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In Focus : Heritage

Gather&See is built on our five key Philosophies that help us explain how each of our brands operate in a sustainable way. Our "In Focus" series will delve into a little more detail on each our Philosophies to show you how each one is implemented by our beautiful brands. First up is Heritage - read on to see this Philosophy in action.

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Our Heritage Philosophy is all about celebrating and protecting ancient techniques and know how used by craftsmen and women around the world. The fast fashion phenomenon is all about creating garments quicker, cheaper and with as little skill required as possible which has meant traditional techniques have been thrown to the wayside and the market for such products eroded. That is why our Heritage brands are so important. They provide artisans with a market and work with them to produce exquisite modern collections that appeal to a fashion savvy customer who seeks something unique, beautifully made and that they would be unable to find on the high street. Truly special pieces, handmade just for you. What's not to love.

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Seek - Handblock Printing 

Seek Collective works with artisans in India to produce their stunning collection of silk and cotton pieces in elegant, flowing shapes. Hand block printing is one of the key techniques that the brand uses. 

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The tradition of block printing in the area dates back over 350 years. The technique begins with an artisan who hand carves each design into a block of wood.For each color of the pattern a different block is needed. Once the fabric is washed and ready, printing begins. Dipping the carved block in the dye color and then expertly stamping the fabric, one block at a time, until the pattern is complete on the yardage. Once finished with printing and dying, the fabric is boiled, washed, and laid out to dry in the desert sun.

The company of block printers Seek work with pay double the average wage and have their own community fund which has successfully sponsored several health clinics for their community.

Osei Duro - Batik 

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We fell in love with Osei Duro three years ago, intrigued by their beautiful prints which they work with artisans in Ghana to produce using the Batik method. Batik is a resist technique used for producing designs on cloth. The technique was brought to West Africa in the mid-nineteenth century by Belanda Hitam, Malay for Black Dutchmen, who served as indentured soldiers for the Dutch in Indonesia. Batik motifs are hand-painted or stamped with hot liquid wax, which penetrates the cloth to form a resist. When the hardened wax is dipped in the cold dye bath, small cracks form, producing the fine veins that are synonymous with handcrafted batik.

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Seek - Handwoven 

Weaving is an ancient craft that dates back through all cultures for thousands of years. In India it has an exceptionally long history with regional distinctions throughout the country. Seek works with a community that is dedicated to supporting the role of women in the craft industry and to making handloom weaving a respected and income-earning career. 

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The yarn is hand spun and once ready, the weavers go to work setting up their looms, which can be a very complicated intricate process depending on the design. Each piece of yarn must pass through its own heddle, like an eye of a needle. These longitudinal threads are the warp. The warp gets lifted up and down by foot-operated harnesses, which the heddles are attached to. The threads that move across are the weft. Different weaves and patterns are created by how the warp is lifted up and down as the weft passes through perpendicularly. One of our summer season favoruites, the Liane Jumpsuit is an exceptional example of or a Handwoven garment.

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Barocco - Handcasting Jewellery

British brand Barocco works with a traditional foundry to produce jewellery using traditional casting techniques.

The team make a mould of the original article whether it be a wishbone or nut, to produce a wax original. From there, the make a clay mould from the wax original. The wax original is then melted away in the oven. Molten bronze is then poured into the clay mould, filling in all of the cavities. This ensures that all of the detailing from the original article remains. 

Once the metal has cooled and solidified, the clay moulds are broken off leaving a beautiful bronze Pendant. It is then plated in gold/rose gold or silver and assembled to it's chain, ring or earrings.

This process is repeated for each individual piece of jewellery, making them a one off and totally unique.

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Osei Duro - Alpaca Knits

The alpaca is a long-haired domesticated South American mammal related to the llama. They live and graze on the level heights of the Andes at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 m (11,500 - 16,000 ft). They are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden but were bred specifically for their fibre.

Alpaca fleece is soft, lustrous and silky and while similar to sheep’s wool, alpaca is warmer, not prickly, and bears lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic.

All Osei-Duro sweaters are made from Peruvian alpaca, by a mother-daughter duo based in the Western Andes of Peru.

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