STORY mfg. – Denim by a Different Set of Rules
“Slow Made”–it’s one of the many rules of British brand STORY mfg., and for a good reason. Their focus is on making sure everything is perfect in their eyes before it reaches the customer.
That “everything” can mean developing fabric, waiting until specific materials are available, a certain element of construction…it goes on. Instead of a simple motto or handful of ideas, STORY mfg. follows designated “rules.”
As owner Bobbin Threadbare explains, STORY is an ongoing collaboration between himself and his partner Katy Katazome, who share a love for ‘re-wilding’ lost garments and fabrics that are pioneering or just too labour intensive to be mass produced.
Katy is a denim designer and trend forecaster and Bobbin is a tech researcher and writer, and they both seek out fabrics and ideas that no one seems to be in a position to bring to the market. Bobbin believes small indie companies are nimble enough to gather together amazing new ideas but the vast majority seem to dance around the same themes, that’s where STORY comes in.
One of the “rules” that STORY mfg. follows is being unique, which in the brand’s words means, “unless we have something to bring to the conversation, we don’t see the point of joining in.”
Using vintage clothing as inspiration is another rule; as are avoiding any processes that involve animal cruelty, showing people how easy it is for companies to join together in open source projects, and only working with people as passionate as those running the brand.
As they continue, “Our motto is ‘SLOW MADE’ because everything we create is born out of extremely slow processes. From hand picked cotton, to hank dyed yarn (dipped and dried by hand), to denim which is hand loomed at a fraction of the speed of industrial methods.
“Even our spectacles are hand crafted out of acetate (another product from the wonderful cotton plant) and all products are made in England, with the very best people for the job. Our current focus is on organic fabrics and natural dyes, giving us rich indigo in several shades as well as playful greens, pinks, reds and natural ecru.”
Natural indigo dye, unique fabrics, and a certain quirkiness are hallmarks of STORY mfg. As mentioned above, they go beyond standard denim jeans–they also offer indigo scarves, denim jackets, and even eyewear.
One of the great things about STORY mfg. is that they offer great insights into the process behind creating their products on their website. This includes visual and written explanations of natural indigo dyeing, the hand-buffing of their eyeglass frames, visits with the artisans they source materials from, and the intricate steps behind the creation of their hand-woven River denim.
“So much of the joy of a product is in its origins – and it’s very weird to us that few brands really explain the work behind their stuff.” They explain, “We want to bring everyone along with us on the journey of each product because sometimes you need to be an expert to really understand the complexity of a piece. Listening to a song becomes a different experience when you understand music, and we want to create the same kind of environment around STORY mfg. by sharing what we know and what we ourselves learn about the processes and ingredients.”
Check out more product and imagery from their production process below.