Linen isn't just for summer.
A linen love story.
We started Flax London on the premise that more could be done with linen. Why is such a great and inherently sustainable fabric constrained to our summer wardrobes, we wondered?
It was early 2017 and we were on the hunt for heavy linens. Our research revealed Northern Ireland as the most likely source for what we wanted. So, off we ventured to the London Textile Show where we beelined to the Baird McNutt stand, one of the world's oldest and most prolific linen mills based in Ballymena just outside Belfast.
There we met Ken, who expertise proved invaluable. From the first sample linens we bought that day, we've never looked back. Every single metre of linen we've used for our Heavy Linen Shirts and Jackets has been sent from Ballymena.
The Irish linen industry was – and still is – synonymous with outstanding quality. We're so proud to be playing a small part in the Irish linen story.
The flax plant only requires natural rainfall to grow. Cotton, by contrast, typically requires about 8,000 litres of extra irrigation to grow just 1kg of fabric. On top of this, the crop is also significantly less thirsty for herbicides and pesticides than cotton.
A zero waste crop
When their grown in NW Europe, flax crops produce no waste. From animal fodder and paper to linseed oil and yarns, every part of the plant ends up being used. Something which makes flax one of the world’s lowest impact clothing crops.
Linen is a naturally robust and durable fabric. Keeping clothes for an extra 9 months reduces waste and water usage by c.20-30%. The longer you can extend the life of a piece of clothing, the lower its impact on the world it becomes.
All of our clothes are cut, sewn and finished at Tower Garments in North London, one of the UK's foremost manufacturers of shirting and outerwear.
Since our first trip in August 2018, we've paid more than 50 visits to the factory which has allowed us to form personal relationships with everyone involved in the production of our clothes. From Lev who runs the show, to Burt who expertly cuts our fabric, and even the individual machinists responsible for piecing everything together so beautifully.
The complete product journey from flax field to your door.
The finer details
Beyond our efforts to make sure every piece of clothing we design is the sort of thing that will still be in fashion in 10+ years, we have turned our attention to some design elements that make our shirts unique to us and unique to people's wardrobes.
Exquisite, heavy linens
It starts with the linens we use. Designing linen clothing for all seasons often forces us to think outside of the box, even experimenting with the intended application of certain fabrics. Which is how we’ve ended up using linen originally intended for upholstery in our unlined Heavy Railway Jackets and linen intended for suiting in our Heavy Shirts.
But it's also smaller things like the central back seam, which gives the reverse side of our shirts a clean, simple finish and a more robust construction. And the natural linen gussets nestled into the side seam of our shirts. A subtle bit of contrast. Natural linen also features in the pocket lining of our Railways Jackets. None of the polyester so often seen hiding behind the scenes.