The fashion and textile industry accounts for around 10 per cent of global climate emissions, with 10,000 pieces of clothing sent to landfill every five minutes in the UK alone, according to the North London Waste Authority. But new labels like House of Minimus, which launched this month, are creating collections that challenge the industry’s culture of waste. Its boiler suits are handmade in Italy and can be shipped back to the house’s “repair service” if they are damaged, while the label is planning to open a second-hand shop for pre-owned boiler suits.
House of Minimus offers a limited range of classic cotton pieces, for adults (from £270) and children (from £109), which it says are designed to outlast the seasonal trends of fast fashion. “When I was at prep school, I pulled on a boiler suit whenever I could, as it allowed me to be whatever I wanted to be,” says founder Rhi Lennon-Smith, formerly of Tom Ford.
Designed in twill and shirt-weight canvas, the boiler suits are available in white, blue, powder pink and black. Named “Canvases”, they are sold alongside bright embroidered badges (from £20) – lion heads, octopi and flying hummingbirds – allowing owners to decorate the pieces to their liking, as if they were blank canvases. “I was inspired by a child who is very close to me when creating the Animal Spirit badges. They were the victim of a bullying incident at school, so I designed a lion for them to wear, to empower them to stand up to the bullies,” says Lennon-Smith. According to NHS England, one in four adults and one in 10 children in the UK experience a mental-health problem during their lifetime. House of Minimus has pledged to raise £5,000 from the sale of its badges for the Royal Foundation’s charity Heads Together – an initiative that tackles the stigma associated with mental health and fundraises for new services.