The Hands that Heal Us is a collection inspired by the ever growing community of makers, creatives, local and social manufacturers all of whom play such an integral part in the Bethany WIlliams brand and supply chain.
“The primary focus of this collection are the many hands that touch our clothing throughout the making process, through the integration of artisanal and hand-crafted elements, in the form of weaving, knitting, printing, patchworking and embroidery. The life of each garment delicately passes through the hands of our intricate supply chain, and for that we feel immense gratitude to our makers, our tools and our team that surrounds us.” – Bethany Williams
This collection saw us grow our essential wardrobe offering and build on entry price point items. The four core themes that run through this collection are: ‘Our Makers’, ‘Our Hands’, ‘Our Tools’, ‘Our Team’. This season we worked again with artist Melissa Kitty Jarram for the print story, who was asked to integrate and interpret all of the making partners and their specific role in the supply chain into illustrations.
Each season we work with organic, deadstock, upcycled, or natural materials. This collection sees our mainline debut of denim, merging the brand signature details and sustainable dark indigo raw denim together with circular and modular design principles. We worked in collaboration with denim experts, ROAD and their founders Rosie Ingleby and Amy Roberton. The denim for this collection was supplied by ISKO with a base of organic and recycled cotton and hemp. The range also features Bethany Williams branded unscrewable eco-finished metal buttons to ensure they are easily removable to continue the life cycle of the garment, as buttons can often be a barrier in the upcycling process.
Historical references are present throughout, from material selection and colours to the garments silhouette, with this season nodding to utility and workwear. An integral part of craft are the tools - and with that how they are held and stored. The collection focuses on modular details such as detachable pockets and tool roles which can mix and match across garments, and tool loops which are traditionally used to hold tools, adding additional functionality to the clothes.
This season also sees a venture into more refined outerwear styles, building on the tailoring in her last collection, All Our Stories. This is visible through the tailored trench coat, wool overcoats and vegan leather jacket, made from cactus. The collection also features bamboo silk including her first set of pajamas, which tailors to their more luxurious side, while remaining bright and playful.
Knitwear has become a beloved staple for Bethany Williams, and this year we’ve worked again very closely with Barbara Guarducci, founder of Mending for Good, a consultancy agency that offers creative, ethical solutions to brands, with circular solutions and seeks to promote social justice through craftsmanship. Through this partnership, we also developed the seasonal woven textile through San Patrignano. This season's knitted samples have been beautifully crafted by both Manusa and our cherished London based knitwear community.
This collection features a heritage houndstooth wool, woven in the Isle of Man at the Laxey Woolen Mill which is a family owned business. It is woven using wool that comes from the four horned Manx Loaghtan sheep, a breed that is native to the Isle of Man, where Bethany grew up. In addition, the collection features two bags, one using upcycled blankets and another with the signature San Patrignano woven textile in a fur like effect, both with wooden handles crafted by London based craftsman Spencer Martin.
Craft is such an important part of our brand and supply chain, and one of the our passions is to support and nourish techniques and craft processes, to celebrate and help craft be accessible and inclusive. This season our charitable partner is the Crafts Council with whom we will be developing a series of community driven workshops and programmes. These programs will enable us to continue our ongoing work with East London grassroots organisation, The Magpie Project, and help to inspire the next generation of makers, creative entrepreneurs and changemakers.
“In our 50th year, the Crafts Council’s anniversary campaign: Make! Craft! Live! is a rallying cry to unite all of us rethinking the role of making as a vehicle for social change. Bethany’s collaborative, open and playful approach to her business is underpinned by a rigorous commitment to ethical and sustainable growth and resonates deeply with our own values and beliefs.” - Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director for the Crafts Council.
The Hands that Heal Us presentation during London Fashion Week took place at the Design Museum to celebrate Bethany’s exhibition – Bethany Williams: Alternative Systems, a celebration of the new way of working proposed for the fashion industry by the studio’s work.
The exhibition was curated by Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum, Priya Khanchandani. The dedicated free display explores the way in which Williams’ work confronts social and environmental issues through community collaboration and a spirit of reuse.
Creative Direction - Bethany Williams
A Film By Mae Sass
Film Assistant - Anna Sass
Poem - Eno Mfon
Music Direction - Benji B
Artworks - Melissa Kitty Jarram
Stylist - Nikhil Mansata
Stylists Assistant - Roshni Sukhlecha
Make Up and Hair - Maya Man (Assisted by Carly Roberts and Nic Marilyn)
Knitwear - Alice Evans, Lu Kyriacou, Julia Labis and Edith Bisseker
Buttons and wooden handles - Spencer Martin
Bags - Matta Siregar
Embroidery - Alice Mahoney, Tom Costello
Corsets - Rosie Evans
Social Partners - Manusa, San Patrignano in partnership with Mending For Good and Making for Change
Models - Malick Darbo, Louis Yusnadi, Emma Breschi, Akuac Thiep, Matta, Alice, Claire, Ellis, Spencer, Coco and Beau
Production - Faye Scott-Maberly (Assisted by Krystal Rodriguez)
Communications - Creativ House
Location and thanks to - Hackney City Farm and London Green Wood.
Specials thanks to The Magpie Project, The Design Museum, The British Fashion Council,British Crafts Council, Caroline Rush, Jane Williams, Mending for good, Barbara Guarducci, Manusa, San Patrignano, Making for Change, British Vogue, Edward Enninful, CFE, Judith Tolley, Orto Print Studio, Lemon Head Prints, Road consultancy, Ethical Tee company, Ali and Yuksel, Tomorrow showrooms, Bow Sewing Centre, Spencer Martin, Claire Swift, Karen Kewley, Natalie Hodgson, Catriona Macleod, Matta Siregar, Rafin Jannat, Davina Amajor, Rosie Ingleby, Dawit Mulat, Ade Laniyan, Nataliya Brady, Tom Williams, Megan St Clair and Ryan Blackwell