Talking Circular Fashion with RÆBURN

Talking Circular Fashion with RÆBURN


Hi team,

Chloé here - long time no see! I hope you are all doing well and that you are excited for the autumn days ahead 🍂☕️ A big hello to all our new subscribers.

Jessica has asked me to write this week's newsletter. So here I am!

Last week, Brenda and I went for a tour of the RÆBURN fashion studio in my favourite part of London: Hackney. Each month, RÆBURN invites the public to look at their current and archive collections, to join a conversation about circular fashion and, most importantly, to connect with other creatives.

They charge a sweet fiver for this hour and half tour but if you happen to be a Hackney resident, you can go for free!

Question asked on the tour: can you guess what this fabric is?

RÆBURN is a fashion brand that was founded in 2009 by Christopher Raeburn. Raeburn (the man) studied at an art school in London and has a background in pattern cutting and womenswear.

So what do they do?
In their own words, RÆBURN is “changing the world through responsible design”.

How do they do it?
In my own words and from what I have seen on the tour, RÆBURN understands circular design on a different level. They make products from anything and everything they can get their hands on: from never-used parachutes, to old military jackets, or even lifeboats, they always find a way to make it work. One of their most recent projects, as an example, was to repurpose football kit into tote bags.

"Millions of kits are produced, worn for a season, and then often discarded."
The above is RÆEBURN's solution to the problem

It was fascinating to see how much work and thought is put into every single thing the brand does. From choosing the right studio space, to which materials they use for their garments, and even which curtains to hang (!), RÆBURN thinks about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. It's no surprise then, that the brand's core values are:

                                    Remade                  Reuse                    Recycle

Spoiler alert: the studio's curtains are repurposed air brake parachutes

Inside the lab: cool curtains, no?

Fueled by the desire to reuse what has already been made, Raeburn sees no creative limits when it comes to creating for his brand. Indeed, he said himself during the tour: “If I run out of a fabric one day, I can easily find something else to work with”.

One other thing interesting to know about is how they source the materials they use. From age 11, Christopher Raeburn was in the air cadets and learned to fly, so he has good knowledge of military equipment and knows all about their shelf life. Fact: after 12 years, parachutes and other protective garments can no longer be used as they are considered obsolete. Meaning that even if they have never ever been used or even so much as looked at before, they can no longer be considered protective equipment.

This little number is entirely made from military silk maps printed in the 1950s!

Being in the RÆBURN lab, surrounded by all of these unique fabrics very much felt like visiting Santa's workshop. Not only that, I could truly sense in their space that the brand is all about harnessing the power of circular fashion. It makes me really happy to see that such a worthwhile brand is succeeding and bringing awareness to the slow fashion sphere.

To wrap up, it was quite reassuring to hear from the man himself that not everything is made in their studio and that it does take time plus a lot of hard work to scale in a smart way.

This jacket from the AW2022 collection was made from a protective chemical boiler suit that had its shelf life expired :)

Voila voila, I hope you enjoyed this little read. I will never say enough how cool and inspiring I found the work that Raeburn and his team do.

You can keep up to date on their social here at @raeburn_design and @raeburn_retail.

And if you find yourself in London and would like to visit their lab, the next one is planned for the 28th of October.


Bisous bisous,


Slow Fashion Ally | Number One RÆBURN Fan | Affogato Enthusiast

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