Using fabrics from small mills in Japan, Seawall produces fine button-down shirts in an ethically-conscious way. From the same team behind lingerie line Brook There, the designs were inspired by the idea of producing fine, timeless garments in a sustainable way. The collection is simple but elegant, and by producing small batches at a time the studio design, cut and sew at their base in Portland, Maine, a renovated building that is partially constructed out of the former seawall, hence inspiring their name.
The team aim to reduce the amount of waste created in production in order to be more sustainable. For this reason Seawall produces small batches of less than 30 garments per style. Speaking with Ecouterre, co-founder Brook DeLorme—her partner is husband Daniel Pepice—says that the studio also avoid certain traditional, wasteful fashion practices, such as matching plaids. “Our first men’s shirt style was called “The Unmatched Shirt”—a play on words,” she says.
“The fabrics we import from Japan are produced in a classic way as well. Selvedge, and often hand-shuttle loomed, these beautiful cotton oxfords, chambrays, and plaids are made with care in small shops like our own. Some of these mills have been in continuous operation making fabric for hundreds of years.”
As well as importing materials, Seawall also has a local element: their t-shirts and jersey stitch-down shirts are created using American-produced cotton jersey.
Financial sustainability is also a core value of their work, and so by building customer relationships one by one, the team hope to grow slowly but steadily in terms of production. This, they say, will hopefully mean that over the next few decades they will continue to produce little by little.