In our daily quest for Earth-friendly projects, innovations in material and production are only a portion of the pie. Extending the life of the product is another key slice. Whether it’s Nike selling refurbished sneakers or Salomon developing a recycling program dedicated to its new running shoe, companies continue to introduce different business models and creative projects to address circularity. Some are even going beyond extending the use or positive impact of something that was just worn, breathing new life into products that would’ve been discarded years ago. We’ve seen this with LN-CC’s recent multi-brand collaborations made from deadstock clothing. Toronto-based BentGableNits is another perfect example of this.
A joint venture between creative studio Bent Gable Design and vintage collector Angelo Nitsopoulos, BentGableNits uses upcycled vintage and traditional craft techniques to create a new form of luxury that prides itself in process as well as understanding the environmental impact of fashion today. The brand’s latest project is a collaboration with Levi’s. The new collection reworks vintage versions of Levi’s icons, like the 501 Jeans and Trucker Jackets with BentGableNits’ signature embroidery and embellishments.
FUTUREVVORLD connected with BentGableNits to learn more about the new partnership.
There seems to be some commonality in the jeans themselves: color, fade and shape. What was it that you were looking for?
We wanted the 501s as we felt that is their most classic. We were very concerned with the wash and preferred the denim to be broken in.
Can you tell us about the embroideries and embellishments? What material are they, how were they applied to the denim, etc.?
The embroidery we did by hand ourselves. The embellishments were sourced over the years. They are cotton crocheted flowers from tablecloth doily coasters with the criteria for sourcing being handmade. All the embellishments are also hand-stitched.
In the past, you’ve mostly worked with tops — jackets, sweaters, tees, etc. Were there any challenges working with bottoms, particularly jeans?
They are very hard on the hands! But they are also a great canvas visually to work on top of.
Upcycling, as well as using deadstock fabric, has seemingly exploded over the last few years. How does that make you feel about the future of clothing?
It’s just an aspect of clothing. There will always be ready-to-wear. We just do what we love as well as work on and with what inspires us
Does this explosion concern you at all? Has it been more difficult to source existing clothing/materials?
So far not really. We have a large library of vintage fabrics, embroideries, crocheted pieces, and we also work with digital printing. We have friends in different cities, and they also enjoy the “hunt,” so they source for us as well. When we can travel again we will visit the smaller towns and flea markets and replenish our stock.
With the end of the pandemic near, what are you looking forward to, in terms of BentGableNits and its future?
TRAVEL! Scouring the world for beautiful things made with peoples’ hands, which is a dying art.
What started as a clever and creative way to rework vintage clothing, BentGableNits has turned into a distinct label that creates a unique “one-of-one” feel to their pieces. Shops like Selfridges have taken note and set up pop-up shops, while rands like Jordan have commissioned friends and family capsules. We can only expect to see more from the creative trio.