The Pilgrm x Universal Works – Under Embargo
Sometimes sustainability stems from an attitude about responsibility – and for The Pilgrm and Universal Works, this is definitely the case. We have once more come together to create a capsule collection of easy-wear separates that have been designed and manufactured with a shared recycling vision.
The unisex pieces have been made from fabrics that would otherwise have gone to landfill. This is a decision motivated by the desire to save excess, unused fabrics from the fashion scrapheap and put them to good use.
The aim here isn’t to ‘shift units’ – it was to explore a means of designing clothing that feels more considered and meaningful, without the pressures of the so-called seasonal ‘drop’. It’s a subtle stance against the imminent Black Friday hysteria, with an emphasis on slow style and all profits being donated to the Centrepoint homeless charity.
Like ourselves at The Pilgrm, Universal Works share a number of views about responsible materials. Those who are familiar with Universal Works will know that they are dedicated to ethical production of timeless, utilitarian garments that look consistently modern.
Jason Catifeoglou, co-founder of The Pilgrm: “Upcycling was always part of The Pilgrm, even before the hotel itself existed. For us, it was just part of spearheading a responsible development – and not creating more waste. Utilising old materials that people don’t want to use or can’t see how they can be repurposed. We turned those things into something new. In terms of Universal Works, I’d been buying clothes from your first shop on Lambs Conduit Street even before we ever met. I fell in love with those garments, but ultimately, I loved the aesthetic because it was about the way things fit and how they get better with age. When I think about where we have an overlap as businesses, it boils down to people. In both UW and The Pilgrm there’s a good bunch of people who want to do good things. People who want to do something with good intent and this project speaks volumes.”
A big fan of The Pilgrm, UW founder David Keyte explains: “These days, when I travel to London, I tend to always stay at The Pilgrm. Whether I’m in the city for business or just seeing friends, I find that I have a better trip if I stay somewhere that I feel comfortable. That’s always the case at The Pilgrm. The staff always make sure you feel welcome. Can a hotel ever be your second home? Bringing things back to the collaboration, what makes it more poignant for me the second time round, isn’t the fact that we’d designed a collection for how people’s lifestyles had been altered during the pandemic – working from home etc – it’s actually about the philosophy of reusing raw materials that would otherwise have gone to waste. When we started Universal Works, the fabrics we were using for the first two years were the roll-ends, the leftovers at the factories from other brands. What we’re doing here is making products from unwanted, unloved fabrics. For the past 30 years, I’ve seen that almost every factory has a storeroom full of amazing quality cloths in small quantities; not enough to make a collection or a sales channel. When I see it, I can almost hear it saying ‘I’m lovely – why doesn’t anyone use me?’. We’re trying to get back to that. It’s not about numbers, it’s limited, which is a nice thing. This is really about us both making the right decisions in business. Making conscious choices about longevity.”
All made from a comfortable, soft but durable 100% cotton, with contrast tonal elements, each item is slightly unique, due to the nature of being made from repurposed cloth. The super popular 2020 collab was the ideal blend of iconic Universal Works silhouettes – and the refreshed 2021 capsule promises an updated, refreshed version of the classics. Cut for a laid-back, lounging around fit, these pieces are ideal for wearing whilst relaxing - they’re the perfect attire for a hotel stay; whether popping down for breakfast or kicking back in your room.
We made a short film alongside Document Studios exploring the concept and shared values behind the collaboration and featuring both brand founders in discussion about the link between responsibility and sustainability. You can watch the video here.
The Universal Works x The Pilgrm capsule collection is available now! You can shop here.