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Isko Opens First of 2 New Creative Rooms in Europe

U.K. denim brands and designers have a new creative center.

Isko recently opened Creative Room London, the latest addition to the denim manufacturer’s Creative Room Services (CRS), a division devoted to streamlined and simplified solutions from fabric to finished garment.

Creative Room London will be a central point for customers’ full product development, ensuring the end-to-end process is agile and more efficient.

“Isko has many long partner customers in London and in recent seasons we have seen a real emergence to new creative and sustainably minded design talent and brands launching and growing in the U.K. market,” said Melissa Clement, Isko head of product and operations.

Isko’s U.K. customers include designers such as Bethany Williams and Studio Nicholson as well as larger retailers. Clement added that Isko has the “capacity and product to hit many different price points” and can work on “bespoke capsule collections for each customer to ensure we create the right garments with the customer’s DNA at the forefront.”

“It’s a unique opportunity to build the denim community in London and a welcome addition as a one-of-a-kind facility in U.K., a full complete denim laundry on our doorstep,” Clement said about Creative Room London.

The hub is an evolution of its Italian design studio, which offer clients exclusive collections and fabrics and utilizes Isko’s Scoring System matching clients with partners that meet standards in sustainability, quality, technical capacity, processes, and more.

Isko will be opening its next Creative Room in Strade, located outside of Hamburg, Germany. “We are really excited to build our hubs in Europe as a starting point. Further expansion is under consideration today, who knows where we will pop up next,” Clement said.

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With regional creative centers, designers can test and fine-tune the steps required to achieve their desired look closer to home. The Creative Room’s team ensures that what is developed at the hub can be replicated at scale in production. Brands gain visibility of each process and its impact. “This clear insight into the full production package is integral to our product traceability,” Clement said.

“Trends are rolling as always but within the denim community we have seen a real change in recent seasons that mindful and responsible production is our collective mission,” she added. “It’s great that we can finally move into better practices [and] our technology and laundry machines at Creative Room London are the very best in the market to finish jeans as authentically as a vintage pair but with much less impact to the environment today.”

Sustainable washing and finishing techniques are two areas of focus alongside design that denim professionals can dive into at the Creative Room London. Clients will be able to work in parallel with Creative Room experts to develop washing and finishing techniques together with machine technology partner Jeanologia that have a significantly lower environmental impact.

“Our expertise in this field has given us the ability to revolutionize, shape and educate the industry on the future of denim garment production,” said Ertuğrul Konukoğlu, Creative Room Services director. “Our aim is to offer and collaborate with customers across the spectrum from end to end, offering tailor made approaches and curate long lasting partnerships.”

The space will also serve as a platform for education and support for the wider U.K. denim community by working with local designers and universities to share knowledge and bring ideas and concepts to life. Similarly, trims supplier YKK welcomes students and hosts educational events at its London showroom.

Isko’s Creative Room follows plans established by Blackhorse Lane Ateliers founder Hans Ates to open a wash house in its East London factory. For years, the brand has anticipated opening the new wash lab, which in 2020 received more than 1.2 million pounds ($1.4 million) from the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology’s (BFTT) Small to Medium Enterprises Creative R&D Program to do so. It expects to produce 80-200 garments per day and 400-700 garments per week.

“The U.K. market is incredibly diverse with each customer having a clear vision and knowledge of their end customer,” Clement said. “No brand is the same which is why it’s a great place for a creative development space.”