Effortlessly elegant, timeless and sustainable – Concrete-London is the latest brand to launch at Luxury Legs. Combining classic silhouettes with conscious manufacturing techniques, this is a brand you can invest in for your wardrobe and your future. We caught up with Angela Blundell to discover more about Concrete-London and to hear what we can expect from the brand in seasons to come…
Q: Tell us about Concrete-London
A: Concrete-London is a sustainable, timeless, seasonless collection of wardrobe staples that we have created to last forever. We have used the finest quality merino yarn, ethically sheared in New Zealand, spun and dyed in sustainable factories in Italy and then manufactured in the UK .
Q: Why did you decide to start the brand?
A: Following a long career in the fashion industry, I found a passion in helping to improve climate change and reduce the large amount of landfill waste that the fashion industry produces. I wanted to combine this brand ethos with a collection of core staple pieces that can be mix and matched with preloved or existing wardrobe pieces.
Q: Tell us about your experience in the fashion industry
A: I have over 25 years’ experience in the fashion industry where I have gained invaluable knowledge of building, creating, and scaling brands. I launched brands into various international markets focusing on the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East especially ranging from Wolford, Armani, D Squared and Diesel. Having gained and learnt from some of the most inspiring leaders in fashion, I felt I was ready to launch my own brand
Q: What do you mean by slow fashion?
A: Slow fashion is an approach to producing clothing which takes into consideration all aspects of the supply chain and, in doing so, aims to respect people, the environment and animals. Slow fashion for me is the opposite of fast fashion where product is produced for the consumer to buy into a trend that may only last three months. That product becomes unwanted so encourages the consumer to continue to buy into the fast fashion theory.
Q: What is Concrete-London’s ethos?
A: To create a product that every person would want in their wardrobe for eternity. We produce our garments to last forever so every product will have a full life cycle whether it be within your own wardrobe or is passed onto someone else as a preloved garment.
Q: Why is sustainability so important to you and your brand?
A: I have been working with sustainable brands over the past 5 years and have seen how much effort is put into every detail of the process of producing product that is sustainable. This is not an easy process compared to fast fashion products which is so much easier to produce. I really believe that we all need to play a large part in reducing landfill waste as well as improving the environment for our future generations.
Q: What goes into your manufacturing process to make it sustainable?
A: We researched carefully into our partners to ensure that we had the same ethical and sustainable goals. Our yarns are ethically sheared in New Zealand (a process called non-mulesing), spun and dyed in a sustainable factory in Tollegno, Italy, then manufactured in small and very experienced factories in the UK. The dyes used in Tollegno are non- chemical, the electricity used to power the factory (and the local town) is solar powered by the factory itself and the water usage is drastically reduced through the dyeing process as well as recycled back into the local lakes.
The yarn is made from 100% merino and is manufactured using the SHIMA SEIKI technique of whole garment technology. This technology knits the garment in once piece, hence no cut and sew, no yarn wastage. We use DHL Green to deliver our goods or on occasions, we deliver our goods personally!
Q: How do you think the pandemic and multiple lockdowns affected fast-fashion shopping?
A: In terms of shopping as a whole, the pandemic has affected all aspects of shopping, not just fast fashion. During the various lockdowns, where shops were closed, restaurants closed, travel restricted and work from home became the norm, we began to change the way we looked at our world. Consumers became much more environmentally conscious, shopped online so much more, and researched into wearing less workwear but focused on comfort as well as treating themselves to a bit of luxury.
The trend of fast fashion became less in demand as nights out were not allowed. Since the opening of lockdown, we have seen a shift in reverting back to fast fashion but the idealisation of wearing comfort, affordable luxury from daytime to evening has become the norm.
Q: How did the pandemic affect the process of starting your brand?
A: We decided to launch the brand in July 2020 starting with extensive research into what the ultimate wardrobe looked like for day and night. We then spent time on researching the partners to supply and manufacture which was a lengthy process as many factories had to close. Once we went through the process of creating a sample collection, we had to find a studio that would shoot the campaign with all social distancing rules in place. We then launched the brand with buyers in January 2021 with just the use of Zoom meetings and the occasional socially distanced meetings so it has been hard to launch a brand that requires a touch and feel of quality to really understand the journey the brand has been on.
Q: What inspires you when designing collections?
A: Simplicity of form and silhouette with the additional of unique detailing to create the DNA. All our pieces are named after famous architects as I believe architecture and fashion blend well together in terms of structure, form and design.
Q: Is there a hero piece in your collection? What’s your favourite piece?
A: The hero piece is the Hadid polo neck. It’s a relaxed fit sweater with a high neck to create a flattering slim neck structure, ribbed sleeves to slim the arms and a beautiful pearl hem to finish. My personal favourite piece is the Gaudi polo dress. It has beautiful neck detailing, a long hem to slim the silhouette and beautifully shaped balloon sleeves to add a touch of uniqueness to a simple silhouette.
Q: What can we expect for the coming season?
A: As this is a timeless collection, the merino story will continue through to SS22 as it is an ultrafine knit. Merino has many amazing qualities such as being hypoallergenic, providing UV protection, wicks moisture and keeping you cool in the summer, so it is a perfect yarn to wear all year round. I have also found an amazing new fabric from our Italian factory which is made of recycled plastic bottles and wool and is a perfect accompaniment to the knitwear pieces. We have continued to take inspiration from the Japanese art of construction and produced beautiful kimono jackets and skirts, made from the traditional patterns of Japanese pattern making, and combined it with a modern fabric.
Discover the latest collection from Concrete-London at Luxury Legs now.