Forget Saville Row—unisex brand Toogood is proving that the U.K. can be a leader in denim design, too.
When well-crafted selvedge denim—the crème de la crème for denim enthusiasts—comes to mind, thoughts will likely turn to Japan or the United States. But it’s unlikely that the United Kingdom—a place known more for its sartorial contribution to, say, trench coats—would be a contender for great global selvedge manufacturer.
That’s a mindset the Toogood sisters, Faye and Erica, are attempting to shift. The London-based company TooGood takes a “workwear-inspired” approach to denim creation, “approaching fashion design obliquely, working with architects, product designers and painters to create hard-wearing pieces that are both practical and sculptural,” the company said.
In fact, Faye said seven people are involved in the creation of each pair.
The founders are making their mark with oversized, exaggerated silhouettes that stick true to their selvedge roots. “It’s such a strong, thick fabric that it really shows the shapes nicely, it’s such a joy to work with,” Erica told British Vogue.
Speaking to the New York Times, Faye said more than half the store’s orders are from the U.S. “You would think it would be like trying to sell coal to Newcastle, wouldn’t you, trying to sell jeans to Americans?,” she said, using a British phrase that implies a pointless endeavor.
Since launching selvedge denim in early 2018, the four-year-old company has managed to land in Selfridges and Dover Street Market. The reaction has been so strong that Faye said the sisters are doubling production for their second season and launching e-commerce.
Getting into selvedge denim is a tough game, considering the market has its go-tos to whom shoppers are loyal. Additionally, manufacturing the product is tougher than producing non-selvedge denim, and the equipment needed to produce it is generally costlier.
Still, that hasn’t deterred TooGood. According to the brand, TooGood uses “only the highest-class cotton linen selvedge denim” that is manufactured in a century-old mill in east Lancashire, before being bound together in a London atelier. The great lengths to which TooGood goes to outline the exact specifications of how its selvedge is produced shows the mark of true denim heads.