Baracuta: Our journey to sustainability

Sustainability has become such a buzz word that people are starting to forget the actual meaning behind it. Being sustainable is key to helping our Mother Earth and for us and future generations to live normal lives. But what does it mean to be sustainable? Being sustainable is to be aware of your impact on the Earth while making an effort to better your consummatory habits. Sustainability isn’t always 100% achievable. However, taking steps to be more mindful of the environment and our carbon footprint can do wonders. Take a look at the way you live your life. Do you use too much plastic? Could you get a bus instead of going by car? Do you recycle? Do you consume too many animal products? Do you indulge in fast fashion? The list goes on. You can start by changing one habit in your life like swapping plastic bottles for a reusable flask, introducing a compost bin in your home or by investing in high quality staple pieces for your wardrobe instead of buying cheap garments which, more often than not, will end up in landfill a few months later. If everybody adopted these small life changes, our planet would benefit and be a better place, whether it’s for us, future generations, our wildlife companions or for our precious home, Planet Earth.

Sometimes people forget that despite our different economic backgrounds and nationalities, we all share the same home, we all live on Earth and when it all boils down to it, we are no different from one another. This is even more of a reason for us to work together as a big family to save our beloved home. Here at Baracuta we are all about community and connecting with our big family, so we try to dedicate our time to making our collective home we call Earth a better place. Some of the materials we use in our clothes are made from recycled materials and we strive to use organic materials where possible. Our packaging has seen a huge reduction in plastic over the last few years and we pride ourselves on not being a fast fashion brand. Our pieces are made to last and due to their minimalistic features; they can be worn with anything you have in your wardrobe. We do not promote fashion trends. We create high quality staple pieces for everyone. Saying that, we would like to take this opportunity to talk about our sustainability project we did with the students from IUAD Napoli and Coventry University as well as Vijz Studios in the Netherlands and the brand Skyco Studios in NYC. It is the Baracuta Upcycling Apparel Project, or we like to call it: “the rediscovery of archival pieces with the goal of bringing new life to our fabrics”. The result of the project was a collection of jackets, created by reworking old Baracuta jackets from previous collections found in our archives and giving them a lease of life for today’s generation. The participants got down to business and curated once-off pieces from our G9 Harrington Jackets

The project started off with young creatives from IUAD Naples and Coventry University in England. Ludovica Palma, Valentina Turri and Raffaele Castiello from IUAD Naples saw this project as a way to evolve brand identity while prolonging the life of a garment as well as protecting the environment. Ludovica completely transformed the G9 Jacket into an innovative bag. Valentina Turri made a hybrid jacket that could be turned into a shoulder bag through a system of zippers and could also be used as a comfortable travel pillow. Raffaele Castiello, who was inspired by punk wanted to upcycle the G9 to create a link between tartan and punk.

Olivia Hastilow, Agata Brzosowska and Macie Walkden from Coventry University also had the chance to repurpose the G9 Harrington Jacket, chopping and changing the jacket to create their own innovative artistic designs. Olivia Harlustow was inspired by the fact Baracuta was founded in Manchester and is now owned by WP Lavori in Corso, an Italian company - “I took half the head of the English lion and the Italian wolf and embroidered it on the back of the G9.” According to the students at Coventry University, “People don't cherish or appreciate garments which eventually end up in landfill”. Agata Brzowoska’s repurposed jacket was inspired by the influence of both Italian and English heritage. She went on to speak about how because of today’s fast-paced, ever-changing trends, there is an excessive amount of shopping taking place - “We live in a time where it's easy and fast to produce clothes but the impact of this is very negative. It’s time to upcycle things we have in our wardrobes because most of them can be used again, instead of polluting the environment”. Macie Walkden went for a more nostalgic, historical approach for her upcycled jacket. “The inspiration behind my work was the history of Baracuta. I went into the backstory of the Miller Brothers as well as their Manchester factory where the Fraser Tartan was produced.”

The New York-based brand Skyco Studios went next level when it came to upcycling Baracuta’s G9 Harrington Jacket. They managed to turn it into a folding chair, completely reinventing the jacket. The Fraser Tartan lining is revealed once the chair is unzipped - Skyco “tried to capture a clean yet creative vibe that…encapsulates the jacket and what the brand stands for… upcycling gives people like me the chance to express my creativity with materials and mediums I would have never imagined using”.

One of the most creative pieces in this upcycling project was the transformation of the G9 Harrington into a fully functioning floor lamp. VIJZ Studio was the creative genius behind it. The founders of VIJZ Studio have been upcycling for as long as they can remember. “The inspiration actually comes from old antique furniture that nobody wants to have anymore and which I just want to breathe some life into.” The lamp is impressively made, keeping all the signature Baracuta G9 details, like the Fraser Tartan lining which lines the inside of the lamp. “Atmospheric lamps have always played a major role in making our studio feel like a living room”. VIJZ Studios are very passionate about making our world a better place, so taking part in our Upcycling project meant a lot to them and to everyone who took part. This project is living proof that almost anything can be transformed into something wonderful. We have seen our Baracuta G9 Harrington Jacket has been turned into numerous types of bags, a travel pillow, a foldup chair, a floor lamp and unique restyled G9 Jackets. What’s your next upcycling project going to be? We know our dear Mother Earth will love to see it.