For Christmas last year I gave my brother, Jude, a shirt by The Workers Club. I bought it in Fortnum and Mason when I was in London celebrating my mother’s birthday. It was a lovely day and I was feeling particularly generous and perhaps a little buoyed on by all the shiny lights and mince pies. But I just loved the cut and I knew it would be something Jude would really appreciate too. Now jump with me six months on and Jude is in Shanghai at a fashion show (yes on the other side of the world) and Adam Cameron, co-founder of TWC, walks past and spots him (or the shirt more to the point). They started to chat and over a couple of beers they realised that between Norfolk Natural Living and The Workers Club, we could merge two like-minded brands and create a really specialist botanical denim wash.
When Jude later telephoned me to tell me about meeting Adam, I cannot tell you how excited I was - for those of you that perhaps aren’t the fashion nerds I am - you might not know that Adam is a bit of a demi-god (well to me at least). He has designed for some of the finest fashion houses in the world including Dunhill and DAKS, he’s even designed the full in-house menswear range for Mr Porter. So in short, he knows his stuff. But as a brand, he and Charlotte (his wife and the other co-founder) have built The Workers Club on a foundation of impeccable quality, cut and design.
For me, The Workers Club is the embodiment of a true artisan fashion house, so that they are also embracing ethical garment care is a dream come true. Fashion as an industry has an uneasy relationship with ethics and the environment. That TWC, in developing their own botanical denim wash, is attempting to help their customers make more ethical choices more easily, is fundamentally core to what I believe Norfolk Natural Living is about.
Technically however, it was a challenge. TWC’s jeans are no ordinary jeans. Each of their Japanese denim jeans are aged by hand, to give each pair a unique fade, and this was something we needed to incorporate in our development. As with selvedge and raw denim, the dye is a particularly important part of its style and so easily lost in a bad wash and detergent. It took a few months, but we managed it and we’re all really happy with the result. In fact, this initial denim wash partnership is just the beginning, as we also plan to explore a wider range, including a spray garment cleaner for on-the-go washing. It’s my hope this will inspire an ever-evolving collection in the future - and slowly we can help make fashion a little more ethical. One small step and all that...