Farming fashion: 100% designed by nature

Wednesday, 06 April 2011
Farming fashion: 100% designed by natureMother nature could easily be regarded as the world's greatest designer, according to new brand Right As Rain. For instance, is the perception of beauty man-made or is there natural beauty in fashion? To find out, an Italian designer and an organic farmer came up with the idea of growing shirts, having nature design fashion. After a two year period of growths in the hills of Umbria, near the Tuscan border in Italy, the first harvest is ready for the catwalk.

Farming fashion: 100% designed by natureWhen Francesco Mugnaini, a 31 year old designer who had previously been working in the busy city of Milan, met Sebastian Runde, a 41 year old Scottish farmer running an organic farm in Umbria, Italy, they merged their different backgrounds and experiences to come up with a rather unusual fashion project: let's grow shirts. The unpredictability of nature was the seed for the idea, to plant and harvest shirts. The garments were exposed to nature's forces by planting them into the ground and give nature time to do her unpredictable design process. The result is stunning and every single design unique.

The T-shirt was considered ideal, as it is one of the most simple garments existing, there could be no better for the project. It is unpretentious, simple, like an empty canvas on which nature can create its designs. Francesco designed a shirt which truly complements the body, idealises it even. "We aimed for a focus on the aesthetics created by nature, to offer a perception of beauty man would never be able to create. We produce beautiful shirts, but it is nature who makes them truly unique," says Francesco Mugnaini.

The materials used had to be of a kind which would react with the soil, the water or sunlight. Naturally no synthetic yarns could be used, as not to create a thread of pollution. After many tests, a high quality organic silk proved best and gave the most interesting results.

The silk shirts are produced by local craftsmen with great expertise. Sebastian Runde, as an organic farmer, is very passionate about his concern for the environment: "Producing the T-shirts abroad in a country with low labour costs was out of question. We looked for local recourses and were very lucky, indeed. We manage to produce a garment, which is 100% made in Italy. The yarns are coming from northern Italy, the shirts are produced locally in Citta della Pieve."

The first collection from Right As Rain is harvested and up for sale on www.right-as-rain.com.

Image: Right As Rain