The Positive Product Manifesto
STORY mfg. was born out of a desire for a more authentic, fulfilling and kind approach to fashion -- one that doesn't involve a trade-off between aesthetics and consciousness. We are a husband and wife team and work with a large group of dyers, weavers, embroiderers and tailors in our atelier in the Indian forest.
Our products are designed to benefit the earth, our customers and the people we work with. We believe fashion can be a form of social activism and that STORY mfg. can help create a more positive future 🌍.
Our manifesto has been the cornerstone of our practice, but it's open to adaptation as more opportunities to create positive interactions arise.
Patron of the arts
In the past, the great luxury fashion houses would be ambassadors of craft - often keeping niche artisan practices alive. Art and craft are not only beautiful but crucial and important culturally for so many left behind in an ever faster and more automated economy. We aim to bridge the gap between these worlds and both promote artistic practices and foster new ones in places where people have been marginalised.
Waste is lazy
There is no 'waste' in nature. A seed grows into a plant with energy from the sun, lives, dies and turns into life-giving soil for everything else. This approach of not only 'zero impact' but 'positive impact' is our key driving principle. Currently, we make almost everything from organic biodegradable materials that will become nutrient-rich fertiliser - but we also use our left-overs in many other ways. We collect offcuts from production and turn them into a paper to make our hangtags, stuffing and if large enough work them into new items.
We try to use man-made materials (plastics) in positive ways too, through repurposing, recycling and reengineering. This is challenging but we feel a necessary step.
We never, ever, use animal products because we don’t feel there is anything sustainable or positive in raising and slaughtering other creatures. Our stand on kindness extends to our makers and customers too - we ensure that our materials and garments do not carry horrid toxic chemicals that could be harmful to work with or wear. Everything we do is vegan and completely cruelty-free.
Our greater goal is to help reverse the damage done by industry and enter into practices that leave the planet better off after our work is done. Our natural indigo sourcing comes from an effort to fix nitrogen levels in over-tilled and farmed soil, and our dyeing takes place in a re-planted forest where all our waste is used to fertilise the gardens.
Our work is heavily craft-based and involves both teaching and learning new techniques together with our craftspeople. We are invested in giving continuous, well-paid work and do not switch for cheaper alternatives.
Clothing is skincare
If the chemicals in clothing were packaged into a cream you'd never let it anywhere near your skin - so why do we ignore it when it's in the things we wear? Our approach to fabric and dyes is to use only ingredients that are non toxic and skin kind. The vast majority of our dyes and materials are made from natural elements used throughout history (although it's important to remember that some people are allergic to things found in nature like peanuts, soy, etc.)
Built to last
We build products to last because the most sustainable way to live is to buy less. Our construction methods are transplanted from vintage workwear and military making our goods durable and strong for their lifetime.
Pragmatic by nature
Story mfg. is constantly adapting to new discoveries and our manifesto is a living document. We are careful not to get stuck in an ideology if new, better, kinder, production options arise.