Like many designers, 2020 has afforded FRAME’s co-founders and co-creative directors Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson the opportunity to assess what’s important to the continued success of their label. One issue that’s been front of mind is sustainability: both expanding on existing practices and introducing new offerings. Today, the L.A.-based label launched the first silhouette in its Responsible Leather category: two street-meets-chic puffers built to transcend fleeting trends and stand the test of time. The Daily caught up with Grede and Torstensson to get the full scoop on their plans for the brand.
FRAME launched its sustainable denim collection last year—how has it been received?
Torstensson: The response has been really great! This has been a long time in the making, and something we have worked meticulously on. It’s incredibly important to us that we get this right, and we know that we are in the first steps of a long road ahead. We are dedicated to evolving current practices and immersing ourselves in new progressive techniques.
Grede: Positive feedback and excitement for our Sustainable Denim launch was a welcome reminder that at the core, our customer, like us, cares deeply about the impact retail consumption can have upon our planet. It has been a great opportunity for us to educate ourselves on the necessary steps we need to take as a brand to reduce this impact and make our valuable contribution to developing a far more sustainable industry.
Have you expanded on it since 2019?
Torstensson: Our sustainable practices and fabric developments are ever evolving. Having tackled our denim sector, we immediately began to look at our core categories and how we could improve our practices across the board. We looked at the fabrics we use, our color and dye techniques, our production partner [and questioned] was there an alternative, less impactful version out there? We introduced organic pima cotton; this removes harmful pesticides in favor of organic techniques. We later launched Wash & Go Silk, which is Bluesign-certified, ethically harvested from silkworms that can enjoy their full lifecycle without compromising the integrity of silk, and made without harmful chemicals or dyes. We also introduced Recycled Cashmere, organic denim, and a partnership with ThredUp; a few of our changes we are incredibly proud of and excited to continue introducing more moving forward.
What are the company’s overall sustainable goals and objectives for the next few years?
Grede: Our goals for FRAME are routed in making sustainable changes to our core product offering and continuing with developing them for our new products. We find it helpful to focus on short-term goals within the bigger picture too. For example, we’ve made a commitment that by Winter 2021, FRAME’s denim pocket linings will contain 30% recycled polyester, which equals to about one recycled water bottle per jean. Next important focus on the list is looking at packaging and making changes across our entire business; from shipping to operations and in-store experiences. We are quietly, diligently, and continuously altering practices at every single touch point, improving upon the progress we’ve made so far.
As a luxury lifestyle brand, how is FRAME incorporating these sustainable practices, without compromising or changing its identity and aesthetic?
Torstensson: For our FRAME woman and man we create classic wardrobe essentials; quality pieces with timeless style that last a lifetime. Buying less and wearing that age-enduring blazer more. Key pieces that just keep giving and giving season after season. Research, testing, and clever design mean sustainable practices only enhance that forever wardrobe feeling of your favorite trench coat, or elegantly worn-in pair of rigid jeans.
What do we need to know about this new responsible leather offering?
Torstensson: We’re very proud of where we’re starting with Responsible Leather. The first silhouettes we’re debuting is two elegant puffer jackets. A boxy forest green sleeveless style, and a rich bronze cinched tie waist version. [Pictured above.]
Grede: The leather is from New Zealand, which has some of the most progressive policies in terms of animal and workers welfare in the world. Through prestigious industry partners, we can ensure the leather is ethically sourced, the animals were treated humanely, the impact on the environment is as minimal as possible, and the farm workers’ rights were protected.
What about the recycled cashmere, can you explain what it means when you say you took it “one step further”?
Torstensson: Cashmere is a naturally renewable and biodegradable fabric, we source our cashmere from recycled garments, again working with prestigious industry partners. The cashmere passes a strict quality standards test and is then broken down into smaller pieces before combing, spinning, and re-knitting the cashmere fibers into a brand new sweater. It takes the intrinsically sustainable properties of cashmere even further, with the end result a highly luxurious product, kind to the environment across its lifecycle.
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What else is new and exciting at FRAME at the moment?
Grede: It’s has truly been a year we could never have anticipated. An unusual time, offering us an opportunity for reflection. More than ever, we are cherishing our most loved garments; FRAME is committed to continuing to nurture sustainable practices, creating quality, timeless clothing and accessories, made to be worn and loved forever.