Over the years H&M has built a reputation for some super stellar collaborations - McCartney, Marni, Lavin and, recently … er…. David Beckham.
However their latest collection as seen them literally hit the streets thanks to East London’s Brick Lane Bikes.
The collection comprises of 11 bike friendly pieces, all tested by the guys at Brick Lane - ensuring that they remain stylish and fit for purpose.
Keeping in the low impact spirit of cycling, the range is made from a mix of sustainable materials including recycled wool and polyester, alongside organic cotton.
Stand out pieces for me are the custom cut chinos, with pre articulated knees, D lock belt loop and reflective tape on the inside seams:
There are three great jackets too; one is a tweed look stretch cotton jacket, there’s a quilted long tail jacket and a wind/ waterproof technical jacket:
Unsurprisingly, given H&Ms pricing strategy, these three are already out of stock online and will no doubt appear shortly on ebay at extortionate prices.
Ah well, at least there’s no sight of lycra in any of these lot!
There is a a really great, and growing, movement about designing and manufacturing in Britain.
We have a fantastic history of creativity, inspiration, build and manufacture, which has been sorely under-utilised over the last few years. Fortunately, there is a ground-swell of feeling that, returning to British-made is a way to drag us out of recession.
Great businesses like @PrivateWhiteVC and @albamclothing are ably championed by influential advocates like @makeitbritish or @TheseIsles. To get a sense of this, there is a good article in The Guardian this month.
So, how does this relate to Merchant & Mills?
For me, These guys encapsulate what is great about this movement.
Operating from a small location in Rye, East Sussex (a very beautiful place), they have been quietly turning out fantastic haberdashery materials - from Great British oilskin cloth and Harris Tweed selvedge, to a hand picked range of scissors and bespoke sewing patterns.
Started in 2010 by Carolyn Denham and Roderick Field, the team have gone about selecting and crafting a great range of British products. But, more than this, they have given customers the chance to create themselves.
From make-it-your self oil skin bags and leather straps, to producing their own sewing patterns:
Their philosophy is all ‘sewn up’ in in a fantastic book called The Merchant & Mills Sewing Book (published by Collins & Brown of London), where they encourage readers to ’ successfully express yourself through taking charge of your textiles.’
A great call to action I think!
Otherwise known as the Michelin Building, this was originally the London headquarters of the aforementioned tyre company.
Designed by François Espinasse and opened in 1911, the building was actually created to be able to store and fit tyres in a safe way. The stunning Art Deco styling hides the little known fact that it is constructed mainly from concrete.
In later years, when Michelin moved out, Conran moved in. Setting up a cafe, shop and the now famous Bibendum restaurant.
However, the heart of the building remained - the mosaic floor in the entrance:
The beautiful stained glass windows:
And the Michelin Man himself, the thread woven into the fabric of the building:
Nunc est Bibendum - ‘Now is the time to drink.’