Trend report: The real thing

Earth dyes by Hyun Jin Jeong

Earth dyes by Hyun Jin Jeong

Digital media is also helping brands capitalise on increasing patriotic fervour. Online stores that let consumers buy goods direct from their country of origin, such as La Belle Echoppe and A Vida Portuguesa, are springing up. The former, created by French lifestyle blog, is an online boutique dedicated to French-made products. The online collection ranges from classic Breton shirts made in Brittany to Opinal knives made in Savoie, and it encourages users to shop by region as well as giving an insight into each product’s origin and cultural history. Similarly, online store A Vida Portuguesa aims to promote forgotten everyday objects by offering customers over 1,000 different Portuguese-made products that have either maintained their original packaging, are handmade, or represent indigenous Portuguese craftsmanship.

As well as nationalism, brands are also using hyper-localism – tracing products back to exact locations – to promote their wares. 2010’s Savile Row Field Day event played on the theme of provenance, with local wool producers parading their sheep down the road. Some designers are also bringing where they live and where they were born into their work. A recent graduate from Central St Martins’ MA Textile Futures course, Hyun Jin Jeong collects soils from various locations in South Korea and the UK, exploring the use of earth as a material for textile dyeing and emphasising the aesthetic value of this natural material.

In post-industrial nations, shoppers and designers have a renewed, patriotic focus on the local – whether it be raw materials, workers or production – and a strong drive to rediscover a country’s, or a city’s, pride in a once-strong manufacturing heritage.

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