It’s no surprise that one of the most sizable challenges faced by the fashion world is to significantly scale down its negative impact on our environment. Not only do we need to reduce our carbon footprint, but the way in which brands and designers approach manufacturing and distributing garments needs rethinking. Sustainability is a broad concept to grasp as it means a multitude of things, but one practice that is a sure fire way to help us move towards this is collaboration with other mindful individuals. Partnerships lead not only to added exposure for brands, but added knowledge on use of materials and understanding of differing creatives’ beliefs and goals for production.
OG label Baracuta has just joined forces with pioneering Dutch textile house BYBORRE on a capsule collection that revamps a few of its long-standing staples - the Harrington G9 Jacket, the G4 jacket, and the popular Baracuta Reversible Vest. When a historic and established brand merges its core values and beliefs with a progressive and viable textile innovation studio, you’d expect nothing but class and consciousness - and that’s exactly what we see with the new Baracuta x BYBORRE partnership. Experimental, playful and above all rooted in craft, you’re going to want to get your hands on these limited edition pieces.
Before diving into the partnership itself, it is paramount that we understand how iconographic Baracuta is as a brand. As one of the most significant labels of British clothing, Baracuta has paved the way for many different movements, in and out of the fashion world.
Manchester, the birthplace of Baracuta in 1937, was once referred to as ‘Cottonopolis’ - the industrial heartland of England that served as the centre of the world’s cotton textile production in the 19th century. The alphanumeric code names of the brands ever-growing garments became timeless classics, with the G9, G4 and G10 revered as some of Baracuta’s most leading designs.
From the Fraser Tartan lining, to the detailed finishing touches, Baracuta’s jackets stood out for their unique design and noble touch - you’ve most definitely seen one being worn at some point in your life. The G9 in particular exploded in the ‘50s amongst wealthy golfers after its distribution in the US. Top that with the veneration of cultural icons like James Dean, Elvis Presely, Ryan O’Neal and Steve McQueen, whose donning of Baracuta attire spread like wildfire, turning it into a sartorial symbol of refined yet brawny masculinity. However it wasn’t only popular cult figures who brought the brand to light. Several youth subcultures, for the most part deriving from the UK, including mod, punk and skinheads adopted the jackets as their unofficial uniform further cementing Baracuta as a staple in the clothing world and a sought after insignia of popular culture.
Jumping forward to Amsterdam 2015, Borre Akkersdijk, the creative mastermind behind eponymous textile studio and production hub BYBORRE, noticed a lack of emphasis on the textile development stage of a textiles. He saw a solution and has since been charging forward at headlong pace, grabbing the nitty-gritty horns of the textile industry with stealth and expertise.
BYBORRE operates at the borders of material development, functional performance and aesthetics, with a team specialized in knitted textiles. Working with a strong message in mind, BYBORRE has implemented a design workflow built upon its Create™ platform that fundamentally alters the manner in which textiles are made - not just for the benefit of the designer, but with a less wasteful approach for the welfare of people and our planet. This has been achieved through their unique knitting techniques. Borre rewired industrial knitting machines which now allows him to create his signature knits and have a dialogue with the textiles. This knitting technology that Borre developed allows brands to get stuck in and have full creative freedom to play with patterns, textures and ingredients within a production lab. BYBORRE successfully engineers direct interaction and tailored creation, a welcomed practice for many creatives.
So with the announcement of the drop of the Baracuta x BYBORRE items on the horizon, just what can we expect? A few of Baracuta’s all time classics get a textile twist with a new colorway and finishing touches. A departure from its red tartan magnum opus, we now see a blue and brown color combo take over the traditional Baracuta silhouettes. It’s also no surprise that both pioneers have taken into account the current predicaments faced by the fashion world. As two connoisseurs of protective, fit-for-purpose garments, Baracuta and BYBORRE aim to tackle waste and irresponsible use of resources in the manufacturing stage of design with their collaborative SS21 collection.
It’s important here to note that this partnership with BYBORRE is Baracuta’s deviation into compliance and further awareness of the use of materials in the fashion industry. BYBORRE have shifted the paradigm of what it means to produce textiles and garments responsibly and have found the perfect crossover between technical innovation and conscious craftsmanship. With a design ideology that is rooted in performance and usability rather than aesthetic tendencies, BYBORRE is a breath of fresh air.
A symbiotic relationship charged with an unprecedented technologically advanced synergy, the Baracuta x BYBORRE project will be limited to 50 pieces for the G9 and G4, and 100 pieces for the vest, all made of recycled ingredients. Combatting the notion of overproduction, this finite collection highlights the importance of value and shifting to a more sustainable approach to manufacturing.
The main feature of the refurbed garments is a bespoke, premium recycled polyester material, executed in BYBORRE's signature AO2™ (Attachment Only 2 layer) knit structure. The AO2™ is BYBORRE's pièce de résistance - an ultralight technology comprising a strong and airy breathable two-layered knit created without a filling yarn. This causes colors and patterns to pop even more, perfect for Baracuta whose iconic tartan motif is one of its unique selling points. BYBORRE has ensured that the recycled material, aptly named Newlife, comes from a trusted partner in its Create™ platform. This source is Sinterama, an Italian based company whose ceaseless research towards careful innovation puts them ahead of the game when it comes to sustainable materials. Their yarn, used by BYBORRE, comes from 100 percent recycled post-consumer bottles that are processed into a polymer through a mechanical process, not a chemical one. Once obtained as a polymer, they are spun into yarn to be used in garment production.
With Baracuta subtly mastering the casual outerwear look and emanating versatility, alongside BYBORRE who offer a conscientious approach on materiality, this partnership stands out for its overarching quality and its sharp focus on sustainability. With Baracuta’s flagship store in Milan, the supply of certified Italian recycled material and the incorporation of Italian industrial tradition, the products -from yarn to jacket- are developed and produced with close proximity in mind and are a true ode to Italian artistry - precisely, Made in Italy.
The collection will be available on March 18 on the Baracuta site and in selected stores.