Bamford’s Spring–Summer collection leans on one of the values that has been at the heart of the brand’s philosophy since its inception: an appreciation for the artistry of the human hand and the joy and respect it inspires in a garment’s owner.
‘This collection celebrates all that Bamford has stood for since we began creating clothing. We work with craftspeople and artisans not because it’s become fashionable to say so, but because of the beauty and uniqueness that a piece crafted by the human hand can render. I hold a deep-seated and long-standing love of craftsmanship and we have collaborated with many of these artisans since Bamford was founded and have come to depend upon their expertise. There is an almost indescribable feeling of joy that comes with owning a piece that is worked by hand: a respect for the skills that are so steeped in heritage and tradition, and a gratitude that we are able to honour them and see them survive into the future.’
At a time when the clothing industry is under scrutiny and consumer behaviours are being challenged, there has never been a more prescient time to embrace the slow, considered means of producing inherent in craftsmanship.
This joyful, vibrant and uplifting collection turns to a fresh and playful palette inspired by the gentle colours of spring. The hands of the artisan are present in every piece, subtly breathing life into light textures of summer that sit softly on the skin. From the meticulous fine stitching in the loose, flowing khadi cotton dresses, to the mark of the block printer’s touch in the bold, bright patterns of the fabrics, these are garments with a unique sensibility, each referencing the detail, emotion and intricate work that are intrinsic to the skills used to craft them.
The wool we work with is grown using principles anchored in regenerative agriculture: it works to support the earth and protect its precious soil rather than degrade and devoid it of nutrients. The sheep used in its creation help to build the soil’s fertility and nourish the land – to repair the damage humans have caused and fill it with vitality for the generations that follow us. We produce clothes and we have to take responsibility for the fact that we are asking people to consume; over half our spring–summer collection is fashioned from wool – it’s our means of giving back to nature where we can.
The significance of this hand-woven icon extends far beyond the craft itself. The creation of the structured straw hats sits within the heart of the Ecuadorian communities that traditionally produce them and the women who work for hours, gently overlapping the strands to weave and build up the concentric rings of straw. We can trace our supply chain right back to the weavers and the plantations where the straw is grown, and we invite you to join us in recognising their value and to support their future, as well as the craft itself.
It can take up to five weeks to carve and sculpt the intricate wooden blocks that are coated with dye and used to stamp out the patterns along a length of cloth. Textiles produced in this way are inherently beautiful; the tiny movement and irregularity in the pattern a reminder of the human touch behind their making. Block printing has been a part of India’s craft heritage since the twelfth century yet current demand for fast, mechanised production methods means that this ancient skill is in danger of being wiped out and lost from recognition. We want to see it brought back to life and reimagined in contemporary designs and fabrics.
Khadi cotton is not only unique for its gently textured appearance and tactility; the light, handspun fabric allows the skin to breathe and has the ability to keep you cool in hot weather yet warm on colder spring days. But its historical significance to India and place within a global industry looking to more sustainable fabrics is not to be overlooked and plays a vital role in the reason we turn to khadi year after year, fashioning this traditional textile into shapes that can be layered or worn loose to reveal their elegant silhouettes.