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The making of our Jackets + Jumpsuits with Love & Squalor

August 13, 2021

In 2019 I moved my studio (the designing part) from the north side of Glasgow to my back garden. I'd been based, very happily, for several years at Grey Wolf Studios but the forthcoming arrival of a new baby that summer meant I needed to rethink my studio set up. It was during this move that I realised how much material, trims, samples, tests and general bits and pieces that I thought might one day come in useful I'd squirrelled away in the vast space that exists underneath my print table.
Our jacket sketches on the cutting table at Love & Squalor with a sample print of our very first fabric design, Wet Weather from 2011.
I did a big sale before I left Grey Wolf, but hung onto most of my printed fabric stock with a high level of sentimentality and also a 'what if...' frame of mind. It was hard for me to see it as waste or redundant, but I wasn't quite sure how it fitted into what I was doing moving forwards.
 
Laying out and cutting the pieces for Jacket #001 using sample colour tests of our Arrow print.
Fast forward a year and in a Covid-19/maternity leave landscape I found I had room in my head to think about my business more clearly believe it or not. I managed to listen to a lot of podcasts (thanks to hours sat negotiating with a breast pump due to low milk supply) about things such as waste, materials, business models, sustainability and slowly thoughts came together. 
All the cut pieces bundled and tied together for each jacket ready for sewing.
I realised that the piles of remnant cloth from previous collections weren't a burden or waste waiting to be disposed of in some way, it was an opportunity to create something unique. The culture we all live in whereby we dispose of things too readily has to change and I need to be part of the solution, not the problem...even at the micro scale my business exists at.
In 2016, I had commissioned Rebecca Coyle, now founder of Love & Squalor to sew a cape I'd designed for a project with Panel called Seine Net Queens. She was super lovely to work with and I was happy to see her journey evolve as she embarked on her own business venture a couple of years ago. Inspired by her similar love of workwear and her values of creating long lasting, timeless pieces, I approached her at the start of this year to see if we could come together and create some fun yet functional pieces out of my leftover fabrics.
The finished items folded and stacked at Love & Squalor's studio.
Again, it was a very easy process to work with Rebecca. I suggested we use  some of her existing pieces from her collection just adding a few tweaks here and there to create a series of ten jackets with the idea that each one would be unique in it's pattern offering. Thereby creating a limited edition with no one jacket the same. We also added in a couple of jumpsuits as I couldn't resist including something I love so much!
It feels great to be making again after a bit of time away, I hope you love the pieces as much as we do!
You can see and shop the results of this collaboration here.

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