No rush for slow fashion movement: Meet the Gemme Collaborative

Thursday 09th, July 2015 / 12:43
By Alex Molten

Gemme CollectiveVANCOUVER — “I want to promote investing in clothing. Buying less, but buying well,” says Jennifer Williams, the designer of the new Vancouver clothing line, Gemme Collaborative.

Gemme Collaborative is a line that is part of the growing slow fashion movement. The idea of the movement is to create and support a more sustainable fashion industry, an industry that transcends seasonal trends and creates styles that are meant to last.

It was while Williams and Skylar Stock, the owner of Mintage Vintage Clothing Co., were discussing what direction to take the stores reworked fashion line that the project was envisioned. Williams had been with Mintage for three years producing Mintage Reworks, a line of vintage clothing remade into more modern styles, and while she loved the opportunity to make something old new again, she also saw potential in making something new from fabric that was never used in the first place.

“There is a ton of surplus fabric that is being warehoused in Los Angeles and it’s not going to use. It’s just sitting there stagnant. Surplus fabric comes from film companies or big fashion houses that sell off their fabric after their spring collection. They can’t use the same colours and prints anymore [so] they sell them off to a warehouse where they sit until an independent fabric store or an independent designer comes along and buys some of the stock. But – I mean, I went to a four story warehouse of floor-to-ceiling surplus fabric that was all being unused. It was crazy because there [were some] really high-end materials there,” explains Williams about her inspiration.

Gemme Collaborative (1)“There are a couple fashion companies that are starting to surface out of California that do similar things – have a similar business plan [to Gemme Collective],” says Williams. “They are taking surplus fabrics and making new fashions out of them. It’s a lot less wasteful because basically you are taking garbage and making something new. I didn’t see anything like that here in Vancouver, and I thought I could do it better. Design is usually over-designed and I could create really simple timeless, recycled or reclaimed clothing. Even if you are taking garbage to make something new, I don’t want these pieces to also be disposable. Even though they are being made out of reclaimed material I still want them to last.”

And while it would be easy for Williams to claim the company as all her own, it is important to her that recognition is dispersed. It is why she chose the name Gemme Collaborative; her vision would not be possible without a community of support. A fashion label needs not just the designer but also photographers, models, web designers, seamstresses, and more. “It’s about having many people with developed visions working towards one common goal. I’m the designer at the end of the day, and I’m the one leading the project, but I wanted to make sure I give them all credit,” she elaborates.

The collection that Williams has created is a sleek and luxurious line with one-size designs made to fit and flatter most bodies. The fabrics are lush blacks, cold blue-greys, and burnt browns. It is apparent that Williams used the colours of Vancouver to pick her pallet. It is a collection that will fit well in Vancouver both in its aesthetic and ideology, so hurry up and check out some slow fashion!

Gemme Collaborative can be found at Mintage Vintage Clothing and on Instagram @gemmecollaborative.

Gemme Collaborative(2)

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