“We build products to last because the most sustainable way to live is to buy less”, STORY mfg. writes in its brand manifesto. It’s rare that a brand actively asks its customers to buy fewer clothes, but STORY mfg. is not your average brand. Husband and wife team Saeed and Katy Al-Rubeyi are dedicated to lowering the climate impact of their label.

If you could encapsulate the entire STORY mfg. brand into one word it would be natural. The label only uses biodegradable natural materials — cotton and linen — and any offcuts will either be repurposed to become new items, used as tags on clothing, or get turned into nutrient-rich fertilizer. In addition, the buttons on each piece are made from nuts, and the clothing is packaged in biodegradable cornstarch, while the brand’s production facilities are almost entirely powered by renewable energy.

An eco-focused approach is all well and good, but what do the clothes look like? There’s no point making a zero-waste product if no one wants to buy it. Thankfully, the brand delivers. With a focus on loose-fit genderless streetwear, STORY mfg. hits in the strange intersection between Bode-style handmade high fashion craft, Online Ceramic’s streetwear dead-head prints, and something your grandmother would have made you if she was a die-hard hippy. The result is a product that at once transcends trends and feels of the moment.

A lot of brands that focus on sustainability seem to forget one vital aspect — the people who make their clothes. Thankfully, STORY mfg. isn’t just concerned about the environment, but the people who inhabit it too. The brand's clothes are made in an atelier in Auroville, India, which employs over a hundred local dyers, weavers, embroiderers, and tailors who basically do the entire production process by hand. “Our work is heavily craft-based and involves both teaching and learning new techniques together with our craftspeople,” they explain with the SS21 collection including hand-printed, hand knit, hand crochet, and hand-embroidered pieces.  “We are invested in giving continuous, well-paid work and do not switch for cheaper alternatives.”

For many, price is a major drawback for smaller brands like this and we're not going to lie — dropping $150 on a T-shirt stings. STORY mfg. isn't cheap, but unlike other brands, it's clear where your money is going. Supporting local artisans as opposed to fast-fashion factories that regularly disregard human rights, unfortunately, comes with a financial tradeoff. However, there is one added benefit to a slow-fashion approach — quality. As the Al-Rubeyis emphasize, their clothes are meant to be seen as investment pieces and the quality backs this up. These are handmade pieces that you can see yourself wearing for a long time — and passing down to the next generation.

STORY mfg.'s use of natural dyes means the brand's clothes are colored using things like earth minerals, leaves, bark, roots, heartwood, fruits, flowers, bacteria, and sunlight. The result is a non-toxic dye (for both the wearer and the dyer) that reduces the environmental impact and also creates a distinctive color palette. STORY mfg. favors warm, natural tones, think burnt oranges, light browns, peach, washed-out-red, and shades of indigo with each dye batch creating an original one-of-a-kind color. “Change is natural. If you end up with an interesting streak or different color it’s all part of natural progression” the brand explains.

These sorts of natural tones will be key for trends in the future according to Jane Boddy European Creative Contributor at The Pantone Institute. "Colors that align with nature have become a major topic in the world of color over the past year. People look to nature as a place of calm and peace to help relieve the stress and turmoil of recent terrible events," she explains. Boddy adds that these tones are part of the rise of "seasonless color" which means that "they do not have a season or year attached to them. They can be worn anytime, anywhere."

As the Al-Rubeyis explain in the brand's manifesto, their goal is one of "not only 'zero impact' but 'positive impact.'" This concept is a difficult one to comprehend in fashion.

Between sourcing materials, process, production, and shipping, it's hard to imagine the clothes we wear having a net neutral impact on our planet, much less a positive one. However, we definitely won't get there if we don't try. Brands like STORY mfg. are making the effort to disrupt the normalized way of making clothes, in favor of something a bit slower, a bit more thoughtful, and a bit more environmentally conscious. While clothes aren't the solution to the climate crisis, trying to make things better can only be a good thing.

Brew Hat

Brew Hat

$185

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Brew Hat

Brew Hat

$185

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Short On Time Jacket

Short On Time Jacket

$390

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Grateful Tee

Grateful Tee

$145

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety

Grateful Tee

$98

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety

Twinsun Cardigan

$525

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety

Twinsun Rollneck Sweater

$525

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Bridge Shorts

Bridge Shorts

$265

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Bridge Shorts

Bridge Shorts

$265

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Greetings Shirt

Greetings Shirt

$350

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety
Shore Shirt

Shore Shirt

$180

Story mfg.

Buy at Highsnobiety

Want to keep browsing? Head to the Highsnobiety Shop for more products that we love.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Hanae Mori's Butterfly Effect

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Drowning in Light: Exploring the Best of Stone Island's Reflective Outerwear

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Fallin' Through Stüssy's Fall '22 Lookbook

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Reign of Fire: Sonoya Mizuno Takes on Her Biggest Role Yet

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Post Netflix Binge, Vans Goes Full Fanboy for Stranger Things

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Street Art, Streetwear, and Street Photography Royalty Combine On This Camera

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.