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 three 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. There's been SO much talk (especially since COVID rocked our world) of fashion conglomerates going "seasonless" or ditching fashion weeks for good. These are all positive 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 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 appreciate the lifecycle of the natural world and its things. So we devised a new approach. 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 to how each garment came to be and the intricacies of the supply chain that tend to overwhelm. We'll go deeper and deeper into all aspects of our unique and special supply chain from the people who grow, process, make and create our clothing to the very processes and systems that exist to make it all happen. We love the birth of garments, and this is a large portion of what we talk about at A.BCH. So not much will change in terms of what we are communicating – we are just taking it further. If you love to know how something was made, the craftsmanship, stories, love and passion behind a product as well as understanding more complex themes like eradicating Modern Slavery and decarbonising clothing... then this is especially for you.
Life is our launching point, because at a time like this (2020) Life as a concept feels hopeful and also very practical. Here we will try to understand how our clothes "live" after they enter your lives and wardrobes. How can we care for them to make them last longer, what skills can we learn to fix them when they fall apart? What IS it about a particular piece that makes you never want to throw it away? What are the second, third or fourth lives they might get to live before being no longer wearable? We love unpacking these questions, and are excited to spend time learning more from our community on the season of Life.
Probably our more technical and futuristic feat, Afterlife is where we'll discuss and share the end of life plan for clothes, after they are no longer able to be worn. We'll get into how we design with the end in mind and what YOU can do, dear wearer, to recirculate your garments either technically (ie fibre to fibre recycling) or naturally (ie. composting), plus the nuances in between. At this part of the lifecycle, we'll be talking a lot about the circular economy, technology and innovation, plus good old fashion natural systems.
From now on, every year we'll spend a four month period exploring each of the A.BCH Seasons and for each one, we'll have a particular focus that allows us to hone in on zeitgeist themes. We'll continue to trickle in new garments here and there, whilst subtly updating previous ones, and re-using our core pieces through each of our campaigns.
This is A.BCH Seasons, with a purpose. Explore our first season – Life here.
How do you feel about it? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.