Christopher Raeburn praises ethical style

Christopher Raeburn makes many of his pieces from reclaimed material as he loves the “functionality” of quality fabric.

Christopher Raeburn, British Fashion Awards 2011 - Press Room

The British designer believes in sustainability and many of the pieces he creates are made from reclaimed materials. He won the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent Menswear last year but is happy to point out he isn’t really doing anything new.

“I don’t think for a minute that I started this. I’ve got photos of my grandmother in 1941 in a bombed out church getting married in a silk parachute dress,” he told British newspaper The Independent.

“The attitude of make do and mend is by no means new, but there has been a renaissance – not to deflect from what we’ve done here.”

Christopher loves the idea of transforming something which has been discarded into a brand new item which someone will love.

His love of old fabrics stemmed from his days as a student, when he became interested in sturdy fabrics which usually happened to be from days gone by.

“I was interested by the technical side; making things properly – I’d stay after class, late into the evening practicing my sewing. With that came a love of robust quality fabric and the functionality that comes with it,” he explained.

“So many of the original garments that I really loved, you couldn’t buy the fabric on a roll even if you wanted to because they were from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Instead I was going to Portobello Market in London or military surplus warehouses and picking up jackets dating from that era at $8 a piece.”