The “Introducing” is a series of interviews or stories of independent lifestyle and design brands that you have probably not heard of yet. It’s an introduction to the brand story told by its founder. In this article we are introducing a sustainable fashion brand “Saywood” created by Harriet Saywood-Bellisario.
Saywood is an ethically made, contemporary slow fashion brand, focused on colourful, wearable everyday essentials – the staples beyond the classics. Made in small volumes from responsibly sourced materials, each piece is elevated with beautiful attention to detail, designed to be worn and re-worn.
Created in 2020 by Harriet Saywood-Bellisario, who graduated from the London College of Fashion before working at Paul Smith, Richard Nicoll and Label/Mix, our starting points each season are classics contemporised with unexpected details.
Each collection, we deliver beautiful edits of wardrobe essentials; for our first capsule, we’ve focused on shirting. Both modern and timeless, each piece is made to be worn and re-worn. At the heart of our story is a desire to reconnect with the people and processes behind what we wear, and in doing so, press pause on throwaway fashion.
Our collections are small, built on quality pieces with longevity in mind. We take a responsible approach, working with sustainable fabrics when possible, and local makers where possible. The upshot? Uniquely designed, thoughtfully made pieces you’ll want in your life, always.
Saywood designs pieces you’ll want in your life, always – with an eye on the world we live in, always. We craft our collections through the lens of longevity and circularity to reduce our environmental impact.
Made in small volumes, our emphasis is on quality designs that last, but leave as little mark as possible on our planet through all stages of their lifecycle, in every way. Our journey towards this sustainable vision involves making more responsible choices, from the fabrics we use, to the people we collaborate with. Our deadstock cotton comes from Riopele.
Based in Portugal, the mill has an eco-friendly production ethos, including water and waste recycling. Parts of its processes are also powered using solar energy. In recognition of its efforts towards sustainable production, it is certified STeP by OEKO-TEX® Level 3 – the highest level. Recycled fibres have a better environmental footprint – reusing what we already have is always better than creating something new – which is why we prefer to use recycled cotton yarns from Canclini. Little water is required during production in the mill, which operates on solar energy. Its cotton is also certified Global Recycled Standard, and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, which means it’s free from chemicals harmful to your skin.
Saywood uses Premium Japanese Denim, from Italian fabric mill, Canclini, who work with traditional Japanese denim mills to weave their denim range. The denim is from the Okayama district in Japan, known as the ‘birthplace of denim’. This particular denim is produced in the city of Ibara, where a small craft enterprise produces this premium and highly esteemed denim.
Produced on traditional shuttle looms, through the use of ancestral handcraft work, highly skilled weavers create this denim exclusively for this mill. The traditional looms are narrower, creating the Japanese selvedge denim, and dyed with Japanese natural indigo dye, which creates a deeper, richer tone, like the Saywood rich indigo denim of the Etta Shirtdress.
Our mill in Italy, Canclini, works only with Supima cotton. Supima is a branded cotton; it is extra-long staple fibres, which are extremely durable, soft and retain colour. The Supima cotton is grown exclusively in the US, by a small collective of 500 family run farms, who have high ethical and safety standards. The cotton Canclini uses in particular is grown in the California state. The Supima farmers use satellite technology to monitor and promote soil health, keeping water usage low, and promote biodiversity and fostering wildlife through their farming techniques.
Our love for designs that respect the planet goes down to the details. All our buttons are from either Codelite®, a natural material derived from milk protein that’s biodegradable, or corozo, otherwise known as vegetable ivory. A nut from the Tagua palm which grows in South America, corozo can only be harvested once it naturally falls to the ground, making it a more responsible choice.
They come from Courtney & Co, a British heritage buttons company with a forward-thinking approach to sustainability: leftover pulp from corozo goes to beauty manufacturers and then turned into natural microbeads; buttons are dyed using eco-friendly dyes, and re-dyed in black if colours come out incorrectly so that they can still be used; trees are planted in community gardens and orchards across the UK to offset its carbon footprint created through importing corozo.
For more information, please visit Saywood website: saywoodstudio.co.uk
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