photography and words by Mitchell Webb | created for Airbnb Experiences
Sustainability is something that has been punctuating a lot of conversations recently. The issues and damage caused from years of naivety and ignorance is slowly but surely becoming louder in the way it’s spoken about. With the recent airing of programs like Blue Planet II, it certainly feels like we’ve been jolted awake into realising the impact we have on the environment and on this beautiful world that we haven’t respected enough in the past. Sustainable fashion is also booming, with millennial’s becoming much more in tune with brands we buy into, valuing ethical ethos over design details. With reference to sustainable fashion, Christopher Raeburn has long been a designer that I deeply respected as a consumer, this is because I’ve always seen the design house as an ethical one, but didn’t quite realise just how sustainable it is. Christopher is an award-winning British fashion designer and established his eponymous brand 8 years ago with sustainable and intelligent fashion design for a global audience. Recently, I had the opportunity to step into his world, go behind the scenes of his studio in the heart of Hackney, East London and experience the sustainable fashion leader in-motion.
After a private tour and learning that the studio is hosted in the space that was once the Burberry factory, we were then taken to discover the archive and atelier. As Christopher spoke about the archive, it was clear how each piece had a vital place in stimulating and captivating his attention when creating his designs. The most capturing aspect I learnt was that everything produced is remade, reused or recycled. From the animal mascots made entirely from fabric scraps so there is no waste, with all proceeds going to WWF, to the discarded, unusable immersion suits he drew inspiration from for the AW18 collection. It’s acts such as those; noticing the huge amount of wasted fabric in immersions suits, items found of every arctic vessel in the world with a shelf life of just a few years producing tonnes of waste when they’re deemed no longer usable, and not only reusing the material but drawing on them as a muse to the entire collection and season mascot (most recently the squid), that make Raeburn a creative genius. The Airbnb Experience showed just how brilliant the creative minds are behind the brand. I left with a profound respect for Christopher and a renewed love for the brand, (plus my own personalised Christopher Raeburn sweatshirt).