Meet the founder of non denim the label thats conscious

Meet the Founder of Non Denim, the Label That’s “Conscious by Design”

Photography etiquette of non. Design by Daniel Campbell.

Pete Hellier launched Non with the ambition to transition into the denim space. Here is all you need to know about the new London based line.

Like many of us over the past year, Pete Hellier – the founder of Non, a denim-focused label based in London – has been searching for meaning. With 15 years of experience in the e-commerce and digital sector of the fashion industry, they found that their customer-based work is becoming more sporadic as the epidemic. “I had a lot of free time, and there was a lot of uncertainty,” says Heller, who worked as a creative director for businesses including Ssense and The Outnet before moving to freelance.

To bring a bit of happiness to his life, Hellier – who, again like many of us, found himself wearing loongwear mainly in lockdown – decided to treat himself to a pair of jeans. “I live in denim,” he notes his distinctive outfit. “I’m one of the people in uniform [of] A white tee and jeans. “

Finding a pair with satisfactory style, consistency and ethical production credentials proved difficult for Heller, but the process gave rise to an idea. “I thought, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands – I’ll make something.” Initially speculating that he could produce a small fraction of jeans that were made ethically and were environmentally friendly, the more Heller researched and investigated materials and manufacturing, the more he realized that He has to expand his scope to turn his idea into reality. “It was not possible to make 100 pairs” with a minimum present in the textile industry, he says. And so, Non was born.

Non denim
Photography courtesy of Ssense

“I had no intention of launching a fashion brand, and I don’t identify as a fashion designer,” Heller noted, describing the origins of her line as a “happy accident”. The name refers to the lack of non-logo and branded elements, as well as the fact that the pieces are non-gender and its production is non-useless. And informally, this is an acronym for the idea of ​​”now or never” – a presenter prodigy gave us to live forever.

“I really enjoyed that it gave me a sense of purpose,” Hellyer says of how it felt to dive into this new endeavor that has such a timely mandate. “This is a mission that I really buy into and believe in, which I have not always done in my work. In the fashion industry, there is not always a purpose behind everything that we do.”

Despite his admirable ambitions, Heiler is hesitant to describe the non as “sustainable”, instead combining it with the ethos of “sensible by design”. The label’s category features different denim pieces, including a variety of jean styles, jackets and accessories, made by Isco in Turkey, a mill that pays workers a living wage and a bluesign ® is the system partner (meaning strict and safe to follow. Production protocol that has an environmentally-sound focus).

Non denim
Photography etiquette of non

According to the brand’s use of vegan and recycled materials, as well as its unisex design philosophy, “we wanted to advance every element as much as we could.” Non also offers a take-back program for their merchandise, meaning customers can ship in old items, which are donated or recycled, and receive a discount on their next order.

Additionally, Helier strives to give non-clothing an effortless versatility (ie you can wear them either fitted or oversized) which lends to longevity. “If you have a jacket that you can wear in many ways, it’s like having four jackets,” he says of how he enables customers to adopt better consumption habits. “And it’s important [these] They are items that do not have age. “

While non-styles may have an aesthetically timeless quality, they also have a decidedly modern aspect: the inclusion of a scanable NFC tag that allows consumers to follow the clothing care instructions and piece proven Allows information to be obtained. This clever bit of technology, created by non-partner Eon, confirms the breakdown of data to allow future recycleers to “improve end-of-life management” of the item, according to the brand’s website.

“I’ve always wrestled with working in some degree of fashion,” Heller says about why he has taken such measures with his fledgling label. “I am a great advocate of personal style and self-expression and personality; But naturally, having a permanent brand in the fashion industry is a problem because the philosophy of the industry is the problem. Its definition is largely based on redundancy – the fact that some are in great demand and then not desired after six months. “

Non denim
Photography courtesy of Ssense

In order to grapple with the complexities of desire, necessity and waste, Heller has opted to adopt an approach with non-centers that centers around transparency rather than preaching or often making revelations to interested customers with pie charts. “I think greenwashing is tragically so effective,” he says, adding that there’s been a lot of discussion about how insider and intellectually “sustainable fashion” is. Heller described the information presented on Non’s website as “warts and all”, indicating that it wanted to improve its production structure. And this reflects the paradoxical nature of sustainability in the fashion world.

Heiler sheds light on how little difference is left to improve the current scenario because many aspects of it are perceived as binary issues, and that the acceptance of being a “conscious consumer” is also lacking. “You have people who have money to dress up and can afford to wear ethically manufactured products,” he says. “[But] It is hard to reject someone who does not have the same kind of happiness or self-expression as disposable income, because they can only buy clothes that are unfortunately less morally made. “

For his part, Heiler hopes that he and other like-minded brands will influence and inspire more large-scale businesses, meaning that ultimately, every consumer can make a better call for clothing and accessory purchases. “It’s exciting that things are moving rapidly in certain directions,” he says of the growing base of biometric research, production practices, and the increasing circularity in the style space. Yet as long as it continues in the right way, inclusivity must be part of the equation to make these gestures truly meaningful.

“If we can be a part of that conversation and show the processes and materials that help make a difference to big brands and wider segments of the industry, it will have a big impact if I add a thousand pair of jeans Ethically and sustainably, “” he notes. “It’s not going to change the world.”

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