Christopher Raeburn and Others Turn to Open Source Fashion Design – WWD


Last week, many sustainable fashion designers shared their design recipes in a new “fashion cookbook”.

Aptly titled “Open Source Fashion Cookbook,” brands like Assembly, BrownMill, Chromat, Raeburn (with the label’s shark mascot) and Zero Waste Wardrobe, have opened their designs to celebrate a label’s attempt to redefine access. in sustainable fashion – from with model sharing.

The brains behind this latest concept book are the Adiff duo: Angela Luna, co-founder and creative director of the brand, and Loulwa Al Saad, co-founder and marketing director.

Noting how long lasting labels will have to probe the relationship between consumer and brand beyond a stale transaction, Luna explained, “There is this community shift happening. Al Saad and Luna both believe open source designs are the future of fashion, and there is more evidence to support their thesis.

“The fashion industry has been so proprietary so far,” Luna said. “We were delighted with the response [to open-source designs]. The first was a statement she made with irony, as Luna first headed down the patent path with the ‘tent jacket’ design that first established the Adiff brand.

The tent jacket transforms from tent to jacket and was designed by Luna as a solution for displaced refugee populations and homeless people, giving new weight to the sense of clothing as protection. As she spent four years developing the jacket’s patent based on recommended advice from her instructors, she said the pandemic had completely changed her perspective.

“At the start of the pandemic, everyone was making bread,” Luna said, highlighting a new interest in self-sufficiency among consumer subsets, which means mending, sewing, recycling and repairing are the new fashion trend. Their book can be hard to swallow for conventional brands: “The main point of the book is not to have to rely on a brand or buy it in order to act sustainably to create that greater sense of. autonomy. “

And for that, it means unlocking access. While the book itself costs $ 60 and is available on the brand’s website at Adiff.com, all designs are free to download and printable at scale.

The essays in the book also instill a cautious sentiment in simply buying its place in the sustainable fashion movement, asking, instead, a pause to reconsider the pre-existing power dynamics of exploitation. Referring to views on colonialism and fashion by Slow Factory co-founder Céline Semaan and journalist Sophia Li (two of the book’s many contributors), Al Saad reiterated how “true sustainability actually goes beyond- beyond conscious consumerism ”.

This latest push for open source fashion is indistinguishable from the nascent designer movement also documented in books (all about the culture of mending), like Fashion Revolution’s Orsola de Castro.

When digital native footwear brand Allbirds launched in 2014, the company also took the position of “open-sourcing” its apprenticeships, having set a precedent with its knitted fabrics and sugarcane-based EVA foam – that competitors can use freely. Last May, the brand continued what were seen as its contrarian ways when it teamed up with Adidas in a bid to achieve “the lowest carbon footprint on record” for a shoe from performance sport. The goal of synergy was clear: it is about collaboration rather than competition.

In 2019, the Council of Fashion Designers of America also launched its open source ‘sustainability initiatives’, garnering support for small and medium-sized businesses and designers who might otherwise face cost restrictions and limited access to sustainability resources.

Much like other industries, fashion is now turning to open source as a way to drive innovation in sustainable fashion.


Joseph E. Golightly