THE CLOTH is a Caribbean fashion label grounded in folk, revolution, restoration and integration:
FOLK – the stories of the region and how we express them through design and craft;
REVOLUTION – the way that people of the Caribbean change any part of our lives that limits us;
RESTORATION – the restoring of our relationships with the natural world, our relationships with ourselves as a part of but not the centre of the natural world, our relationships with our economies, and our relationships with each other;
INTEGRATION – how we take the disparate aspects of our lives and pull them together to create something new.
We root ourselves here and reach for a pre-Columbian experience of this place. The label designs shapes to celebrate people’s lives: to endorse our existence here, to adorn, to honour people and their life choices. All manufacturing happens at our atelier in Belmont, Trinidad & Tobago. Collections deliver a series of stories each season; they may roll out all together or be released in parts. Our tropical topography has wet and dry, not other kinds of seasons. We reject the tendency to lose ourselves in someone else’s climate.
The dream, our quest, is to make a label that is Caribbean from seed to stitch: not only designed, cut and stitched here but made from materials grown in the soil of this region.
Design responds to constraints: what we can access and what we can do. When the label was founded in 1986, what has emerged was a patchwork, an appliqué craft, that we still use today. It is a tradition found in all the cultures of Trinidad & Tobago, foremost of them the indigenous, the African and the Indian. We build a new way through an old folk craft.
The act of making clothes tastes of resistance from all our battles: the Haitian revolutionary spirit, to create and assemble as we see fit, feeds that fire in our belly to make change happen.