When working with post-consumer garments from businesses, donated materials are usually corporate uniforms that are no longer required. A common condition of using the garments is that we cover up or remove their corporate logos to help manage the use of their brand. This in turn gives us an opportunity to further differentiate and brand our product, with innovative covering and labelling solutions.
The logo covering and care and size labelling for the Fundamentals collection was developed as part of a postgraduate research scholarship undertaken by Larissa Banks. The Space Between brief was to develop a ‘stamp’ that would tick a number of boxes with NZ Post (our client for this collection), including:
- Cover the existing branded logo on the garments
- Develop a stamp (or label) for care and size information using existing waste
- Be simple and efficient to print onto the surface of the garment or sew into place
- Work visually and design-wise anywhere it might end up on the new garment. With how the garments were constructed and reconstructed, the logo wouldn’t always be in the same place.
To meet all of these requirements, the initial direction for covering the logo was to develop a block stamp in a cross shape. We tested fabric inks and dyes along with various application methods for these. Ultimately, the result from this first test was a block of colour that did not completely obscure the logo.
We trialed a number of iterations and refinements, and settled on cutting the logo out entirely and sewing a diagonal cross over a rectangle of fabric in its place. This met our needs and the client’s in terms of covering the logo, but we still needed to provide the care and size labelling.
To do this, we further developed the block stamp idea. The result was a set of five stamps that incorporated the essential care and size information as well as the values that are important to Space Between.
Along with the essential information, optional details we wanted to include were the names of the designers, country of origin labelling by way of a “Remade in NZ” stamp, the launch date of the collection to coincide with the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, and in some cases tongue in cheek information on ‘worst’ care results to accompany the best care.
It was important to us to include this type of information to strike a balance between informative and humorous, while showing full transparency of the clothing production.
Developing a system to produce these covering labels required us to juggle a number of important considerations, from client needs to care labelling to us injecting some personality into the mix. While it was tough to find a solution to tick all these boxes, we’re really happy with the ultimate result.