Jun 01 2016


German Efficiency

Lunge achieves excellence through producing some of the best technical shoes known to man.

The founders Lars and Ulf Lunge are brothers, who have over 30 years experience within the industry as well as living and breathing a running lifestyle. Not satisfied with what was currently on offer both brothers felt a responsibility to create shoes that would consistently perform at the highest level. 

Everything is made in Germany, which speaks for itself as the Germans know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to manufacturing. Most of the materials have come from Germany with ecology and sustainability at the forefront. Lunge are reaching new territories that not many other competitors have embarked upon or even achieved. They can claim that their products are 100% vegan. 

Patience is truly a virtue when you hear Lunge’s story, as you will when you watch the video. Lars and Ulf believe in getting the best out of their design and have invested both financially and emotionally which really shows when you slide your foot into any of their products. 

Lunge have so much more up their sleeves and we can’t wait to see what that will be. 

Thanks to Lunge for the video and for making superb footwear.

See our range of Lunge shoes available now.

May 06 2016

STORY mfg. River Denim

Precision, Patience and Practise
Story Hank Cover Yarns being prepared for hank dyeing

STORY mfg. are a brand that create products through authenticity and kindness where every element shows evidence of the making process it has been through.

Part of their ethos is to make garments that are built to last which take on a new life, age gracefully and uniquely when worn. Having a primary focus on creating a positive approach and outlook, Story make sure they produce ethically and sustainably without compromising on aesthetics or function.

Bobbin, who co-founded Story with his partner Katy, describes some of the criteria involved when considering fabrics; 

“It has to be naturally dyed in an eco-friendly way, have a good feel, be tough and above all be an interesting texture.”

For our first season here at Open As Usual, Story have created us one of their Time Jackets specially from a fabric called River Denim. This particular denim has been developed with a small scale family-run dyers and weavers within regions of the Gujurat, India. The fabric is made from an organic cotton, dyed with natural indigo and a yarn that would normally be used in fine shirting cloths. It then goes through a hand weaving process, which gives the fabric a soft textural quality and finish with a great weight to it. Ticking all the boxes in Story’s criteria.

01 Storymfg Khadi Denim Crop
Khadi Denim 2Nd Crop
Hand weaving the River Denim at a family run manufacturers in Gujurat, India
“All the spinners and weavers are independent and make it in their own homes with yarns they buy from a community facility and sell the fabric back to the same association (it works in the same way Harris Tweed does). Ditto for the dyers and everyone all the way down to the cotton growers.”

Once the cotton is prepared it then has to be hand spun and dyed in hanks. Hank dyeing is, basically, a term used to describe a manual technique where the yarns are dyed by hand, unlike rope dyeing, which is most commonly used to dye yarns with indigo. This technique is prone to some irregularities which makes it even more desirable and adds to the hand finished look, something that Story do so well.

Oau 1 Copy Edit
Oau 2
Storymfg Hank Dyeing 06 2Crop
Oau 3
Yarns being dipped in natural Indigo and hung up to dry

Traditionally the hand loomed fabric would have to be taken to the river to be washed and shrunk to size, hence the name River Denim.

Bobbin goes onto say;

“The name River Denim comes from that process, although I have to admit we misheard them at first and thought it was beaten in the river, so the name endures as a testament to its heritage and a funny misunderstanding.”

Today the denim is taken to be sanforized more precisely, a pre-shrink process. This helps the warp and the weft to be more aligned, which can be a bit of a problem when making hand loomed fabrics but is definitely why this fabric is so special and exactly why Story choose to work with it. The imperfections make the River Denim what it truly is.

Large Denim Sanforzied River Denim

Precision, patience and practise are the skills being demonstrated by these craftspeople. Through the process of Hank dyeing and a hand-loomed weave technique, which takes years to master. This type of perseverance and strength to do something with conviction is something to seriously admire and one of the very many attributes to Story as a brand and their ethos as a whole.

We are just beginning our collaborative collections with Story. Each season will come with a new piece that encompasses the values and essence that both of us adhere to when considering making.

River Denim The Time Jacket in the River Denim, exclusively for Open As Usual.

Big thank you to Bobbin and Katy for the images and the wonderful words of wisdom.