnings to work towards a better future.”
Sustainability is still unknown territory for many and despite it being fashion’s go to buzzword, the industry is still crying out for change. With Boohoo recently under fire for the recent scandal of “conducting modern day slavery” forcing staﬀ to work illegally during the pandemic on wages lower than national minimum wage. It begs the question, what is truly going on within the industry?
Covid-19 has changed our everyday lives and with the shops being shut our much loved, well- known brands have experienced a dip in sales and uncertainty regarding their future, but as they begin to reopen will it be business as usual? Or will the Raeburn eﬀect take hold and inspire the industry to roll up its sleeves and embrace the change so drastically needed?
By Kiya-Ellen Rose
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