We are a UK based line of clothing that we hope you will enjoy wearing.
We've partnered with Krishna so she can begin her entrepreneurship dream.
She sorts our supplier logistics to support her family in Thiruvananthapuram, India.
We also work with Suresh, and, his team of 22 women that we know by name.
They make all our products by hand, are rewarded for that, and they love their job.
And for more on the principles behind our business - check out our blog.
Our fabric comes from the only Indian mill reporting on sustainability.
If details are your thing:
It's ISO9001, ISO4001, SA8000, OHSAS18001, GOTS, BCI and SAI accredited.
All our corduroy suits are made from organic cotton.
The denim jackets have a recycled polyester base fibre.
And they're all dyed using pure vegetable indigo.
What Are We Trying To Do:
We seek to ensure our clothes have no impact on the environment.
Call it "passive clothing."
And whilst we are supporting a local Indian female empowering family business,
We understand the need to support local suppliers here in the UK.
To atone for this - we carbon offset all our deliveries through 'Atmosfair.'
Yes, many schemes have their drawbacks (see our blog highlighting George Monbiot),
But we're supporting farmers in Rajasthan, India, to turn crop residues into electricity.
We are a platform for stuff we like, and think you might like.
And if you're still reading this, then we reckon we'll be friends.
What is our creative proposition?:
Brands and clothing specifically need to have a heritage, a unique take on things that the consumer buys into. Take Palace for example, your not buying a t-shirt with a logo. The item represents that group of individuals who associate themselves with skateboarding from that area. Therefore they are a commune of likeminded individuals, and the t-shirts they wear represent this likemindedness based around skateboarding in South London. What makes Palace distinctive is the originality of their proposition, whilst there are many skateboarding brands (eg. Vans) Palace are representing South London skateboarding, they represent a niche crowd and have given a platform for people who are part of that community. Football teams could be seen in the same way - a brand that represents a specific area and specific people creates this loyalty.
Therefore Picquart needs to consider its heritage, why its original and why we have a niche offering. Firstly we should look at what we are. We are unisex french worker suits. What does this represent?
French worker jackets and suits were the classic chore jacket worn by French factory workers in the late 1800s - the name for them translates into ‘working blues’. Therefore part of Picquart’s proposition represents the industrialised environments in which this style of clothing was originally used. Therefore part of the way we showcase our clothing should be within these industrialised urban environments - it doesn’t necessarily need to be old industry but it needs to have hints of brutalism.
The suit in itself creates this niche offering as it is distinctive on the high street. Essentially we want to create an ‘army’, where when people see the suits they think ‘Picquart’ - they become synonymous. Whilst french worker suits are what Picquart is, Picquart’s aim is to represent the green movement in fashion.
This is the other part our proposition, our commitment to sustainability and greening peoples lifestyles. How does this manifest itself? - To incorporate both this brutal urban environment and this green commitment can be done through urban areas which are being reclaimed by nature. This sense of natural environments reclaiming what is theres toes the line between the two. The theme of the brand should therefore be about this balance of ecology on the one hand and urban environments on the other hand.
I believe the next big thing is going to be conscious fashion - riding the surging wave of the conscious consumer. By conscious fashion I mean fashion that is produced ethically and fairly using sustainable materials. I understand a big thing to be a transformation in consumer behaviour that results in ulterior spending patterns. This can arise from a new product like an iPhone. But behaviour can also be a response to politics and the news, for example after Trump’s election sales of toilet paper went through the roof.
More importantly, to this enquiry, Trump’s anti-climate change rhetoric has had a reverberating impact on business and consumers around the world. It has spurred on the conscious consumer, people feel the need to address our climatic issues if the worlds largest economy will not. It has forced the hand of many brands across the world to adopt a more conscious approach resulting in a more conscious consumer. Brands like H & M and Levi’s are beginning to facilitate this change with their conscious lines. Trump has shown that values are important, as a result of this I believe the next big thing is to be the rise of conscious fashion resulting from the increase in the conscious consumer.
