Colder Shoulder is an emerging concept-led, independent unisex fashion brand. The label explores fashion as a visual and tactile language of communication and community. Founded by born and bred Londoners in 2010, the city's unique energy and artistic blend remains a major source of inspiration.
The brand name stems from the well known phrase ‘cold shoulder’, meaning to display coldness or indifference. The essence of this phrase is considered within the wider context of life. We make choices on a daily basis, having to refuse or give the 'cold shoulder' to some things, and welcome others. Colder Shoulder's ethos is to embrace our individual and collective power as decision makers, to make good, balanced choices to transform our world.
Sustainability is at the heart of Colder Shoulder. This is reflected throughout the brand in its use of organic and sustainable fabrics, ethical manufacturing and renewable energy, and in its approach to printing and recycling. A triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, recognizes the interconnectedness of all forms of planetary life. From farmer to wearer, fibre to hanger, factory to store, dye to reuse. Resources and hands required at all stages of the cycle; like water to grow, dye, manufacture and wash.
The brand has a collaborative model of working. For example the collaboration with creative studio O.W.H. and textile designer Gemma Kelson explored the concept 'LIFE IS PRECIOUS' through three key themes.
Colder Shoulder is collected by a diverse array of creative and intelligent men and women. Passionate and curious about the world, they are free thinkers and contributors. They tend to mix sharp contemporary tailoring and heritage brands, with concept-led independents and directional labels. The label sells online and in a selection of contemporary independent shops.
Colder Shoulder took part in the London Style Project at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, working alongside other London based fashion SMEs to explore innovation in fabric development, production management, new technologies, communication and design.
Tencel® Lyocell is the most environmentally friendly man- made cellulosic fibre available today. It is produced exclusively from the wood pulp of Eucalyptus trees certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), and the fibre carries the Pan-European Forest Council (PEFC) quality seal. The only chemical used in the Tencel® manufacturing processes is the non- toxic solvent, amine oxide, that allows closed-loop processing where up to 99% of the chemical is perpetually re-used, minimising the impact on the environment and conserving energy and water. The European Union awarded this process the Environmental Award 2000 in the category “technology for sustainable developments”. The material is well-known for its outstanding physical characteristics - silky softness and luxurious drape. It is perfectly smooth, with depth of colour, an excellent moisture absorbency, and is naturally hygenic as it inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Bamboo viscose is woven from light, silky soft bamboo yarn. Bamboo grass is highly renewable, growing at a rapid rate. Bamboo fabric is biodegradable. Improvements are needed when processing bamboo fibre, as mostly this involves the use of chemical solvents. The fibre is absorbent, fast drying, naturally anti microbial and moisture wicking.
Organic cotton is a cotton fibre which has been grown according to the principles and rules of organic agriculture. These rules are very strict and are defined by a law from the European Union. Organic agriculture uses no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Organic fertilizers (such as compost) and plant-based pest management products (such as neem or garlic extract) are used. The major principle is to restore a natural balance within the farm, with healthy soils, rich in organic matter. In such an environment, the pests are not systematically destroyed by poisons but are kept under control by their predators, just as they are in nature (Source: PAN-UK).
The Fair Wear Foundation is an international verification initiative dedicated to enhancing workers’ lives all over the world. They work closely with companies that produce clothing and other sewn products, and that take responsibility for their supply chain. Through sharing expertise, social dialogue and strengthening industrial relations, FWF increases the effectiveness of the efforts made by companies.
The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is an independent certification system for textiles and garments tested for harmful substances. Labelled products are tested by neutral institutes for an extensive range of chemicals based on the latest scientific findings and legal regulations. The International Oeko-Tex® Association is a grouping of 15 independent textile testing and research institutes worldwide.
To read more about sustainable fashion, we recommend a few places to get started:
The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion connects research, education and business to support, inspire and create innovative approaches to fashion. The Centre provokes, challenges and questions the fashion status quo. Through collaboration they design transforming solutions that balance ecology, society and culture.
The Ethical Fashion Forum is a not for profit network focusing upon social and environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. The EFF aims to develop a collaborative movement which will transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry within a decade. The site has many links to international organisations and a community forum.
The Environmental Justice Foundation is a charity registered to empower people who suffer most from environmental abuses to find peaceful ways of preventing them. They believe that environmental security is a human right.
i-Sustain was a series of 12 i-D magazine features in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, intended to change the way we think, buy, wear and discuss fashion. Each featured a photoshoot, interview with the designer and commentary. Beautifully shot, the images are stunning, with the text providing a thoughful exploration of some of the issues and design approaches.