When Pete Hellyer sought to start his own brand after working in fashion for many years as a Creative Director, he seized the opportunity the pandemic gave him. With time to create his own vision, non was born. A label that works towards being ‘non-waste, non-gendered, non-polluting’, this is one brand that deems sustainability – including that of its denim supplier, ISKO™ – to be non-negotiable.
“People need clothes, but nobody needs fashion,” Hellyer explains, when asked about the non ethos. “We’re trying to make a difference in a system that isn’t necessarily set up for it yet, but for me it’s all about paring things back as much as possible.”
INNOVATIVE FABRIC TECHNOLOGY
The only place non hasn’t had to compromise? The denim fabric itself. “ISKO™ is the only supplier we work with,” Hellyer says. “I’d heard of them before through previous jobs, so I knew they were the leading light of sustainable denim production.”
Although he didn’t have hands-on experience in design, Hellyer always aspired to work with Selvedge denim. “ISKO™ ticked every box with its Selvedge denim, which combines heritage elements with forward-thinking innovation and sustainability.”
Using ISKO™ R-TWO™ technology, non’s fabrics contain 50% recycled cotton and 50% organic cotton, which was of paramount importance when it came to the actual product, says Hellyer. “It’s the highest amount of recycled cotton you can get in Selvedge denim and it uses waste from the production process, which feels really efficient and much more circular.”
Non then washes and launders the same ISKO™ fabric in a few different ways with their manufacturer in an eco ‘stone wash’ and new organic acid wash. “And we’ll launch a black one for AW22,” says Hellyer. “I think the innovation of having the recycled content and gathering the wasted cotton up during the production process is really forward-thinking, and this industry needs that kind of innovation to improve.”
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES
It wasn’t just the actual denim that drew Hellyer to ISKO™. “ISKO™’s working practices – both from an environmental and social point of view – were a key choice for us, as it meant we could produce in Turkey near our manufacturers and ship directly to our wholesalers, minimising our carbon footprint.”
Hellyer also notes that ISKO™’s investment in green energy was an added step towards working with a sustainable denim supplier that “understands how to think holistically”. While working in a pandemic wasn’t the ideal environment for starting a brand, he’s keen to get over to Turkey soon to see the denim production in action, adding that “their certifications gave me trust and confidence in them until I can see it for myself.”
A denim label that shies away from what Hellyer calls “unnecessary and nonfunctional details,” such as metal rivets or cinches in denim jackets, non seeks to challenge what it means to be a fashion brand today. Alongside ISKO™, this is another label that continues to prove that Responsible Innovation™ can – and should – be in a denim brand's genes.
Learn more about ISKO R-TWO™ technology.
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