The conscious consumer trend has already permeated other industries. Most notably there has been the rise of Tesla in the automotive industry. People are more conscious about the effect their fuel consumption has on the surrounding environment. In the food and fresh produce industry the backlash against meat has been met with increases in people shopping for organic and fair-trade produce. Within the fresh produce sector consumers are concerned about transparency in the supply chain. Due to our relationship with technology consumers are always ‘on’. Digital tools are increasing our knowledge about ourselves and the world, helping to realise the possibility of truly conscious consumption. Experts like Dara O’Rourke believe transparency in the food supply chain will be followed by fashion. It is already beginning to happen in light of the Rana Plaza incident and the #whomademyclothes campaign. Experts like O’Rourke believe that fashion will be the next hurdle of consumption to fall to conscious consumption. This demand has been met by increased supply of high quality sustainably made clothing which in turn has driven down the price, a major barrier to the usual consumer. The fall in price has resulted in the consumer base expanding for sustainably made clothing.
Brief up to date history:
Slow fashion movement – green, eco and ethical – emerged in 1960s. – seek to empower workers in supply chain
Negatively received – then anti-fur campaigns 1980s/90s, ethical clothing interest 1990s
Ethical = fair working conditions, organic + env friendly materials and traceability.
Sustainable fashion considers social, natural and economic price paid in fashion production.
Low consumer awareness of the movement.
Not just making sure the product is green but ensuring ethical practices are put in place following the Rana Plaze incident in Bangladesh where 1,100 died.
Chinese market set to skyrocket, due to increasing middle class growth 28% upper-middle and upper class households, of worlds households 2015-2025 will be Chinese, indicates consumption, this is coupled with their growing green conscious movement.
Alibaba and Shangpin making fashion more accessible – growth of mobile, increase in access where before they had to travel abroad.
Research shows that scientific information about labour, environmental conditions and apparel supply chains have little impact. However peer influence has incredibly powerful influences on consumers. Understanding social norms and social influence are critical for really transforming consumer awareness and behaviour change. Social norms are how people think of themselves, what they aspire to be like, and how they expect others to act. Social influence is people affecting people, how others affect the individual. How people will follow others if they think it is ‘cool’. Therefore an understanding of consumer behaviour is essential when trying to understand how to market sustainability.
Quality is therefore the main influencer of choice regardless of whether a product or service is ethical.
Consumers are now ‘always on’ – better informed (transparency), better connected, more demanding and more conscious of values and authenticity. Internet means shopping more broadly, therefore able to access lesser known brands who target their advertising. Digital tools are therefore increasing our knowledge about ourselves and the world, helping to realise the possibility of truly conscious consumption.
Behavioural change has been driven by availability of information and accessibility of brands, desire for personalisation and connection with deep-rooted values (overwhelming choice means consumers can choose products with aligning values) Brands need to rethink future of the store and focus on customer experience redesign.
Opening up of the market segments due to consumer demands and technology means niche businesses are able to pride themselves on a ‘single-best-selling product’. Specialising in fashion. Emerging brands like Olivia von Halle and Cambridge Satchel Company.
Sustainability trend relies on consumers buying less than they would but investing in the quality, one trend that is cropping up is that consumers are reverting to the notion that clothes should be an investment.
Elderly and Retired & Millennial consumer group growth. The key to exploit the growth of both of these groups is to create an ageless approach. This calls for more fluid design that isn’t for any particular age group
Milennial growth – income grow to more than 30% of Gen X + 7.5 x Baby Boomers. The drivers of millennial choice is due to value, quality and image. Different segment have different emphasis on each (e.g Image = Supreme).
