May 28, 2018 11:12 am
When me and Yuri set out to start this project we realized that we clearly didn’t have the know-how or the experience to create a competitive product right from the start, what we did have were the obsessive approach that characterizes us in each of our endeavours, the will to learn from any possible source but most of all the pleasure that doing so gives us.
Not only, it is clear to us that because progress in outerwear is (and has been) making major steps daily, the marked is flooded with mass-produced products that might be essential to the fuelling of this constant innovation but they are also an extreme expense of energy and resources.
The other aspect that caught our attention was the short life of clothing (not just outerwear in this case) or better, the vision that a majority of us have, partly a result of the culture we’ve been brought up in, partly imparted on us by a consume-led industry, that once an item has expired its prime state it is to be thrown away.
Obviously in making these statements we are aware that other companies are making great efforts to provide services that repair their items when possible and encourage the recycling of old garments but we believe that while this is an approach restricted to outdoor companies the rest of the industry has to catch up.
It’s with these ideas in mind that we decided to open Rayon Vert BETA, a line of prototypes, handmade by us in short batches, so that we can experiment freely but most importantly gather the observations of the users in order to gradually create a better product without creating unnecessary waste.
In addition to this we’re currently providing (until the demand doesn’t render this impossible) a lifetime warranty on all of our BETA products, that way when you burn a cigarette hole through your bag you can just send it back to us to patch it up, unless you want to do it yourself.
Me and Yuri have since had our first BETA weekend, he came over from Milan on a Thursday evening and we worked day and night through to Monday morning to make our first batch of prototypes, only leaving the studio to go to Popular Café (our local greasy-spoon where Memhet and his family, come what may, bless us with their best cooking).
It’s common, in our group of friends, to refer to a piece of clothing as “definitive”; this is a symptom of the constant research that we’ve always put in looking for a garment that requires no betterment.
While we have realized that in the world that we live in this is (thankfully) impossible we strive to chase the better option through time and continuously upgrade it as well as ourselves in the hope that what we enjoy doing most also becomes what we do best.
May 13, 2018 4:02 pm
I met Pietro in 2013 during a bicycle trip organized by him.
10 days to cross Italy from north to south with tents, clothes and sleeping bags. I was in the first year of university and he was in high school when, through a mutual friend, Lapo, I joined the expedition. We were ten boys and most of us did not know the others, but later we became great friends. The first night was the only night we pitched our tent and the following nights we slept on a tarp under the sky, we didn’t know at the time but that would come to mean a whole lot more to us in the future. The trip as planned did not have a hitch and, back in Milan (the city where we both lived at the time) after getting tattooed by him, we started hanging out more and more often. With the need to always go further. We parted physically, Pietro moved to London, he’s half Londoner, initially working as a bike messenger later studying Product Design in a famous school. I stayed in Milan completing my degree in graphic design and working from 2014 in the street-fashion-world.
But, we never stop to make adventures together, and dream about them.
Picture by Alice Zani© During 2015 Interrail, somewhere in Spain.
During the Interrail of 2015 (NDR. The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket available to European residents that allows unlimited rail travel in and between all of 30 participating countries for a certain period of time. The main exception is that high-speed trains and night trains often require a paid seat reservation.) At the border between Spain and France we met The Rayon Vert and after many dreams and ideas we began to really think about a project together.
We thought about how we live our lives and our travels, mostly in our city and those in which we moved, and we would not have made it to travel and survive without the help of all the people who helped us, hosted or supported both in everyday life and in journeys around the world. An Interrail in particular, that of the following year, opened our eyes. starting without a precise destination and without contacts we have traveled around Europe hosted only by people contacted via Instagram even just a few hours before.
Picture by Max Kesteltoot© During 2016 Interrail, in Oostende, Belgium.
The impact this trip had on us was incredibly deep, especially for Pietro who in a few months created together with Filippo Moia (The Man) a zine fair, FEET FIRST FAIR, where all the people we had met in our travels and in our lives or even through social media were invited to participate.
The first edition took place in London in 2016, the second in Milan in 2017. The vibes after these events were formidable. A group of globetrotters all together, in the same buildings, for three or more days together sharing ideas, experiences, etc. Was mindblowing.
Picture by Christopher de Béthune© at FEET FIRST FAIR in London.
For us, Rayon Vert is the idea of bringing together three important things that are essential for us and I believe also for the human being:
— Being together and interacting
— The movement, in the sense that everything that remains immobile dies
— And the creation of ideas.
We want to create things, wearable or not but that carry with them the idea of movement and network.