The Makeshed x Davina Catt
Back to Journal + Musings

The Makeshed x Davina Catt

I first was drawn to The Makeshed – a new form of sustainable clothing platform – by the artist’s ‘leaf tee’, part of an ongoing graphic design collaboration, The Makeshed founder and artist, Clare Ambrose Gordon, produces as a signature piece throughout collections.

The Makeshed was founded three years ago, an organic process that saw Ambrose-Gordon return to her roots, having studied Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths London and later working in interiors, whilst always exploring the possibility of fabric; ‘The fine art background has given me a subversive approach to creating pieces for The Make Shed and conceiving how pieces are constructed differently,’ she reflects. The Makeshed is an innovative concept: taking an artisan led approach to hand produced garments, small batch, sustainable fabrics and a short supply chain, Ambrose Gordon sells pieces on her ecommerce as well as at markets, fairs and hosts regular design workshops from her ‘shed.’ Whilst always aiming to distance from the high street or trends, focusing on feel and emotions, as well as a play with texture, shape and palette, the new S/S 21 collection(see shoot) entitled ‘Homage’ looks back at favourite 70’s styles from bold designs, exaggerated and surreal wide leg cuts, huge collars and juxtaposition of fabrics (except nylon), including memories of her parent’s eclectic mix and mash dressing of the time. (oversized ties, three piece suits etc).

Ambrose Gordon is always looking for a way to follow her passion and use natural things: from textile foraging to using natural fibres, to choosing green over mass production. Linen features regularly in collections (largely sourced from Europe) – flax requires little pesticides, as it’s biodegradable, and due to natural absorbency requires less dye than cotton. Whilst always on the lookout for local suppliers, some fabrics are sourced from India, including a hand woven cotton that is vegetable dyed, or materials are resourced – a beachcomber bag is constructed with yarn spun from discarded plastic bottles.

The tees are a regular part of the collection: all ‘climate neutral’ – made from 100% combed organic cotton and manufactured using purely renewable green energy from wind and solar power. In collaboration with her husband’s graphic design business, Ambrose Gordon, enjoys working with artists on screen printing including Berlin based printmaker, Dana Gusman (artist’s leaf tee) – printing in small batches using sustainable ink. The ‘Love’ slogan tee (created by Otto Age 10) utilises water based ink to cut out toxic chemicals in production.

So what does the future hold for The Makeshed? Simply ‘to continue the inspiring dialogue created between me(designer) and our Makeshed community. And to keep to our ethos of small production runs, no wastage, and sensibly sourced fabrics and processes, which allows us to deal directly with customers.’

claire edit 6