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Embracing the slow fashion/co-op movement to tackle issues of quality, ethics and sustainability.
Embracing the slow fashion/co-op movement to tackle issues of quality, ethics and sustainability.
112 backers pledged €36,542 to help bring this project to life.

About

Invisible Acts: A slow fashion selvedge workwear jacket. project video thumbnail
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€36,542

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PRESS COVERAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

   

Invisible Acts is a slow fashion selvedge cotton workwear jacket of exceptional strength and quality. By using this platform we have a unique opportunity to address some of the issues in our industry regarding the environment, manufacturing conditions and quality while challenging and educating ourselves in the process.

 

 French skaters Lelex1000, Walter Megot and Marca Barbier testing Invisible Acts jackets in the Paris night with Music by Pete Drungle.

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THE STORY

One evening in April 2013 while putting the finishing touches on an opinion piece about provenance integrity (Made in France, Made in Italy, Made in USA etc)  for The Business of Fashion we were watching TV at home. Unfolding on the screen before us was the worst industrial disaster in the history of garment manufacture taking place in Bangladesh. 

Like everyone we were stunned and  disturbed by the events but since we don't actually operate in a 'fast fashion' environment we eventually moved on and went about our business. 

Then last year we watched Andrew Morgan's film The True Cost. Again, as it concerned the manufacture, consumption and disposal of fast fashion products it didn't hold direct professional relevance for us, but it did bring forth awareness and responsibility.

As human beings, there was no escape. We couldn't get the film out of our heads. It was all just becoming too big. We were left with a feeling that with our experience in fashion comes responsibility and we had to do something however small to keep these topics in the discussion. 

'FABRICCA LENTA'/SLOW FASHION

Later that year we had the fortune to visit one of the world's leading pioneers in organic fibres and 'fabricca lenta' (slow making or slow weaving) and Invisible Acts started to take shape. 

Bonotto is a 4th generation Italian textile manufacturer with a room dedicated to 1956 President shuttle loom machines. 

President Shuttle Loom
President Shuttle Loom

Using non-GM cotton the machines produce what's called a 'drill' (the basis for denim) of incredible strength and quality. We subsequently found out the slow weave allows for the yarn to properly settle and compress which high speed modern projectile looms do not. Most of these machines were destroyed after WWII in the rush to modernisation. 

Shuttle looms produce a more narrow roll of 'self-edged' (or selvedge) drill which has become the signature benchmark for high quality workwear cotton and premium denim. 

You can read more about the history and significance of selvedge in this great article by Brett & Kate McKay.

SLATE/grey Invisible Acts jacket showing white selvedge detail
SLATE/grey Invisible Acts jacket showing white selvedge detail

 

CO-OP MANUFACTURING

When we first decided to go against the ‘off-shoring’ boom and seek out French manufacturing we encountered two inspiring people and their stimulating story.

In 2002 Bocage Avenir Couture one of France’s leading high end manufacturers was facing bankruptcy. Sadly, there was nothing unusual about this; there had been thousands of factory closures in France since the 80’s.

What was unusual was how they saved it.

The local politician at the time was a strong supporter of cooperative businesses, worker-owned enterprise. He was determined to keep Bocage active due not only to its financial contribution to the region but the symbolic one.  

He asked Jean Normand and Brigitte Legay, director and administrator, respectively, if they could work with the banks and the seamstresses to negotiate a co-op conversion and pull the business from the precipice.

And they did.

 

Brigitte Legay and Jean Normand by Clifford Harper
Brigitte Legay and Jean Normand by Clifford Harper

Bocage not only survived this first wave of economic threat, the flexibility of the co-op structure allowed them to navigate the 2008 crisis as well, preserving all the ‘savoir faire’ of its 68 ‘couturières’.

The region known as the Deux Sèvres has become one of the highest density co-op regions in France.

