A heavyweight in the sustainable fashion scene, Christopher Raeburn has established his eponymous brand with responsible and intelligent fashion design for a global audience. The RÆMADE ethos in particular has pioneered the reworking of surplus fabrics and garments to create distinctive and functional pieces. Alongside this, a highly collaborative spirit informs luxurious, handcrafted, and award-winning products with integrity and purpose.
Christopher won a Fashion Award in 2020, selected as one of the Honourees of the Environment category. The awards celebrate the individuals who have created positive change within the fashion industry, as chosen by 800 key members of the global fashion industry. Over the years RÆBURN has collaborated with Barbour, Rapha, Clarks, Timberland, The North Face, Fred Perry and the V&A. Just to name a few!
Doing sustainable fashion way before it became a buzzword, RÆBURN champions intelligent design with company ethos, RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED informing every piece.
For this particular project, we were asked to design and create bags using surplus peeler suits, a garment that in its RÆMADE form features a lot in RÆBURN’s AW22 collection. The bags were designed to fit a VanMoof, but with all cyclists in mind.
If you don’t know what a peeler suit is, don’t worry, we didn’t know either!
A peeler suit, a coverall garment used by civil responders and the police, is built from an exceptionally strong three layer fabric. A compact-weave outer layer is backed with a breathable membrane and a blend of kevlar. Such robust construction ensures the garment is waterproof, fire-retardant, tear, and abrasion resistant. In short, ready for almost anything.
These particular suits were never used but have reached the end of their shelf life and thus found their way into the waste stream. With a whopping amount of fabric, there is so much potential for a wealth of second lives; in this particular case, 17 bags can be made from just one suit!
Upon receiving the suit, we got to work brainstorming what we wanted this collection would look like and how we wanted the bags to function. There is an obvious aesthetic difference between our two brands: us being cute, clean, and colourful and RÆBURN taking a more tough, embellished, and moody approach. A lot of thought went into how to make the bags distinctively Wizard Works without our key design language.
We settled on a version of the Lil Presto, Voila and a new bag, a FrameMoof. By taking bags that already exist in the Wizard Works sphere we were able to lean into the more tough aesthetic, using dark colours and mesh. Through proportions and the use of RÆBURN’s oversized branded webbing, we managed to maintain a cute visual story across the three bags, while respecting the distinctive RÆBURN style.
We wanted to honour the first life of the suit, so were keen to have some of the original seams on display. We also wanted to use the material as efficiently as possible, this meant cutting every piece out by hand, the result is a truly one of a kind item as no two bags are completely the same.
Being a company that is kind to the environment is something we take very seriously, and we are actively working toward reducing our footprint. It was truly fantastic to work with a surplus material that could otherwise ended up as waste, the things we learnt through this project we will take with us into the future.
We’re really proud of the end result, we hope you like it too!