Mulberry x I-D Magazine

VFX / Post Production

In a climate of fast fashion, where landfills of unworn clothes and inhumane factories are seeping into the mainstream conscience, there couldn’t be a more important time to think about the production of the clothes and accessories you’re wearing, the company you’re buying into, and the lifespan that a luxury item might have. But what actually is a “luxury item” in 2019?

Luxury is no longer just about price. Principles and ethics are luxury. Respect is luxury. Authenticity is luxury. It’s time and care. It’s small details, expert craftsmanship and intelligent design that set an item apart in a consumer’s mind now. It’s also fairness and equality in production. It’s making a positive and meaningful difference to the lives of the people that create - as well as consume - the products, and a respect for the environment in which they are made.

From its conception, Mulberry has championed this ideology. What began life as a small factory in Somerset in 1971 called The Rookery has grown to become a global brand producing some of the most desirable, contemporary bags of the past 50 years. Traditional, yet entirely modern, it’s entirely in tune with what makes London’s fashion scene world-leading.

Speaking to employees at their two factories, there’s very much a sense of community. With specialties in leather, cutting, hand-stitching and inking, there’s no greater sense of teamwork than amongst those bringing their individual expertise to create something unique. “I like it here… it’s different to other places”, says Lily, who preps the gussets onto the panels of the bag before they are stitched. “I've been at the Mulberry factory for five and a half years now,” says Phillipa, who hand-stitches tassels onto bags. “I’ve done most processes – cutting, inking, hand-stitching – but at the moment I'm focusing hand-stitching on the handles.” And, as James affirms, “It’s Somerset born and bred, you don’t see many brands like this.”