In the deserts of Syria and Iraq, Bedouin forage for truffles. Surprisingly, these mushroom-related delicacies crack the sands open in this barren landscape, appearing above the surface in Spring. It’s said that a good truffle season is heralded by thunder and lightning during the first storms of November. If the nights are calm, locals say wait until next year.
The relationship between truffles and thunder is a mystery, and has remained so for hundreds if not thousands of years. It’s a seasonal product that, when it pushes up through the sands, is seen as a gift from heaven.
What does this have to do with STORY mfg.’s SS23 collection of natural dyed, handmade wonders? Well, it seems the UK brand feels an affinity with the lesser-known desert truffle: “We see ourselves in the desert truffle,” says co-founder Saeed Al-Rubeyi. “A luxurious, smelly, storied product of chaos.”
“The Thunder and the Truffle” is instantly recognisable as STORY mfg. Using traditional making methods like hand knitting, hand weaving, hand embroidery and naturally dyeing, each piece has all the key characteristics of STORY mfg.’s style. Over the years, the brand has forged deep and meaningful relationships with the people who make its clothing. Many pieces are made in India, in small-scale artisanal factories and workshops, where many hands have carefully assembled crocheted jackets, embroidered jackets and knitted sweaters.
This collection features STORY mfg.’s most popular and iconic styles including: the Polite Pullover in ecru corduroy with hand crocheted details; the boxy Sundae Jacket in a hand dyed plaid; and the slouchy Forager Pants with their multiple pockets. There’s an expansion of its knitwear offering with jumpers, vests, and scarves. Accessories also get a look in: there’s the bucket hat with its snail design and a new hair scrunchie in a range of colors.
The attention to detail is astonishing. Listing out every hand embroidered embellishment and hand crocheted feature would take up the rest of this page. It is, as STORY mfg. say, a “devotion to craft.” It’s an urge, driven by emotion, to create clothing that labors over every stitch and dye.
All items are made with 100 percent organic cotton and dyed with natural materials. There are no plastics or polyesters used here, and certainly no animal-derived products. STORY mfg. doesn’t shout about its sustainable practices. Instead, they are inherent to how the brand operates. The process of making is as important as the final product. And with that devotion, care for the planet and people comes naturally.
“As a company I think we have found our place in the fabric of the world,” says Al-Rubeyi. “It’s to work with craftspeople and serve those who appreciate it and can be patrons (and share the journey with everyone).”
Forage for the collection on the STORY mfg. website. For more naturally made goods, take a look at GANNI’s orange and cactus vegan bag.