INTRODUCING A.BCH SEASONS
Autumn/Winter, Spring/Summer, Resort, Pre-Fall, oh my! Here's how we approach seasons at A.BCH. Photography by Vlad Savin.
Introducing A.BCH Seasons
Ever since entering the fashion world I've found its creation cycle perplexing and stressful. Autumn/ Winter and Spring/ Summer. Throw in a Pre-Fall or a Resort collection for good measure. The concept of constant re-invention and new-ness is kind of what fashion is all about and why it's such a lucrative industry. The speed of this cycle has been exacerbated by fast fashion and has led to increased clothing waste, issues around second hand industries in developing countries, almost uncanny discount culture and a whole lot more. Frankly, it's out of control. Yet the collective "we" continue to create, sticking to these norms because that's just "how it's done".
With the launch of A.BCH, we didn't want to carry on these traditions without question. In fact, we decided to turn all of it on its head, beginning with six products. Simple wardrobe essentials like crisp white tees, a heavy denim tote and the perfect linen button up. That was over four years ago and we now have a full range of items that still subscribe to our original mantra. Wardrobe essentials that never go out of style. Pieces that can slot into your current wardrobe or entirely re-invent it. Clothes that are comfortable to wear, live in, and feel amazing on your skin. Garments that are made like they should be, of high quality material combinations that make them exemplary candidates for a circular economy.
As much as I've loved the easy breezy, create-what-you (and your customers) want, when we want, I have to admit, I've craved some sort of defining structure that could help us grow (to a point) in a manageable and responsible way. Plus, I'm a systems thinker so it was only a matter of time before I systemised our operations and communications. There's been SO much talk (especially since COVID shook the world) of fashion conglomerates going "seasonless" or ditching fashion weeks for good. These are all moves towards radically overhauling the current system that is the mainstream and luxury fashion industry. But, there are still way too many clothes being made, collection after collection, vying for your attention season after season in a saturated market.
So what if seasons meant something else entirely? While the fashion calendar plods along with a focus on SELLING MORE, I personally wondered about the methodical structure of seasons. They exist as a constant flow, breaking up the mundane and monotonous. The earth's seasons remind me to pause and appreciate the lifecycle of the natural world and its things. So we devised a new approach and a unique cadence that really suits us to a tee. A.BCH Seasons. With razor sharp focus on the lifecycle of a garment (or indeed, anything). Birth, Life, Afterlife. Each split evenly across the calendar year, each allowing us to meditate on the defining moments of a garment's existence.
In the lifecycle of Birth, we turn our attention even closer to how each garment came to be and the intricacies of the supply chain that tend to overwhelm. While focussed on Birth, we go deep into the beautiful and not so beautiful aspects of our unique supply chain while learning from the wonderful people involved - from those who grow, process, make and create our clothing to the systems that exist to make it all happen. At A.BCH we’re a little obsessed with the birth of garments. Transparency is our founding principal so this is our jam, and we’re proud to share it. We encourage you to take time to learn about how the things in your life were made, the craftsmanship, stories, love and passion behind a product as well as beginning to grasp the nuance and implications that each action we take has on both people and planet (that includes animals too).
Life is hopeful, life is practical. Life is a time to understand how our clothes "live" after they enter your lives and wardrobes. It’s where we unpack how our acts of care make clothing last longer, learn skills needed to fix them when they fall apart or take advantage of that A.BCH free-repairs-for-life service. We’ll learn about emotional durability and the second, third or fourth lives your garment might get to live before being no longer wearable. Life is a collaboration with you (hello), so you’ll notice in this time that we’ll seek your feedback, thoughts and ideas most, after all it’s where you and I have the most impact. Perhaps while we’re actively caring for our things, we might see the parallels in caring for ourselves. Life is a beautiful part of the Season Lifecycle because it has the potential to be actionable and empowering for each and every person.
Afterlife is the part of the lifecycle that can get a little more technical. It’s where we discuss and share the end of life plan for clothes - after they are no longer able to be worn of course. Afterlife is a time to pioneer ideas, innovate with new technologies and come up with design strategies to aid. We want to share with you how we design with the end in mind and also what you can do, dear wearer of clothes, to recirculate your garments either technically (fibre to fibre recycling) or naturally (composting). At this stage of the lifecycle, there’s a greater focus for us on the circular economy, technology and innovation and our favourite thing in the world to nerd out on … systems and systems thinking.
Each calendar year we'll spend four months exploring each one of the A.BCH Seasons and nature's lifecycle of Birth, Life and Afterlife. If you're worried it might get boring, don't. We have a lot to cover and we're always learning, and we hope you will too. We'll continue to trickle new garments to complete your capsule wardrobe and, with your help, improve and refine our forever styles. Imagery and creative concepts will constantly be progressing, yet the core of what we do will remain for as long as we've got to run this amazing company.
This is A.BCH Seasons, with a purpose. Explore our first season – Life here.
How do you feel about it all? Is it good to have everything within a system or do you just want to be free? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.