We don’t hide our appreciation for heritage at 3sixteen. Most of our collections are built off modern interpretations of vintage garments we’ve bought, worn, and obsessed over; in some cases, we’ve even gone so far as to work with mills to replicate fabrics from certain pieces that are dear to us. When designing new garments, we always consider how a fabric will wear in over time as our hope is to create clothes that will eventually mirror the beauty of these older garments in our collections.
In recent years, though, it’s become increasingly clear that our industry needs to find ways to act more responsibly. We acknowledge that we have much to improve on as a company, and while we are already working on reducing both our waste and carbon footprint, we’re also examining ways to offer compelling products with a lower impact on the environment. These beliefs serve as the foundation for our new Repurposed Collection.
Born out of our love for vintage garments and fabrics, and acting as a continuation of many special projects we've worked on in the past, the Repurposed Collection represents our effort to reduce reliance on virgin materials by utilizing existing deadstock fabrics or deconstructed vintage garments as the foundation for new products. This collection draws from the ethos of past projects that utilized repurposed fabrics, such as our N-1 deck pant caps or our Down Jackets that we made with Crescent Down Works out of old military sleeping bag covers. This collection will now be an ongoing project with releases throughout each year. Earlier this year, we debuted a series of tote bags and shoulder slings made of Army shelter half tents that were sewn by our friends at DSPTCH at their in-house facility; these bags represented the first official release of the Repurposed Collection.
Next up are a set of Garment Dyed Shop Jackets and Fatigue Pants. Both silhouettes were originally informed by vintage garments that we all own, wear and love, so we found it fitting for them to serve as inspiration for the first clothing release of the Repurposed Collection. The jacket and the pant come in two garment dyed colors, Smoke and French Blue, and feature repair detailing and reproduction corozo nut buttons.
The fabric is a deadstock undyed military back satin that we sourced via a vintage dealer in Los Angeles. We’ve always loved the way that military back satin fabric softens and fades with wear. Walking through our offices at any point, it’s almost guaranteed that one of us is wearing an old pair in a similar fabric. For years, we searched for the perfect back satin fabric that felt and looked just like its vintage counterpart. In late 2016 we found a Japanese back satin fabric that we felt represented the best qualities of the vintage inspiration pieces, which we then utilized on our FW17 BDU jacket, and later on, our SS20 Cargo Pants. When we stumbled upon a few deadstock rolls of this fabric last year, though, we had to find a way to use it. Since the fabric arrived in a natural PFD (prepared for dye) state, we chose to cut and sew the fabric into garments and then send them to our dye house for finishing. Half of the run features our well-loved Smoke color that’s appeared on our tees before, and we developed and a new color - French Blue - that’s reminiscent of vintage French workwear.
You’ll notice that the back pockets of each fatigue pant are darned and reinforced with backing fabric. During production, we noticed that some areas were more prone to wear than others due to the nature of the deadstock fabric. We used this discovery as an opportunity to create some repair detailing that we felt was true to what you’d find on an older, worn-in piece that you’d buy from a vintage dealer. These repairs serve two purposes: first, they prevent future issues in areas that are prone to heavy wearing and second, they create an interesting aesthetic that harkens back to many of the details that make vintage clothing interesting to us. Part of the fun in buying vintage is looking for the story behind the garment - how hard it was worn, what the wearer was doing in them, and whether it was repaired or not. As a brand that makes clothing that’s meant to be worn for a long time, we believe it’s important to repair and restore garments when necessary instead of simply retiring them. As such, we see these repairs as the beginning of the wear-repair cycle that we hope all buyers have with our clothes.
The Garment Dyed Shop Jackets released earlier this month exclusively via Self Edge and they have limited stock remaining. The balance of the Shop Jackets, along with the full run of Fatigue Pants, launch on 3sixteen.com this Friday, November 20th, at noon EST. They’ll be available in-store in our NY and LA flagships that same day.