Richard Malone won the 2020 International Woolmark Prize back in February, and now, in what has been an unsettled year for all facets of the fashion industry, the wait is finally over to buy the Irish fashion designer’s winning, traceable collection.
Inspired by his upbringing in Wexford to create considered, functional and beautifully made garments, Malone sets out to minimise harm to the environment and works towards creating a circular, sustainable fashion system.
Eliminating traditional chemicals to provide a natural, less intensive method of dyeing, the Irish designer worked with a society of incredibly skilled weavers in Tamil Nadu, India, using completely organic and plant-based dyes as well as more recent innovations using Merino wool and other conscious fibres.
“I believe that sustainability needs to be the norm, and that environmentally conscious garments should be no less directional or desirable than any others. In this case, one of my goals was to work exclusively with mills and weavers that encourage and implement fair trade, regenerative farming, recycling initiatives, organic dyeing and the promotion of education for understanding garment construction and adding to a garment’s life cycle. I believe this is a powerful tool in changing our buying habits, encouraging the demands we put on the clothing industry and how we wish to proceed at a time of increasing environmental awareness.”
Trace Richard Malone’s Woolmark Prize collection through the supply chain
Utilitarian inspiration, from fishermen to his father’s uniforms are reimagined or deconstructed to create a new, directional, contemporary garment. Malone offers a tailored, working collection that employs these ideas but in a completely modern way.
The collection employs handwoven, traditional fabrics with natural dyes, from protected farms that employ regenerative initiatives to sustain both jobs and the environment.
Standout pieces of the winning collection include Malone’s blue, green and rust trousers, which are hand woven by artisanal weavers in India who use organic, plant derived and azo free dyes and the hand-knitted rib/rib pleat 100% Merino wool sweater that are dyed with organic plant dye and knitted in London.
“My goal is to establish a network that can become a benchmark for a new way of producing fashion, that is both respectful to those who make it, and vitally respectful to our planet. Transparency is essential in our move forward and in future-proofing our industry and our environment. This collection aims to respect and trace each person and process involved in the collection's creation, with everyone given equal billing.”
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