BRAND BUILDING

The Creative Director of Your Samples Collective, Daniel Peters, shares some of the trials and tribulations that come with launching a new menswear brand.

I’ve always been a pretty conscious consumer when it comes to the where and how the products that I purchase have come to be, and I think that I inherently embedded this thought process into Your Samples Collective when setting the brand up, but somewhere along the line the sustainable message was lost amongst a sea of other ideas that I considered more crucial to be able to launch.

Sustainability is surely the buzz word of the past 12-18 months in the fashion and clothing industry, and no brand should or can escape the mounting pressures of the consumer to do better by our planet, and limit the many hazardous ways that are being adopted to produce clothing, footwear and accessories.

It is widely recognised that the fashion industry is one of the biggest pollutants of our fragile planet, producing an eye watering 10% of all carbon emissions, and is sickeningly the second biggest leech of our world's water supply. You’d think that upon reading such bold statements such as these that the industry's fast fashion culprits would find better ways to produce their often landfill destined collections.

But let’s be honest here, we can’t simply blame fast fashion businesses for being the only contributor. As consumers our shopping habits need to change, mainly how we look at and value our clothing, including the efforts that go into manufacturing.

We now live in such a throwaway culture when it comes to our clothes, and we are annually committing 21 billion tonnes of our purchases to landfill, a number which is guaranteed to continue to rise.

There are however some new kids on the block who have launched with sustainability and conscious manufacturing at the forefront of what they do, and I can’t commend them enough for starting with integrity front of mind and practice.

The likes of luxury womenswear brand Marfa Stance, and footwear brands All Birds and Good News Footwear have been employing different strategies into the frameworks of what they do, from recycled materials, better production methods that use less water, or even just creating limited runs of product from end of roll fabrics.

Although simple, these efforts go a long way towards rectifying some of the wrongs that other brands are committing. It’s great to see an incredible amount of young brands implementing a transparent brand model as soon as they are out of the starting blocks, and I wish that I had made this a stronger priority for what we do here.

In fairness, our packaging is all made from recycled paper or card - brownie points for that - and we only make small or limited runs of our product to minimise on wastage - gold star for me - but this is the tip of the iceberg, and doesn’t really do enough when it comes to enforcing a contribution that lives beyond a manifesto online.

So, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and are making changes to the YSC brand for the better. That is to say that we are going to practice what we preach and employ a revised business model that will give simple but clear transparency about what we do, and how we go about doing it. 

We’re calling it “conscious manufacturing” and whilst it might sound Goop like, Gwyneth has nothing to do with us becoming a better more consciously minded business.

Our products won’t make you a better person because you bought them, but they will however help you on your journey of buying more consciously.