Common theme amongst millennia’s is that they are global citizens living in borderless environments with converging education and culture, values driven in search for meaning and connection to brands. 44% of millennials in the 17-26 age range would like to see more eco-friendly fabrics in clothes, compared to 34% Gen X + 30% of baby boomers. (Alice Goody, analyst for Mintel). How the millennial are influenced is also very important. The prevalence of the young on social media means the role of influencers are very important in distilling the importance of sustainability to the young. Social media is very important for movements to gain momentum like Twitter’s #whomademyclothes hashtag which was retweeted 64 million times last year becoming one of the most popular campaigns
Wellness movement – holistic sense of a persona and appeals to mental, physical, spiritual, emotional and environmental attributes. Need to connect to the whole person, this is done by addressing each entity, how can a brand interact with each entity? Part of the wellness movement is eating healthy – this includes knowing where your food is from and it being labelled as organic etc. There are calls for the same labelling to be put on clothing so you know about what you are wearing. Signs of a new younger generation of socially/environmentally conscious consumers. This can be represented in their political views – worldwide percentage of people worldwide who have taken a leftist stance. These views will filter down into millenials becoming more socially and environmentally conscious individuals.
Adidas ‘speed factory’ and Nike distribution centre in Belgium designed around a sustainable supply chain. Sustainability highlighted as a clear market trend. Wealth of brands are offering it, with sustainable fashion being seen as a desirable option – with Emma Watson’s eco-friendly fashion style to Patagonia’s dedication to ensuring a small as possible environmental footprint. Sustainable innovation the biggest trend in industry (Eva Kruse, CEO Global Fashion Agenda), this is a business development, cheaper for brands – aim to use less water, less resources + improve living conditions.
Fashion is following the footsteps of food in the sense that people are wanting to know where it is coming from. Customers want to understand what they are eating but also where it is coming from and how it was produced. Transparency within the supply chain is something that the fashion industry is slowly catching on to.
‘Only way that the industry can change on an international level is by being transparent + admitting the challenges’
Woke Models – activism as the latest fashion trend:
Barriers to sustainable fashion:
Transparency in globalised supply chain isn’t feasible – understanding where every item on a piece of clothing comes from and how it is made, down to the buttons or zipper.
Availability + production of cheap garments affects consumer behaviour even if they want to purchase ethically – lack of knowledge + awareness.
Addiction to fast fashion having grown accustomed to its low prices
Greenwashing – corporations presenting themselves as env conscious however knowingly aren’t – this creates mistrust amongst the consumer. (Therefore big brands aren’t trusted to when they speak of themselves as sustainable, more small company phenonmenon).
Question of why be sustainable? – Consumers have access to different resources – material, human, financial – personal values and beliefs over ow we can be ‘eco’ – Also the issue with the word sustainability because it’s a blanket term for positivity, need to understand that sustainability is more about the process of achieving the end-goal – the perceived difficulty for the consumer of firstly finding sustainable items but then paying more for the item deters many shoppers – Shopper mentality is busy, stressed, craving time for ourselves, we resist change as we love our comfort zone, sustainability comes across as a big commitment, an effort or even a burden. Shoppers need to understand that there is a spectrum and they don’t need to be completely ‘eco’.
Shoppers are beginning to care because they understand sustainability as a necessity that is needed for a resource heavy industry.
The scale and variety of issues we are facing means individuals feel powerless and this reduces their belief that their own behaviour can make a meaningful difference.
- Industry notorious for being resource-heavy, using water usage, textile waste.
Innovative Schemes combating industry issues:
Our Social Fabric – diverts textiles from landfill sites making them available to creative people – how could Picquart reconfigure old clothes? H & M also collect old clothing in stores, Nike uses old trainer rubber soles for running tracks and Levi’s use old denim.
Freedom Thread Initiative – A collective of factories that use local sustainable sources/responsibly sourced based in Vancouver.
Mountain Equipment Co-op – a line of outdoor gear from recycled nylon and plastic, also look at brand Kamik– How could Picquart use old recycled nylon and plastic for a waterproof commuter jacket?
What are the underlying principles of sustainable fashion from view of micro-organisations, experts + consumers.
How is the concept of sustainable fashion related to aspects of social constructionism.
Denimite – hard bio-composite material with a blue marbled appearance – from materials recycled polyester, glass and denim
Bamboo, corn husk, soy husk and wood pulp to create to viable alternatives to cotton as well as natural dyes – cotton accounts for 16% of the global insecticide releases.
Boutique Sustainable Fashion Labels:
Industry of all Nations