Our friends at Raised by Wolves sent us some pieces from their upcoming collection to check out. The 200 piece collection is made entirely of upcycled, reworked and repurposed garments from overstock, samples, returns and leftover fabric from a decade of past seasons, with the purpose of giving old pieces a new life. We connected with Raised by Wolves owner and mastermind behind the collection, Cal Green, to learn more about the inspiration behind Alpha/Beta, the all-natural design process and what he thinks a collection like this can mean for the future of the brand and fashion industry as a whole.
Lookbook Photos: William Smith
Model: Marisa Gallemit
2 Years of Planning. 10 years In The Making.
One day I was in my office and saw this wall of boxes behind me. Over the last ten years we had overproduced certain collections, had accumulated a ton of samples, held onto returned items or defects, etc. When COVID hit, most of our factories shut down so we knew we needed to find a way to make do with what we had and find a way to sell all of these older clothes by repurposing them.
The first project was making face masks in Ottawa and that's what sparked the idea to create a full collection which would become Alpha/Beta.
Where does the name Alpha/Beta come from?
The name is in reference to the hierarchy of a wolf pack. The Alpha line gets access to the most interesting materials and older samples. It's more experimental and is a lot of outerwear and pants. The Beta line is made up of derivatives from the Alpha line and are more simplified. This will be things like tees and sweatshirts. We've also built out a Delta line which is some homewares and other accessories made from scraps, like keychains, coasters, wooden and incense holders.
With this new thought process behind production and design, how is Raised by Wolves thinking about its ecological footprint?
I'm hypersensitive to overproduction now. It definitely won't be an afterthought anymore. I think with this, Alpha/Beta will evolve over time. With this collection, we've produced maybe 200 pieces but that's just scratching the surface of the inventory we had. I ended up donating about forty-thousand dollars worth of clothing to local youth organizations in Ottawa. I figured it was better to give the product to someone that will value it than get rid of it another way or destroy it, which was never an option.
Created by hand around North America
The majority of the pieces in the collection were all reworked by hand and treated with natural techniques to give unique looks to each garment.
Black bean dye
Flame finishing on demin
Apparel by: @atelier_dnhn (Montreal, Quebec)
Quilts by: @e_patton (Dayton, Ohio)
How will this collection play into the future of Raised by Wolves?
I've thought about doing something like Patagonia's Worn Wear program that encourages people to send their gear back when they're done with it and then we repurpose it for Alpha/Beta. It doesn't even have to be Raised by Wolves product. It could be vintage denim or band tees.
Ever since I've started working on this project, I've seen a lot of brands that I really respect doing similar programs. So, I definitely think we're headed in the right direction, for sure.
Big shoutout to Raised by Wolves for giving us an early look at the new collection! Check out the Pier Five Instagram for more content on some of the incredible pieces.
Make sure to keep up with Raised by Wolves on Instagram for more information on the Alpha/Beta collection dropping this month and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with the coolest entrepreneurs, designers, artists, activists and more out there.