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Design Story: A Sustainable Gingham

Design Story: A Sustainable Gingham

Our summer bestseller is bright and bold gingham, printed on the silkiest, softest of eco-fabrics. Here's how we dreamt up our designs, and worked with local communities to bring them to life...⁠

DRESS IN PROTEST, with Birdsong's original gingham print

For our Second Drop for Spring Summer 21, we collaborated with Esce-tex to create the perfect sustainable gingham. A team favourite, Birdsong's pink and orange gingham is a Tencel fabric that can be used on styles across the collection. It's a beautiful fabric created to last.

Susanna Wen, Birdsong co-founder and designer
Our SS21 Collection was dreamed up earlier this year, by Susanna Wen, Birdsong founder and designer. The ambition was to create designs that are joyful and summery, but very wearable.
 

 

The pink and orange gingham print is a team favourite; and it’s designed in-house. Susanna looked to Cottagecore interiors, 1960s pop artists, peonies and picnics for her research. We picked a fruit salad colour palette that reminded us that we have the best of the summer to look forward to.

Our gingham print looks to Cottagecore interiors, 1960s pop artists, peonies and picnics for inspiration. We picked a fruit salad colour palette

Our gingham is printed onto Tencel fabric by Esce-tex, a sustainable sourcing company based in East London. Esce-tex are leading innovators in fabric knowledge. They help us make informed decisions on which fabrics will be less water intensive, less wasteful and less energy intensive. We met Steve, founder of Esce-tex at the Sustainable Angle 3 years ago.

We’ve been working with each other ever since, and Esce-tex have had a hand in creating some of our most iconic prints like our SS20 Florals.

 

 

Tencel is a fibre made from the wood pulp of trees that are grown and replaced on specialised tree farms. It’s produced using recyclable, Earth-friendly solvents. We've used Tencel across our designs, and it’s a firm Birdsong favourite because of its sustainable and ethical credentials. It’s an intelligent, naturally derived fabric that's incredibly silky soft, comfortable and breathable on skin. It has a silky texture that feels similar to satin; the more you wear it, the softer it gets and more like a cotton-silk blend it becomes.⁠ Our Tencel is printed using Eco-Fast inks, here in the UK, with our bespoke patterns.

Our gingham is printed on buttery soft sustainable Tencel, using Eco-Fast inks, here in the UK, with our bespoke patterns

Our clothes are hand made to order in 3-5 weeks by Mitalie, Fatheha and Malika in East London. Each piece is carefully made - around 3 hours to make our trousers, and our dresses with puff sleeves, and our tote bags take around 20 minutes. We pay £13ph in wages, and a stipend to the workshop on top.

Our clothes are hand made to order in 3-5 weeks by Mitalie, Fatheha and Malika in East LondonOur clothes are hand made to order in 3-5 weeks by Mitalie, Fatheha and Malika in East London, for living wages

Once an item is made, it’s then packed and sent out to you by MailOut. MailOut is a mailing and fulfilment social enterprise that provides training and wellbeing support for adults with learning disabilities.

Once an item is made, it’s then packed and sent out to you by MailOut. MailOut is a mailing and fulfilment social enterprise that provides training and wellbeing support for adults with learning disabilities.

Shop our new SS21 Collection, and gingham here:

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