U.K.-based apparel brand Story mfg., who focuses on ethics, sustainability and style has found itself at the forefront of a new conscious crowd in London.
Founded by Bobbin and Katy Katazome in 2013, the brand has grown into a brick & mortar studio in East London and a brand stocked everywhere from Tokyo to Los Angeles. The couple founded the brand for a standard reason: “We found ourselves bored and annoyed that the kind of clothes we wanted didn’t exist,” said Bobbin. “We knew the fabrics we wanted were out there but were unused because of being too slow to fit the traditional seasons of the fashion industry.”
The brand’s shapes and silhouettes are heavily influenced by workwear. “Utilitarian, clean details really work for us and give our fabric, which could otherwise look a bit too home-spun or crusty, a new context,” said. Bobbin. “Our styling is probably a bit more contemporary and streetwear/outdoorsy, so we’re definitely not a vintage retro brand.”
Story mfg. is most known for its use of natural dyes and sustainable fabrics. “For us, Story mfg. is a unisex brand with a positive vibe and a strong focus on sustainability through craft and emerging tech. We see the brand as the clothing people wear in a sort of idealized universe of good food, positive vibes, hikes and tasty colors,” said Bobbin.
For Story mfg., materials, dyes and processes are important parts of what it does. Two big components of that are the use of natural dyes and the use of hand-spun fabric. Speaking about the brand’s focus on natural dyes, Bobbin said “Natural dyes mean a lot to us because, in a sense, they encapsulate our vision. They’re a nod to the past, when all the fabrics were dyed naturally, but they also represent a positive future where we can utilize emerging tech to work with nature. Similarly, the fabrics used are a big part of the brand, hand-spun and hand-woven fabric is a real craft of passion now because it takes a lifetime to master and is generally locked away in shrinking rural communities. By funding resurgence, we can do our bit to help keep the families in business and the traditions alive and maybe even discover a new way to work in the future.”
Story mfg. has opened a new studio in London that features a retail space allowing people to look at current and upcoming collections. The main use of the space is to pass on the brand’s techniques. “It’s main function is to be a place to teach people natural dyeing through their sister-company, Hand Job Dye House. The recently opened bricks and mortar space, which also operates a renewal service for worn out clothes, is not the only physical space that Story mfg. is planning. In the future, the brand has plans to open a cafe as well as continuing its growth and experimentation with other nature-led technologies.
Photos courtesy Story mfg.
Editors note: Quotes from Hypebeast