I haven’t written here since this summer, so it’s time to catch up on a few things.
It’s been 5 years now that Rayon Vert exists as an entity, it all started in two sewing some belts, bags and printing a T-shirt. A lot has changed since then, we have learnt how to sew, made the first backpacks and marketed them by tailoring them one by one. We have taught many friends how to sew their own and thanks to this project more and more people have approached our world. We also took over a studio in which we invest most of our time and energy, making Rayon Vert our full-time commitment.
Production managed in our studio, new labels for all new products. All bags that look like they are made of plastic are instead made of PLA (which is a thermoplastic monomer derived from renewable, organic sources such as corn starch or sugar cane) that must be thrown away with compostable waste.
As an independent and self-financed brand, our income has always come from consulting with external figures, with whom we will continue to collaborate, but which leaves little room for extensive planning regarding the future. Because of this, we are limited in the production of clothing, as we do not have sufficient liquidity, and we are not able to enlarge the operational team. After the experiment of creating a proper collection with Slam Jam, albeit a small one, we came into contact with different figures in the clothing industry and started to come into contact with the processes that are needed to professionally produce clothes and accessories.
Dealing with the Middlemans
We therefore decided to focus our energies throughout the past year on creating a small capsule that could not only be sold on our website but also in physical locations around the world.
This has several advantages for us:
– It allows us to have the liquidity we need to work on more complex projects, invest in research, hire staff and allows us to make longer-term plans.
– Trying to work on the Open Manufacture concept on a larger scale.
– Having locations in other countries and continents relieves the expenses of buyers who would love to buy products but are stopped by shipping costs, customs etc.
– Having physical locations around the world allows us to be able to use their spaces for collaborations or events in countries that we would otherwise have difficulty visiting.
The shops we have considered are few and selected according to what we consider to be ‘cultural shops’, i.e. shops that in their ethos have to do with a policy we respect. We did not rely on any showrooms for sales but decided to knock directly on each of these shops so as to have total control of the supply chain, personally explaining to them our credo and how our garments are conceived and designed.
Left: T-shirts with the Lizard Backpack graphic. Right: a detail of the Fubar Pants, with their label, the pendant and a pair of optional drawstrings to be used at the bottom of the trousers in order to tighten them up (for use e.g. on bicycles or in territories with a high density of mosquitoes).
Speaking of production
– All garments and accessories were made in an area 200km from our workshop when it was not possible to make them in-house.
– All fabrics used (with the exception of ECOPAK™ and Dyneema®) are produced within the area mentioned above.
– We have included in the collection (as a test but in the future we would like to expand this to more and more garments) a pair of Fubar Pants in the ‘Ready To Dye’ version. That is, trousers that appear white but are made of raw fabric ready for dyeing. In this we would like to encourage, whoever does not want white trousers or whoever is not satisfied with the available colours, the natural home dyeing of the product and thus avoid enormous water consumption and pollution caused by industrial dyeing.
A dyeing test made with colours bought in a convenience store. There are many ways to dye textiles and you can decide to do it in a more or less environmentally friendly way, you can use everything from kitchen scraps to plants of all kinds. There are numerous ideas on the web.
Our first capsule includes:
A shirt, the Fubar pants, a skirt, some t-shirts, a sweatshirt, Ladderlock Bets, an Internship sacoche and a revival of the first Wrap Bag.
The capsule is available both on our website and physically in: