Story Mfg. is proof that sustainable, anti-waste, and animal-friendly fashion doesn’t need to come at the expense of creativity. There are quite a few manufacturers today that pay lip service to environmentally conscious practices and are taking some positive steps in that direction, but none do so as holistically as STORY.
Being “environmentally conscious” has become a catch-all that can mean just about anything. For STORY, providing full and honest transparency to their process, being prepared to learn and improve their processes where possible, and using environmental positivity as their cardinal direction - every aspect of a garment’s creation is considered.
LOOK ONE: Polite Pullover in Madder Orange, Paco Pants in Khaki Slub, Piece Scarf in Bergamot, Twinsun Cardigan in Green Squash, and Brew Hat in Snail Power.
Started in 2013 in London, husband and wife team Katy and Saeed Al-Rubey recognized a desire for a more authentic and fulfilling approach to fashion - one that doesn’t involve a trade-off between aesthetics and eco-consciousness. Believing that fashion can be used as a form of social activism, they set out to go beyond zero impact and prove that positive global impact is possible. This required them to take a multi-tiered approach to design and production.
Story Mfg. is grounded in being “kind to people and the planet.” From that governing ethos, the label allows itself to be flexible - adapting to discoveries, innovations, and finding deeper understanding in the pursuit for better and kinder production. Focused on craft and artisanal practices, everything is slow-built and purposeful. This allows STORY products to be stronger and last longer while simultaneously making sure that every step in the process keeps waste to a minimum, that workers are well-paid, and that there’s continuity of quality and design.
LOOK TWO: Twinsun Rollneck in Indigo Moon, Polite Pullover in Purple Velvet, and Stash Bag in Blue Corn.
The off-cuts that are inevitably produced are then recycled for linings, stuffing, or other items like handtags. The Puffer Scarf is the perfect example. Each season, STORY uses the excess materials found throughout the collection to build scarves that showcase elements seen throughout the season's design process. Made by hand, these have an eclectic look that ties together the label’s ethos with each collection’s design story.
But they don’t stop there. Even the packaging now utilizes recycled paper and biodegradable cornstarch. The production facilities are powered on almost entirely renewable energy and everything is vegan and cruelty-free. The buttons are made from nuts and the cotton is 100% organic. Their approach to fabrics is to use only ingredients that are non-toxic and skin-kind and the few synthetics that they do use are upcycled.
A large part of the aesthetic is anchored in the natural dyes they use. For example, natural red is not just pure red, but includes blues and yellows - making it look different in every light. Working with manufacturers Colours of Nature, (based in Auroville, India and worth a trip down the internet rabbit hole for being the most ecologically minded and diverse community in the world) their natural indigo sourcing comes from an effort to fix nitrogen levels in over-tilled and farmed soil.
Their dyeing takes place in a re-planted forest where all waste is converted into fertilizer. All of their dyes are derived from things like earth minerals, leaves, bark, roots, fruits, flowers, bacteria, and sunlight. The result is a non-toxic dye for the dyer, weaver, and wearer and results in an overall net-positive environmental impact.
LOOK THREE: Twinsun Rollneck in Indigo Mother Earth, Twinsun Rollneck in Striped Mother Earth, Brew Hat in Blue Snail, and Stash Bag in Blue Snail.
The clothing aesthetic is loose-fit, genderless streetwear that incorporates embroideries and impressionistic dyeing techniques that proudly display the label’s kindness. It’s an investment into continuous, well-paid work that refuses to switch to cheaper alternatives. Recalling a past when the great luxury fashion houses were once ambassadors of craft - often keeping niche artisan practices alive - Story Mfg. promotes practices that are not only beautiful, but can also serve important cultural touchstones of traditional craft.
STORY is unabashedly positive - a refreshingly anti-cynical sincerity. Their free-spirited expression promotes cool stuff that is kind, promoting art and craft as vignettes into cultural touchstones while also fostering a progressive footprint on our shared planet. While fashion may be only one of the small ways in which cultural mores need to shift in order to protect against our very real challenges of environmental instability, STORY is happy to wear it on their sleeves.
What's your favorite piece you've picked up from STORY? #Tag us on Instagram and show us.