Daily life with the weather in the northern hempisphere – rains 1 out of 3 days on average all year round .For our urban customer travelling outdoors is a daily need and they want to look good without the environment paying a price. Their clothing choice is unsuitable, they arrive unhappy wet, cold and sweaty. Its thrown away or replaced after 3 - 4 years on average.
The partnership will produce producing 4 versatile modular outerwear and layering pieces. Using for the first time a “3 layer fabric” made of recycled polyester by Seaqual for 2 waterproof and breathable jackets, a long trench cut, and shorter military-inspired cut. Paired with two inner warmers that can be attached inside the outer jackets or worn separately, also made from technical sustainable materials. The inner layer is made from Primaloft silver recycled fill and Polartec Power air (super warm recycled, anti microfibre-shed fleece).The idea is to transform Seaqual polyester twill into a durable, lightweight and waterproof PFC-free, three-layer fabric made from recycled and post-industrial waste. The yarn is traceable thorough a DNA tracker in the fabric. Full seam taping makes the garment 100% waterproof.
Agogic arose from a combination of my previous experience as a designer in the outdoor industry and living in North Europe. I was frustrated as I needed to ride my bike everyday but I wanted my jackets to work like my best loved jackets, military or trench styles with inner layers I add myself, so keeping me dry and also the right level of warmth. With Abi from TheBravenewnow we talked about this a lot, what would be really like to wear instead. We then asked other people, and the idea grew…..
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
Solving our problem however within the huge rain wear and ‘ sustainable ' market was about really thinking about needs and what is our point of view ? I don’t really believe in the fashion system, and I really believe sustainability comes from product that is made well and truly made to last. So in combination with our consumer research and my experience in making technical clothing, Agogic is an all season round modular system of jacket, 2 outers and 2 inners that can be combined and packed. These give the customer flexibility throughout their day. Layerable , packable and component built to function across seasons, buy less do more. It works so well! Its about more than just the weather its helping your day. The materials needed to be made well and made to last, we have used responsibly-sourced, high-performance, eco-friendly materials like Seaqual Yarn, upcycled nylon, Primaloft and Polartec Power Air, which are constructed out of recycled sea and land litter. Their performance and the clip in system of the garments are borrowed from the technical outdoor world, but brought to the city. Then how can these garments be made in the best way ? It had to be a high quality manufacture, we looked at different options and were able to work with a factory in Italy La Rocca , an ethical manufacturer with a history of high quality craftmanship.. We believe in fair wages, labour rights, total transparency. Our sustainable approach extends to packaging. We only employ reusable and returnable plastic bags produced by Repack and all recycled materials that arrive at the point of sale with the consumer.
We are providing longevity support including repair and maintenance for garments purchased, with buy back and resell coming soon. So I learnt with further research this is really about about circularity through an Extended product lifecycle, something I feel so passionate and want to learn more about. The main product is costly to make in small quantities and launching as a small brand Direct to consumer during the pandemic hasn’t been easy. Consumers don’t realise that big brands have the monopoly on materials and MOQ and but we are building up a small customer base and following which we want to scale.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Consumer feedback, drawing and researching into timeless and functional styles was the starting point. I found a vintage Balmain trench at our local market for 3 euros and used my archive of outdoor jackets for attachment systems. First protos took place over the summer which was a challenge in Italy due to holiday time. Consumer testing then evolved the styles in terms of detail and construction and also quite dramatically, particularly our parka.
The BNN helped me to have an overview on the project communication, planning & bigger vision with Roger. Whilst Abi has been able to create direct relationships with key markets for direct to consumer. The impact of collaborating with Abi & Roger has enabled me to evaluate the correct choices for Agogic and then how to execute within a small team, as you don’t have many resources!. It was key to moving the project forward, from initial ideas to problem solving, working together made the experience more enjoyable and successful. I was able to have another point of view to consider. Sometimes I would feel really blocked on how to move forward, to discuss and plan with your partner was a real help. For example we saw that making Agogic for also for Men was a real opportunity. It has helped me really develop my skill set as an entrepreneur and enable us to launch and find the path ahead in a challenging 2020 – 2021.
We have launched our Ecommerce in October 2020 and have initial sales and a core business structure set up. We are looking to for an experienced partner ie an accelerator focused on ecommerce technology or a fashion related company to help us scale up in terms on product options and materials, new markets and develop our longevity service. We are looking for ongoing advice and direction on key areas we need to improve on within the business as well as investment for our next launch for Autumn 2021.
Working collaboratively for me has been always important, as projects grow and take shape I believe you really need team work to get to the next level!