Turning seaweed into silk…meet ADAY the sustainable fashion innovators
Makerversity’s “A meeting with…” series tells members’ own unique Makerversity stories and the amazing ways that pioneering innovation happens within our community…
ADAY, based in New York + London are a ground-breaking new direct-to-consumer technical apparel brand. ADAY like to simplify and set out to create the clothing of the future, which is beautiful, technical and sustainable. They balance minimalist design and technical fabrics, in order to make a streamlined wardrobe of versatile and sustainable staples that last through the seasons. ADAY received $2 million in funding in a round led by H&M’s venture capital arm and have an H&M advisor to help them scale supply chain as ethically as possible. ADAY was named as one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies of 2018. https://www.fastcompany.com/company/aday
I met Alexis and Millie, the ADAY London team and heard about their own Makerversity journey.
“We love the Makerversity community and have met some great people here. When we were in the Paint Room (Makerversity’s members’ bar) one day we got to know Purva Chawla. Purva, also based at Makerversity, founded her company Materials Driven to support and scale the work of new materials makers. For us fabrics are everything and we are constantly looking for new bio-based and sustainable fabrics to use in our designs.
Through Purva we met a company who develops seaweed fibre. Together we developed a fabric made from seaweed that feels like silk which we are starting to use in our designs. Here the community has helped us find new factories and new vendors; being at Makerversity has really speeded up that process for us. It’s amazing to be around other young companies. The creativity and the energy are nice. Sharing is fostered here and contributes to everyone’s success, unlike other workspaces where people stick to themselves. There’s a textiles workshop, having access to workshops and members’ events is great. And we love the unfinished feel of the space. Somerset House has the right brand association and historical cultural clout, we’re proud to be here.
It’s easy to be insular but here we’re around people testing and creating interesting things across such diverse areas, not just fashion. We saw Mettle inventing a new pedestrian crossing and sit next to guys playing with VR headsets. Alexis got involved with Tech Shot in Shoreditch which took place at the ad agency Mother. And we were involved in the International Women’s day campaign as women in business. We’ve worked with David Baker too on a Design in Education programme and helped put textiles into the lesson plans which was an amazing experience…And Hattie, Makerversity’s learning producer has been fantastic and lets us know about talented people who come to Makerversity through the learning programmes such as the Prince’s Trust collaboration. We’ve given opportunities to brilliant young people such as Tiana who designed a postcard, identity and social media campaign for us and we’re still in touch.
2018 is a big year for ADAY and we’re running press events and ambassadors’ breakfasts to showcase our new collection of minimal conscious design. We recently did a shoot with Founders of eco businesses wearing our clothes, including the Founders of a zero waste laundromat called Celsious, and Sustain the Mag.Private 1-2-1 personal shopping takes place at our New York location and is very successful for us, however the majority of our sales are online.
Part of this year’s new 3-piece collection includes a jacket made from 1 piece of fabric, and a single cut, kimono sleeves. The fabric is 90% recycled polyester, with recycled water bottles, containing 41 water bottles per jacket. Our tank is made in a factory which uses 80% solar panels. Our easy days trousers involve minimal cutting. The collection comes in white, sand, cloud and midnight colours.
What’s next for us is we would like advice on how to grow a team with a dual city component, making sure everyone feels part of a wider team. Here at Makerversity we’ve just secured a vault space to provide a branded experience and more private space for our wear testers as we’d like to keep growing here.”