Meet Bernard interview Uskees owner; Paul Clapham.
We wear a garment approximately seven times before we decide it’s ready to be thrown away.
Uskees are railing against this. They’re driven by the simple ethos of “make good products, make them last.”
They specialize in functional, long-lasting garments that use organic materials to create a timeless, effortless look. Their shirts and jackets are designed for the office, the workshop, and the factory.
Championing the anti-fast fashion movement, Uskees are creating practical solutions to our tendency to give up on clothes after a little wear-and-tear. Durability meets timeless style: Uskees produces gender-neutral pieces that are made to be worn, lived in, and loved.
It’s all about creating meaningful connections to our wardrobes, who makes the stuff in them and how. Crafting their clothes to be repaired, not replaced, Uskees are at the forefront of the DIY trend we’ve seen taking over during lockdown (and we promise that using their repair kits is a lot easier than making your own sourdough starter!).
Meet Bernard caught up with Paul Clapham, the owner of Uskees clothing, to find out more about how Uskees came into being, what drives them forward, and why they think we should all slow down.
The Interview Begins...
Hi Paul. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. So, why did you set up Uskees?
I wanted to make a brand that focuses on style, and not trends. We wanted to make clothes that are designed for when you’re at work, or out and about having fun. They’re timeless, multi-purpose pieces that are designed to stay in your wardrobe for years, not seasons.
What’s the ethos behind Uskees?
We want to make responsible, stylish clothing that stands the test of time. These aren’t shirts you throw out when the next season comes in.
Lots of brands claim to be responsible, but still produce synthetic clothes that take hundreds of years to biodegradable. And when they do, the clothes release harmful chemicals, toxins and gasses into the air. It’s simply not viable anymore, so we need to think of a different way to consume fashion.
We focus on longevity, and building clothes to last. They’re designed to be repaired and not replaced. That’s why with every garment you buy, you get one of our repair kits that includes patches of material, matching thread, a thimble and (in the case of overalls) a spare button and buckle.
Are there any clothes you’re particularly proud of?
In the end, we made our 3001 Jade overshirts, and it’s definitely one of our best-sellers now.
I saw a guy on the street with a shirt in the most amazing color. I thought, “we have to have make something like that”. I went back to the team with a design, and they told me there would be no way that it would sell.
I see you guys have made a new film called ‘Slow’ recently. Could you tell me a little more about that?
Well, as I’ve explained we have a heavy focus on the resistance to fast-fashion. But for us, this film encapsulates something more.
We know that the current crisis has forced everybody to rethink their relationship with consumption, and for many, it has been an opportunity to slow down in all aspects of life.
Of all the terrible outcomes of the pandemic, we hope that slowing down and thinking more consciously about the way we consume will stay, after the virus has gone.
We wanted to celebrate the timeless, trendless nature of our brand, whilst tipping a hat to the virtue of slowing down.
And finally, what would you say to a younger version of yourself growing up now?
Well I’d tell myself to go out and participate in culture, art, politics, activism, you name it. Look up from your screen and get involved. It’s down to the younger generations to keep up the good fight and face the problems of their time.
So I guess I would say ‘don’t just watch, participate!’. But not with fast fashion, obviously...