This is what we like to see. Two brands coming together to make something a little more Earth-friendly. Reigning Champ has teamed up with cult surf dudes Western Hydrodynamic Research (WHR) to create a capsule of sweats made from upcycled deadstock and factory seconds.
Reigning Champ is best known for its North American, classic athletic goods. It’s taken a dive into its piles of deadstock and unused items — slightly damaged pieces that didn’t quite meet productions standards. These were then passed onto WHR and its “brand mother”, Chris Barton. Chris then took to his needle and machine to repair, embellish and chain-stitch each item by hand.
This process of repairing defects is loosely inspired by kintsugi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold, so that the flaws and imperfections are kept visible. It imbues the objects with stories; physical traces of their history. This collection uses thread instead of gold, but the effect is the same. The repair or embroidery differs from piece to piece as they are all one-of-a-kind.
The concise and considered collection is focused on Reigning Champs’ cotton crewnecks and pullover hoodies, in shades of white, gray, navy, earth brown and sierra. Each piece has the Canadian brands’ hallmarks of quality: flatlock seams, semi-raglan sleeves, rib cuffs and seams, and woven drawcords.
The embroidered details are either geometric, using a Japanese style called sashiko, which reinforces textiles with “little stabs” of thread in patterns, or designs of birds, whales and abstract flowers. The dedication to detail is superb, elevating items that were once destined for the bin to delicate new heights.
Shop and admire the collection on the WHR website.