THIS UNISEX LINES STRIVES TO KEEP IT LOCAL
Story by Reyhana Heatherington
Photos provided by the Muttonhead Collective
Mutts are amalgamations of distinct entities that come together and result in something cool and unique. In the Canadian fashion market, mutts are those of us who support a rad clothing line with a honourable purpose.
The ladies behind Muttonhead Collective can help us do just that. Meg, Mel and Paige have discovered their strength in designing quality pieces while still keeping production within the Toronto area, thus lowering the ecological costs. All three are graduates of Ryerson University. Meg and Mel studied design and are responsible for the creative aspects of the brand while Paige, who majored in Retail Management, heads up the marketing and promotion departments at Muttonhead. They have built their brand by combining seemingly contradictory points of view. From merging new and reused fabrics, to promoting a boy-meets-girl aesthetic, these entrepreneurs are focused on keeping it Canadian, and keeping it eco-conscious.
“Essentially we believe that our customers should not have to sacrifice their style for their ethics,” Meg says.
“‘Made in Canada’ is more than just a statement,” Paige maintains, “It is a promise of sweatshop-free, high quality garments that our fellow North Americans can feel good about supporting.”
Muttonhead collections boast easy-to-wear pieces with a casual comfort that reflects an outdoorsy Canadian style. Relaxed and well-fitting clothes serve the needs and wants of both male and female fans.
“We try to break the whole idea of ‘gendered’ clothing,” Meg says. “We try and do a variety of separates and hope that most of them can be worn together to make one big combo kit”.
Paige further explains the elements of fashion that contribute to the Muttonhead aesthetic.
“We are all really inspired by menswear designers and I personally love the attention to detail that you generally see on a well dressed gentleman.”
As far as early style influences go for the trio, the list is eclectic and ranges from individual pieces to the vibe of an entire decade.
“Early style influences come from secretaries, flower children, paintings by Mondrain, Afghan coats, Safari jackets, Art Nouveau, traditional sportswear and equine culture, as well as the minimalism of the ‘90s”, says Mel.
After showcasing their goods at the Men’s & Women’s (Capsule) Trade Show in Las Vegas alongside over 150 well-known and emerging designers, the Muttonhead brand was introduced to the international market and picked up by vendors in Europe and Asia.
A secondary line, Mutt Vintage, further expands upon the sustainable feature of the brand. By using recycled fabrics, this offshoot of Muttonhead Collective is similar to lines like Urban Renewal at Urban Outfitters, and the H&M limited-edition Waste collection, which used leftover material from the Lanvin x H&M collection to create new items. Many shoppers today are savvy enough to appreciate the value of purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces while simultaneously supporting a model of sustainability that comes with creating such pieces of clothing.
Paige, Mel and Meg are keeping busy with their S/S 2012 season, working with recycled fabrics including 100% recycled polyester for their outerwear jackets, and have high hopes on the horizon.
“We would like to expand the brand to include reused leather accessories as well as re-purposed furniture. We are continually looking for ways to incorporate zero waste design tactics into our collections and progressively researching methods to improve textiles and production within the brand.”
For those of us looking to stand out from the crowd without sacrificing comfort or the earth for style, we can thank Muttonhead Collective for giving us a line of unisex clothing with a conscience.