As part of their 40th anniversary celebration the leather goods company MCM Worldwide joined forces with Christopher Raeburn, one of the most buzzed about young designers in London who's known for his commitment to sustainability. Raeburn designed a capsule collection, "Made to Move," aimed at travel-addicted global nomads and featuring Ecoalf Nylon, made of recycled plastic bottles. For Raeburn, sustainability is just as important as the way a luxury good looks and young shoppers today are on the same page. I caught up with Raeburn backstage at the presentation last month, which was a wild Disney World-esque 360 degree immersive installation by the design studio Universal Everything.
First things first: What sign of the zodiac are you?
Raeburn and MCM owner Kim Sung Joo
Okay good to know. I'm done, bye. Okay. Kidding! How did this whole collaboration come about?
Well, I'm very proud that I'm sharing my interest in the work that has stayed around sustainability through my own line. We have a small company based in East London. We met, we talked about what I do and my crazy idea with Remade in England [Raeburn's line made from recycled military garments and parachutes], deconstructing, reworking, very different approach to design. I met directly with Mrs. Kim, the owner of MCM. She took a shine to this crazy guy from England. I got flown to Seoul. Then, from there, it was just inspiring all the way. And what was so cool about everything you see behind me right here, it's underpinned by sustainability. It's everything I believe in as a company and as a business owner. It's about really good quality products that actually make sense.
Backstage at the show
Do you think luxury customers are interested in sustainability?
This is about luxury with integrity. It's about offering people better choices. It's about having a product that already answers the brief. You know? Hopefully it already looks cool, it's already interesting. It's being presented in a really individualistic way. And you know what? We're not on the soapbox screaming 'Hey you have to buy sustainable!' We're actually saying here's a really, really cool jacket. Heres a really cool backpack, and then what I love is that actually someone might get that product home and then they read the label, they understand it's blue sign approved. It's been made in the best factories in the world. So what I believe is you just have to provide someone with a better choice straight away and then it's not even a conversation.