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Kits & Gifts
For those who don’t know, Sugru HQ is nestled in a part of East London known as much for its Maker credentials today than its slightly more underworld dealings of yesterday (the Kray Twins and Jack the Ripper).
One of the perks of being neighbourly is that we get to knock on some pretty interesting doors. Recently we called in at Christopher Raeburn’s, the man behind the eponymous clothing brand known for intelligent and responsible fashion.
As well as fixing fashion, RÆBURN does so much cool stuff that it’s probably easier to outline 6 reasons why we’re massively into the stuff they do and produce. So here goes...
This is where the team pioneers the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments to create distinctive and functional pieces. Christopher began using recycled materials when he started university, simply because it was a more resourceful way of working.
We love their ongoing fascination with military stock such as old parachutes and kites. This originated from Christopher’s upbringing in the great outdoors, where creativity and remaking were an integral part. He developed a fascination for military clothing and original functional fabrics from an early age, so finding authentic items and turning them into something new is still what drives him today.
As a business, they do not refer to themselves as sustainable, but rather they approach their work with responsibility. So, what is responsible fashion? They see the responsible design of their product as critical, but it’s not the only focus. The team regularly engage with local schools and universities, hoping to inspire others down the socially responsible fashion path. They don’t claim to be perfect but put the time into working on some genuinely great initiatives (see below).
As well as doing some great work for local charities, the team regularly donate to the World Wide Fund for Nature through their seasonal Off-Cut Animal Workshops. This is where people get invited to use RÆBURN’s fabric waste to create their own animal mascots. It's brilliant for skill-sharing, raising awareness, and of course, funds. Since 2017, they've saved over 42kg of fabric waste from workshop sessions alone.
It’s Ræburn’s belief that anything less than radical change to the way we produce and consume is simply not an option. Clearly, the current system is the cause of huge social and environmental problems. But they also believe that consumers and businesses are beginning waking up to their responsibilities, forcing the fashion industry to make some major changes.
- on all of their garments and accessories. Woohoo!
It’s heartening to know that Sugru’s love for RÆBURN is not unrequited. In the past few months alone, the design team has been putting Sugru to good use around the office - most notably to fix and improve some of their tools. Here’s just one application that Sugru co-founder, James Carrigan, helped with.
RÆBURN’s head seamstress, Zory, had been working away with an extra light attached to her sewing machine using masking tape - not ideal. Enter James with some Sugru, a magnet and a 1p coin. After sticking the Sugru to the side of the lamp and a 1p to the side of the sewing machine, James waited 24 hours for it to set. Satisfyingly the lamp snapped into place the next day, and there was light. And fun.