Nathan Bogle founded Double Eleven in 2015, because he saw no other way of continuing in design unless he created a more efficient and responsible way of making clothes. Bogle, who has spent his entire career in fashion, set himself a clear objective; to radically reduce the negative environmental impact of producing high quality utility clothing, without compromise to fit, form and function.
Inspired by the original Double Eleven and CC41 schemes of 1940’s Britain, Bogle set about creating a new kind of production model that began with the materials themselves. He identified that a majority of the issue began with the textile component of the process, so he tapped into the vast amounts of vintage and surplus textiles that sit in warehouses across the US. It seemed a logical place to start, to utilize premium fabrics that were already in existence, rather than producing more virgin textiles. By doing so, and in combination with local manufacturing, he was able to reduce the garment’s resource consumption by approximately 90%.
In late 2018, Bogle discovered a treasure trove of vintage military garments and materials in a Los Angeles warehouse. He was amazed that these 40-60 year old artifacts, that had been to wars and endured the harshest environments, were in near mint condition. It spoke to a different time, when textile design principles were predominantly based on durability, functionality and versatility. It was at that moment he saw the possibility of combining utility and responsibility by creating a concept collection that told a different story, one that embraced the values of the past and proposed a new kind of future.
Finding the right military tents and Air Force parachutes to upcycle into clothing was no small feat. After talking to countless vintage dealers and combing through warehouses all over the US, he accumulated enough materials to produce a concept collection. Each tent and parachute needed to be meticulously prepared and stripped of any obtrusive military assemblies before delivery to the Manhattan atelier; a 28-foot diameter C9 Rescue Parachute cannot be delivered straight to a cutter! Throughout this preparation as many of the original details and unique markings of each article were preserved (and then integrated into each garment).
Additional materials, such as the silk linings and pocketing, were sourced from local designer deadstock supplies, and the only ‘new’ components are the Corozo buttons, Riri zippers and cotton labels. This extensive process not only honored the history of these unique materials and those that used them, but by doing so each garment became ‘One of One’.
The eighty-year-old wartime philosophy that originally inspired Bogle, which eschewed excess in all its forms, reimagined manufacturing and resources while presenting a system of living within our means, resonates even louder today and one which is fundamental to this collection. Furthermore, the conversation around responsible manufacturing, mindful resources and the humane treatment of those who make our clothes is getting louder every day. A notable shift is undoubtedly happening within all areas of the supply chain, and it is Bogle’s firm belief that what we are witnessing is now a movement, and not a moment.
Photo: Amanda Cruz