First off, it’s been a minute since I dropped a memo to the community – but we’ve been workin’. Behind the scenes, in front of the scenes, just about everywhere we can nudge our way into the ongoing dialogue about what brands can (and should) be doing differently and how we can work to inspire change, we’ve been pushing. All of which leads to this: our first collaboration.
When we started FVV, I knew I didn’t want to use this platform to profit from selling more products. So, over the last couple of years, whenever the topic of potential collaboration has come up with other brands, we’ve steered away from those opportunities because it’s always about selling what we make.
Recently, however, that changed. Not our values – those aren’t going anywhere – but something shifted in terms of an idea. With this inaugural collaboration, we were given a rare opportunity to stay true to what we believe and the chance to work on a timeless product. A collaborative project without commerce at the core – a product that wasn’t about selling product.
With all of that in mind – all those big ideas and steadfast values – we also wanted to share some insight into what this collaboration means to us: some thoughts – because we’re sure you have questions – as to the “Why now?”, and on how we plan to use this opportunity to continue using our position as a catalyst for change.
“Our ultimate goal was to create a collaborative project that existed outside of the hype cycle and which stoked a genuine sense of desire through something tangible and real.”
So, some brief backstory…
When we began the exchange with Champion, they told us that they were launching a new version of their iconic Reverse Weave sweatshirt – specifically, a version which contained nylon fiber capable of decaying to biodegrade. It was their first meaningful foray into an ecologically-friendly construction and, if met with warmth and acceptance, it could see a larger implementation across the brand’s other products. Like many companies who create and pioneer new product evolution, though, they were looking for a partner to help tell this story. Someone who knew the space and understood the conversation. Enter FVV.
In all honesty, Futurevvorld was created for exactly this reason – to assist in carrying projects like this to an increasingly receptive audience. And so, knowing this, we agreed to step in and offer up some ideas.
The conversation started with a simple rule – albeit one that some brands would have run from at speed: the idea that we didn’t want to sell what we made.
But we also had very tangible requirements, too: we wanted to use any existing samples that might already be in circulation, for example, and we felt like it’d be best to utilize DTG (direct to garment) printing and water based inks – as opposed to the often toxic, resource intensive screenprinting process. The thread we’d use for embroidery needed to be all natural and GOTS certified. And, lastly, we wanted to work diligently to ensure we were creating heirlooms, not trendy garments that de-prioritize how labor intensive the production process can be.
Our ultimate goal was to create a collaborative project that existed outside of the hype cycle and which stoked a genuine sense of desire through something tangible and real – because of the level of thought and effort and attention that went into it, not because we were motivated by profit and selling lots of units.
The good news, Champion said okay to all of these ideas.
Over the next two months, this project was an obsession of mine. I worked alongside two incredibly gifted and thoughtful creatives, Felipe Merida and Rosie Casey – both of whom took my ideas and the ethos of this project and brought originality and care into every aspect. And then, when I thought about who I wanted to share these garments with, I used one rule – who embodies the FVV mantra, “If you’re not changing something, you’re choosing it”?
I looked to the community around me and found eight people who motivate me to do better, to think differently, to push myself creatively, and to make this world a better place. That list came together quickly and we went to work, designing custom garments that shed a light on how these people shine in their own ecosystem; not necessarily as environmentalists, but as great people, great leaders, courageous thinkers.
But FVV has always been about what we do together – about inclusion. And so, to balance out that idea of “seeding” with something more like “sharing”, I wanted to make sure that we made some of these garments available to our community. Also free of charge.
So, once the first batch is in circulation, we’ll be giving away the remaining garments via a simple contest on the FVV instagram. No cost, just participation and gratitude to our growing community. Stay tuned for that.
“With this inaugural collaboration, we were given a rare opportunity to stay true to what we believe and the chance to work on a timeless product. A collaborative project without commerce at the core – a product that wasn’t about selling product.”
In the coming days, you’ll see some of these garments starting to appear on social media. We’re really proud of them. You’ll notice that, aside from this intricate blend of printed design and hand embroidery, we’ve also made it a point to print our mission statement on every garment. They are symbol of what is possible through mindful design and they embody the level of attention to detail that we think collaboration deserves.
Are these garments perfect? They are not. Are they better? Yes they are. Are we proud to put our name on them? Absolutely.
I’ve been wearing the Reverse Weave sweatshirt for as long as I can remember. I have some Reverse Weave pieces that are 20+ years old and they always look better worn-in than they do brand new. This tiny capsule is one I expect will age beautifully.
Thanks to Champion for being our first collaborator and thank you to everyone who touched these garments. We hope you think we did a good job, and we look forward to finding other ways to wedge our ideas into legacy structures. There’s a better way. We’re here to be a part of it.
We hope you can get your hands on one.
(But, if you couldn’t, you can visit the Champion web store to find the full Eco Future Reverse Weave collection.)