Selvedge Run is a trade show for men’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Our focus is upon brands with a strong affinity with craft. These brands reflect the character of heritage clothing in cuts, material and production methods and are complimented by contemporary brands that innovate with class and distinction. Our exhibiting and invited brands reject industrial mass production and, instead of following the tyranny of cheap and disposable fashion, they strive to create value and longevity. Our brands are innovators, not only in the field of clothing, but also in the worlds of gastronomy, culture and mobility. They try to find alternatives to the throw-away approach of modern consumerism.
“A silent revolution is underway”
Artisanal coffee shops are shooting up in Fukuoka, Vancouver, New York and Berlin and with them bars and pubs selling and producing unique and in-house craft beer. The most celebrated restaurants around the globe are taking pride in working only with regionally sourced ingredients. Leading lifestyle magazines such as Monocle and Hypebeast are producing titles announcing the return of craft. Multi Billion conglomerates such as Uniqlo, Adidas and Gap have to justify their production conditions in widely screened press conferences. The rise of the Street Food culture is changing our eating habits and a growing number of young and highly educated innovative creators are leaving their corporate careers behind to just ´´make things´´. In any manufacturing field, from furniture making to bicycle production, from leatherworks to shoemaking, from winemaking to denim production, a fast growing army of young entrepreneurs are joining experienced craftsman. The elite in their field, men and women who have survived the crash of manufacturing traditions and structures in so many countries in the last decades, are bringing craft back to regions where it founded and shaped traditions, cultures and habits over centuries.
What has happened?
It is a continuing trend in the world of consumables. We as Western consumers are becoming more informed and more discerning about what we put in our bodies and also, what we put on our bodies.
An awareness of ethics within our consumption can be seen making headway in many aspects of consumer choice. From the boom in popularity of organic produce to the discerning choices we make at our artisan coffee house. What we wear is a logical extension and goes hand in hand with the education and connoisseurship becoming more and more prevalent in today’s consumer society.
Recently, the garment industry has fallen more and more under scrutiny. Spurred on by the graphic examples from horrific events in Bangladesh in 2013 and tales of the greed and disregard for working conditions inherent in the mass manufacture of clothing. There is also a sense that people are simply tired of disposable products and look for items with more substance, more permanence.
The media and exhibitions are taking note and supporting this notion that fast fashion is not the way ahead. In Hamburg a newly opened exhibition, the first of its kind in Germany, entitled Fast Fashion, depicts the true cost of an industry capable of producing jeans for 10 Euros and t-shirts for less than a cup of coffee. It is told with critical and uncomfortable accuracy and reveals the true cost of these items; the dark side of fashion is truthfully highlighted.
In print, the latest issue of Monocle concentrates on the world of fashion. The emphasis is on craft and traditional industries with an eye on what the next season will see the majority wearing. All the time with a sense that, although fashionable, the cheap and disposable has no place.
It would be fair to say that we can trace this desire for something more permanent to the financial crisis. When the economical upswing that had been the majority of the naughties came to a crashing end in 2008, the world had to tighten its proverbial belt. The disposable income that was frittered away on throwaway products became suddenly not so disposable. The products we spent our income on had to follow suit.
In a strange irony we started paying more for things when we had less to spend on them. People began to see the cheap and disposable attitude towards consumerism as a direct association of their current circumstance. They looked for more permanence, items they could rely on and items that would last. We found solace in the past and looked back with nostalgia to bygone times. We perceived the good being created as higher quality, not only in manufacture but also in ethics. We sought these products and found them in heritage brands.
These brands had survived wars, depressions, changes in fashion and cultural shifts that had seen many of their peers be consigned to the annals of history. They survived because they had stayed true to what they made and made it without compromise. In the midst of such uncertain times garments and products that represent this became an attractive prospect for people. Yes, they may cost more but people were willing to pay this for the assurance of permanence.
This attitude allowed a new generation of makers, artisans, and craftsmen to come to the fore. They could survive and flourish due to this new understanding of the importance of quality over quantity.
When we set out to create the Selvedge Run we wanted to create a home for brands who understood this intrinsically. We recognized that the core of the brands we wore and the brands we loved went beyond a certain aesthetic or a sense of nostalgia. The heart of the Selvedge Run was craft.
We seek out these brands with craft, brands with a narrative, ethics, brands with longevity designed into their wares and brands that are the antithesis of the fast fashion culture. The Selvedge Run provides a platform for them, informed by their nature allowing the show to stand testament to the craft these brands represent.