Made in Italy
Everything you can touch and see and hold and own has been made by man or nature. It’s such a wild thought, isn’t it. That the pavement you’re walking on or the phone you are holding has been made by someone with as rich and varied life as yours.
Aries manufactures 90% of its products in Italy; a country with a long and rich history of manufacturing. Within the manufacturing process, there are layers of understanding a design and elevating it; this is something that only comes with experience, skills and a way of thinking that is learned over years, or handed down through generations.
It would be easy to doodle on the back of a napkin and send it off into the ether to be printed in some mythical factory you’ve never seen, half way around the world. But rather than do that, we take a more invested approach. Some of the manufactures we work with have been with us for so long that there’s basically a personal relationship between each garment sold and the person who made it; everything has a special quality to it, of course it does. From the raw material it’s been made from that has been lovingly grown, to the person who presses it before it gets sent off, it’s all done with care and quality.
You could say that manufacturing at the level we work at is like problem solving. Yes, we make less of things, but that doesn’t mean that we pay less attention to the way fabric will fold or lie, or what printing technique is used, or if something needs to be enzyme washed or hand dyed. Hopefully our clothes have a life past sitting on the shop floor, we want them to be worn for twenty years into the future and more. They’re designed to age and to look good on a body, to live beyond a hanger in a shop.
We’ve grown with our factories, and as we grow, continue to support them. They push our boundaries by helping us elevate our products through the skills they have – skills that might otherwise be lost. We use factories who invest in old machines to keep them alive, and who understand the way we like things. It’s a codependent relationship filled with beautifully made solutions.
Let’s bring nature back in here, and remind ourselves that everything we make takes from nature in a way. Making garments in small batches, from raw materials that are the best that can be sourced, in a factory where people feel a responsibility and a connection to the item that they are making, means that not only is the outcome the best possible product, but it’s less wasteful, less harmful.
Do you remember the horse meat scandal? You can draw something and send it off and it gets made but the reality is you don’t know the real cost of that product. Who’s made it, what it’s made of. That’s how you get horse meat in your lasagne.
We have a duty to support manufacturing, even if it comes with less fast gains, we have a duty to know that people aren’t being exploited and how things are being made and dyed. There’s a certain pride in Italy in manufacturing processes. Working with the right factory makes you push boundaries, it makes you a better designer. You break new ground. Aries doesn’t make lasagne laden with horse meat. It’s redesigning the finest salami.