Bocage Avenir in the village of La Fôret-sur-Sèvres
Bocage Avenir in the village of La Fôret-sur-Sèvres

 

THE JACKET

As this is only the first step in what we hope will be a long and enriching journey and given the complexity of the issues we are trying to address we deliberately chose to begin with a simple garment to which we can all relate.

At one time or another we have all bought a cotton jacket whether it's a Chinese Mao, an American denim or a French  'bleu de travail'. Being based in Paris we settled on the bleu de travail shape, a classic, sturdy, square cut 3 outer and 1 inner pocket vest. 

 

COAL/black rear view with selvedge detail.
COAL/black rear view with selvedge detail.

 

COAL/black with metal zamak cuff button.
COAL/black with metal zamak cuff button.

 

The jackets come in both Mens and Womens in three colours: SLATE/grey, COAL/black and SNOW/white.

 

 

 

SLATE/grey
SLATE/grey

 

SNOW/white
SNOW/white

 

SNOW/white collar detail
SNOW/white collar detail

We chose to work with a heavy gauge drill (520 grams per linear metre) to make a rugged, tough and protective garment that will only improve with age. 

The COAL/black and SLATE/grey options are 520g.

But for those who would prefer a lighter option the SNOW/white styles in both Mens and Womens are 250g per linear metre, making for a more fluid 'straight off the hanger' garment.  

Inside out showing Invisible Acts tag.
Inside out showing Invisible Acts tag.

 

The idea behind the Invisible Acts logo.
The idea behind the Invisible Acts logo.

 CHOOSING THE RIGHT SIZE

The Invisible Acts jacket is based on the cut of the original French bleu de travail. This was designed to be worn close to the body as surplus fabric could be caught in machinery. 

Our sizing is based on this idea. So a small will be a fitted small, a medium will be a fitted medium. If you prefer a more loose fit than you should choose one size up from your actual size. 

We've made slight allowances in the pattern for the difference in the male and female shape.

Please refer to the measurement guide and chart for greater precision.

PRE-WASH

All the Invisible Acts jackets have been hot-washed and pre-shrunk to size. 

WHEN DO YOU RECEIVE YOUR JACKET?

Bear in mind that, as it says in the intro, we're 'embracing slow fashion'. The slow-woven cotton drill is a specialist fabric and takes 3 months to produce. 

It then needs to be transported from Italy to our French manufacturer who needs two months to complete the order. 

We will begin deliveries to you on the 1st of November 2017 worldwide.

 

FOLLOW US 

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

 

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Risks and challenges

In the middle of impending nuclear war, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and mass extinctions one thing you can count on is this is something we know how to do.

Our two manufacturing partners have generations of experience and years of experience with us.

Our shipping partners are Amazon for Europe and La Poste for the rest of the world.

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    Support The Cause!

    Thank you email with Invisible Acts digital poster.

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    Join The Movement!

    6 X White on black and 6 X black on white matte finish badges with the Invisible Acts logo.

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    Pledge €50 or more About $54

    Invisible Acts T-Shirt

    1 X Premium quality American made long sleeve crew neck T-shirt printed with large format logo. Black or White.

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    1 X Invisible Acts Jacket any colour any size.
    Future retail price 518 Euros.

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    1 X Invisible Acts Jacket any colour any size.
    Future retail price 518 Euros.

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    Pledge €235 or more About $256

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    1 X Premium quality American made long sleeve crew neck T-shirt printed with large format logo. Choice of black or white.
    1 X Jacket any colour any size.
    12 X Badges as a gift.

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    Pledge €360 or more About $392

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    2 X Invisible Acts Jackets any colour any size.
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    Future retail price 1036 Euros.

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    Pledge €535 or more About $583

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    Bundle of 3 X Jackets any colour any size of your choice.
    12 X Badges as a gift.
    Future retail price 1554 Euros.

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    Bundel of 3x Jackets any colour any size of your choice + Invisible Acts T-Shirt printed with large formant logo. Black or White.

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    Bindel of 6x Jackets any colour any size of your choice.
    Future retail price 2990.

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Funding period

- (30 days)