Maggie Marilyn Debuts Somewhere, A New Line Of Seasonless Wardrobe Essentials
The new line aims to offer a sustainable solution to smart dressing, and is 100 per cent recyclable
As sustainability and ethical manufacturing are the hottest topics in fashion, it’s more important than ever for brands to walk the walk, as there's an awful lot of talk.
Having achieved impressive representation in top international stores, like Net-a-Porter and Neiman Marcus, Maggie realised in early 2018 that while the stores were clamouring to sell her clothing to their customers, they weren’t so keen on educating them on the sustainability story so integral to the brand.
She began working on what would eventually become “Somewhere”, a line of seasonlesss and high-quality wardrobe staples sold direct-to-consumers, newly launched through her website and at her Newmarket studio.
With essential pieces such as a well-cut T-shirt (which the team prototyped more than 15 times), a button-down shirt, cardigan and round-neck jumper, the collection is centered around the brand’s philosophy that good design can and will last a lifetime.
Available in only black and white, the hope is that the pieces will never date, allowing them to blend seamlessly with any wardrobe for years to come.
A circularity system, set to launch in 2021, will also allow preloved Somewhere pieces to be remanufactured into new garments when shipped back to Maggie Marilyn HQ in Auckland in an aim to help create a waste-free fashion landscape.
This is made possible by the fabric chosen for the line: knitwear is made from ZQ and Responsible Wool Board certified non-mulesed New Zealand merino wool — mulesing being a process by which strips of wool-bearing skin are removed from around the breech of a sheep.
The cotton used is GOTS certified organic cotton from India and Turkey, and for leggings there's GRS certified regenerated nylon from Italy.
All of these fabrics have the ability to be recycled and turned into new garments, so the hope is that if a customer no longer loves their Somewhere garment, they can return it to be repurposed. They're also all 100% traceable, meaning from seed to woven fabric, Maggie and the team have traced the supply chain and origins of every fabric.
The other important factor in the development of the line was cost. Maggie Marilyn's mainline pieces sit at a luxury price-point, because of the hidden expenses of seasonal sampling, complexity of design and use of sustainable fabrics and ethical manufacturing.
Feedback from wholesalers and customers highlighted the importance of making the essentials line more affordable - Maggie speaks of a single mother living in a small New Zealand town who contacted her saying that while she loves Maggie's clothing, she's not able to justify the cost. "We believe that sustainability should be accessible to everyone," reads the mission statement on the brand's website.
By "cutting out the middle-man", ie only stocking the range in her Newmarket showroom and on her website rather than having to add a margin for wholesalers, the range is able to sit between $75 for a singlet and $650 for a blazer while still upholding the brand's values of ethical manufacturing that is kind to the Earth and its people.
It’s a savvy next step for the 25-year-old designer on a quest to infiltrate and educate the wardrobes of modern women, and one that recognises how vital circularity in fashion is becoming to the future of the industry.
As for the name?
"Somewhere is the name of my childhood home in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, " wrote Maggie recently in an open letter. "Somewhere represents that place where arriving feels like a warm embrace. Where your feet feel grounded and your spirit recharged. It's about arriving home to that place in the world you truly belong. I hope that when people wear this line, they are transported to their very own Somewhere."