Since Bamford began creating clothing, we have always celebrated the beauty in natural tones. From inky charcoals to chalky whites our pieces have embraced the breadth of tones available to us from nature.
Over a third of our clothing, accessories and home textiles in our Autumn-Winter collection is made using fibres that are undyed or dyed using Certified Traceable Dyestuff. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the textile industry remains one of the most polluting industries; within that footprint the dyes used to colour fibres contain hazardous toxins that pollute land and waterways. Undyed yarn leaves no trace: it is not exposed to any chemical treatments or artificial colours which reduces its water and energy consumption and also makes it exceptionally soft for the wearer; it also biodegrades and disappears back into the earth as nature intended at the end of its life.
Undyed as the default
Almost one fifth of our styles this season uses fibres that have been left in their raw, natural state. The design process for the collection began with undyed fibres: the entire collection was concepted around what looks good with our undyed shades of cashmere, alpaca and wool; it’s refreshing to be able to start from the natural qualities of the fibre, rather than seeking to fit it in restrospectively.
Pictured: Fisherman Knit
Our decision to work with undyed fibres is not guided only by aesthetics. The science tells us that this increased presence of undyed fibres supports our commitment to treading lightly. According to our Dyeing House, approximately 200 litres of water are used to dye 1kg of yarn using standard dyes - it follows that with undyed yarns, we save 200 litres of water for every 1kg of undyed yarn used.
The result is that by featuring 23 garments in our Autumn-Winter collection that use undyed natural fibres, we have saved the equivalent of 100,000 liters of water in producing this collection. To put this into perspective, this is the equivalent to one person's water consumption for nearly two years.
Merino wool coloured by nature
This season, we’re also proud to be turning to a unique and rare source of undyed merino wool. We have worked closely with a sheep breeder in New Zealand who has worked in harmony with the animals’ natural genetics to create a range of fleece using natural colours. Historically sheep were black; it was when farmers discovered that white wool could easily be dyed that a selective breeding process began, black sheep were overlooked and the white sheep we’re familiar with today became the common sight on farms. Yet the gene that produces the dark fleece remains and over 20 years ago, this visionary farmer began cross-breeding sheep to revive the darker fibre and celebrate its beauty.
Slowly, the characteristics of these beautiful animals has been recovered and they now carry exceptionally soft yet hard-wearing wool with distinctive natural colours ranging from a mixture of browns to deep, shadowy blacks. It has allowed us to create knitwear in which no two pieces are the same. The irregularities and variations in colour that come from turning to nature mean that we can create garments that are unique to their wearer.
This is the first time we have released undyed wool to the world. With new innovations of high quality houndstooth cloth, combining the undyed wool of both black and white sheep for a modern take on a heritage pattern, to reimagining our signature Chunky Moss sweater with a blend of undyed wool and undyed cashmere - we're proud to have reached this turning point in undyed fibres.
Pictured: Ellen Coat, Felted Beanie and Clara Culotte
Discover the collection
This autumn–winter Bamford has turned to the fields and farms of England and the wild landscapes of Scotland with a collection that draws inspiration from the resource that gives life to its creations – the earth’s soil.