Maharishi Reimagines 1960s Naval Uniforms With Recycled Materials and Natural Dyes
Maharishi is no stranger to mixing worlds. Since 1994, the brand has been known for applying an environmentally conscious and pacifist approach to long-lasting military-inspired clothing. It blends Eastern and Western silhouettes and graphic influences to present camouflage as a symbol of nature and art. This amalgamation continues with a brand motto of “respect nature, utilize technology.”
“Camouflage, in truth, is an abstract rendition of nature,” says Maharishi founder Hardy Blechman.
The London-based label’s latest release, the Technical Riverine capsule, is a collection that reimagines uniforms worn by U.S. Navy Riverine units stationed in Vietnam during the 1960s. These contemporary takes on wartime garb include utility shirts, cargo pants, tech vests, hoodies, as well as oversmocks and “Eastern-inspired garments” like the Tech Kimono, a fusion of the U.S. Army ECWS Parka and the traditional Kimono.
Other modern-day adaptations include functionality updates such as adjustable mesh neck gaiters, pre-formed leg articulation, and integrated jacquard webbing belts.
The Technical Riverine capsule features a Japanese micro-ripstop nylon recycled from waste yarn and naturally dyed using olives and bamboo charcoal. The olive tones used in select pieces are inspired by the Olive-OG107 of the original U.S. Navy uniforms, while the black-hued garments nod to U.S. Special Forces operatives, a color distinction for functionality (hiding in the darkness of night) as well as elite rank.
The collection’s textiles were developed by heritage Japanese mill Komatsu to be water-resistant and quick drying, and thus more utilitarian. Additionally, panels of carbon fiber-reinforced Italian nylon are used to help maintain a constant body temperature through heat regulation and sweat evaporation.
Maharishi’s dedication to Earth-friendlier materials and processes doesn’t start with Technical Riverine however. “I founded Maharishi, which literally translates from the Sanskrit as ‘Great Seer,’ in 1994, originally with the intention to only offer environmentally sound hemp and upcycled military and industrial surplus,” said Blechman in a recent interview with END.
Past collections have utilized vegetable-dyed Japanese cupro twill, recycled polyester, hemp, and more. A recently launched capsule titled MILTYPE remixed the graphic language of military-wear with 100% organic FairTrade cotton, a staple fabric for the brand.
Centering the brand’s focus on militaristic garb also has sustainability implications.
In that same interview with END., Blechman explained, “One of the primary reasons I was drawn to military clothing is that it’s mad utilitarian and it’s designed to be super hard wearing, which is one of the best solutions to fast fashion and short life span construction.”
The Technical Riverine capsule is available now at Maharishi stores in London and NYC as well as online via maharishistore.com.
In other fashion news, Arc’teryx launched its new sustainability hub, ReBird.