Fed-up of disposable trends and fast fashion, Doc Cotton, the UK’s newest clothing brand, is slowing things down with a totally new approach to design and production. We’re talking variety minus mass volume, and more eye-catching prints than you can dream-up.
Peckham-made, in more ways than one, Doc Cotton is committed to doing things differently by re-defining how clothing is designed, made and bought, and giving people the chance to customise cotton clothing with bold, colourful and electric patterns. It’s not a fashion brand, it’s a clothing brand that puts the environment and people’s unique individuality first.
James Pickard, Founder of Doc Cotton, commented: “We don’t keep up with trends nor do we dictate them. I just don’t believe there should be an ‘in’ or ‘out’ when it comes to clothing. After all, we’re all totally unique, and what we wear is a great form of self-expression. We celebrate this.”
Prints and Patterns Aplenty
There’s infinite possibility when it comes to Doc Cotton’s prints because there are no limits. People can either choose from hundreds of changing patterns created by local designers or bring their own creations to life.
With 11 different cuts and items currently available for men and women, including t-shirts, classic shirts, trousers, shorts, skirts and dresses, each garment starts-off as a blank canvas before unique prints are digitally printed, a process which eliminates any nasty toxic trails caused by dyeing.
Pickard commented: “What we’re finding is that when people are given creative license, they really step out of their comfort zone because they aren’t being limited to what’s on a railing at that given time. Even better, the chances of bumping into someone wearing the same dress as you are miniscule because every piece is unique.”
Current prints and patterns to take home range from washy abstract pastels to kaleidoscopic geometrics and bright florals crowdsourced from designers like Alice Allum, Rebecca Kellett and Lucy Heggie, to name a few. The brand’s always on the hunt for fresh talent, so whether you’re an established designer, aspiring printmaker or just an average Jane or Joe, you can submit your creations for the chance to become Doc Cotton listed.
“I get a kick seeing people’s faces as they come into the store to find a few railings of plain white cotton clothes. At first, they think we’ve taken ‘minimalism’ to the extreme, but when they find out that they can splash whatever print they like onto it, that’s when faces light-up and the fun starts” said Pickard.
Made Upon Order
Yet another way the brand is going against the grain of fast fashion is in its inventive, first-of-a-kind production process. Every cut of fabric is 100% cotton and ethically sourced.
However, the thing that really sets it apart from other fashion brands is that every item is made from scratch as an order is placed. It’s not a case of just picking cookie-cutter clothing from a rail and heading to the till.
The garments don’t travel far – Doc Cotton’s workshop is based two floors down from the shop space where a team of highly skilled local seamstresses stitch every piece together after the fabric is cut and a print is digitally added, rather than dyed. Nothing is pre-made.
Pickard explains: “There’s no such thing as bulk production with us. Every single item starts off as a roll of 100 percent cotton upon an order being placed. This means there’s almost no wastage in the production process. We slow things down, and put a lot of care into
our crafting, and yet you’ll still receive your item within a few days.”
A Postcode in Peckham
As well as shopping online, people can drop into Doc Cotton’s new studio-meets-shop space at Peckham Levels, South East London’s latest creative hangout. You’ll find plain white cotton items hanging alongside framed prints from local designers. Aside from this, space includes two tablets where people can browse patterns, test their creations and place orders and a changing room. It’s as clean-cut and simple as that.
“We may only be two car spaces big, but boy are we brimful of great prints and great enthusiasm. We’re very proud to be calling the place our first home and call on anyone with a penchant for patterns and a pint to swing by. Levels is where you’ll track down both. The chicken wings from Drums & Flats are also cracking” said Pickard.
Pickard’s favourite print? “It’s impossible to pick, though it’s safe to say I’ve done my fair share of print parading around London. I wear DC items all the time, and it obviously makes my day everytime someone asks where they are from.”