Christopher Raeburn has always placed sustainability at the heart of his fashion collections – long before it became fashionable to do so – and now that the message has gone mainstream he’s upped the ante once more with an accomplished 10th anniversary collection presented at London Fashion Week Men’s today.
The British designer, who was also recently appointed as global creative director at Timberland, stuck with his signature look – a sort of mix between ultra-modern mountain climber and urban military action hero – but offered plenty of new narrative around the materials and a sleek silhouette, meaning it all felt fresh.
Raeburn loves to reuse and reimagine utilitarian items and here we had typhoon suits reconstructed via the Raeburn Cut n Shut patchwork technique to create a parka with matching trouser and German safety jackets remodelled into a parka and bomber jacket.
Transit blankets were made into field jackets and a parka for women, while parachutes were expertly employed to create culottes, shirts, t-shirts and an anorak. One see-through puffer was created using deadstock parachutes stuffed with off-cuts.
Another strand of the Raeburn ethos is recycling and the now obligatory recycled PET bottles were put to good use, along with organic cotton (which played into Raeburn’s “reduced” mantra).
Raeburn always takes things so much further than many other designers who trade on the sustainability card, and even his labelling has not been forgotten. The amount of labelling used in his collections has been “significantly” reduced and with long-term partners Avery Dennison RBIS, he has also created branded velcro patches.
The Avery Dennison RBIS partnership wasn’t the only one to be showcased. We were treated to the first look as his debut Range Rover eyewear collection and, of course, Timberland was referenced strongly with remakes of the iconic Timberland wind-breaker in Raeburn fabrics, with bags, accessories and footwear for men and women made from recycled PET and organic cotton.
Raeburn said the inspiration for the collection, named simply TEN, was the world’s most trafficked mammal, the pangolin, whose scales allow it to roll into a defensive postures and which clearly provided the influence for the high-neck puffy pieces from which only the tops of the models heads were visible.
The designer donates the proceeds of his off-cut animal making workshops to the WWF to help protect this and other endangered species.
“As our activities and team at RAEBURN grow we put into writing our obligation to make good choices, to do the right thing, and to continue to challenge and disrupt. We’ll be thinking twice as a business before acting and we ask our community to do the same; even small steps will help and it’s important we all work together,” Raeburn said in his show notes.
It’s hard not to be inspired by Raeburn, he is the real deal and in this post-Blue Planet Two era, he has never felt more relevant.