Finalist Christian New Media Awards 2014 - Innovative Use of New Media In Outreach

Level Collective

The Level Collective is an independent ethical clothing label about Design, Adventure and Change. We partner with ethical manufacturers and creative illustrator/graphic designers to create original and distinct clothing.

In July 2010 went to work with NetWorks charity in Romania with group of friends - practical work in the poor communities they have been helping for over 20 years. Found out about social enterprise they started whereby they train members of the community to crochet Beanie hats which are then sold. Saw first-hand what a real difference this project was making and saw potential for the change it could bring, as well as how the product could be developed. It inspired me to see how the clothing industry could actually be used to bring social good and be fair for everyone in the process, the makers, the designer and the end customer - instead of only benefitting a small minority of middle-men. Whilst at University I worked in fashion retail for Fatface at the time whilst Studying Business Management at The University of Sheffield. I then worked for a company in Sheffield called Frooly, which involved working with creative makers and designers around the country across Fashion, Art and Homeware - helping them to sell online. Both working experiences were very valuable in showing me what I enjoyed and gave me insight into the clothing industry and e-commerce. I particularly enjoyed working with independent creative designs and began to think about how I could combine the two. Fast forward a couple of years after a long journey of research and exploring a few different options, and in 6th June 2012 I decided I would go for it. I decided that I would call the label 'The Level Collective' - which I believed captured both the fairness and community aspect of what we're about, and I liked the sound of it.

I then took on an intern student and spent most of summer researching and contacting illustrator and graphic designers who's style I believed reflected The Level Collective brand. The response was incredibly positive and by the end of September I received almost 300 design submissions which we then had the difficulty of shortlisted to just ten designs for the opening range. The Designs have then been high quality hand screen printed in England on ethically made using 100% organic cotton. Each T-shirt has then been hand-finished in Sheffield with a tag featuring The Level Collective logo screen-printed on cotton drill. The Beanie Hats have been custom handmade in Romania and again hand-finished in Sheffield with a tag featuring The Level Collective logo screen-printed on cotton drill.

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