Erik Torstensson, of FRAME, gives us the lowdown on their latest venture, (Bio)
Degradable jeans

As an increasing amount of companies make efforts toward a more sustainable future, FRAME have recently announced the launch of a (Bio) Degradable Jeans collection in partnership with Italian denim mill legends, Candiani. Reflecting on the last year, Erik tells us that ‘the unprecedented change in consumer behaviour forced difficult decisions as well as taking creative and strategic risks where they matter most’. And it’s what matters that has led to this latest venture for the American fashion brand.

Every aspect of the of the jean’s designs have got the environment in mind and the collection boasts three innovative fabrics: Rigid 727, Comfort Stretch 785 and Super Stretch 778 denim – of which Rigid is 100% biodegradable. Even the buttons and tags are made from recycled materials – making their impact on the world a whole lot friendlier.

FRAME’s founders Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede have always had modernity and versatility in mind and since their 2012 beginnings, are committed to sustainable and fair manufacturing practices. Along with their ‘buy less, buy better’ attitude this next move comes as no surprise. Accompanying the launch, FRAME have commissioned sculptures by Isabel + Helen, a London-based creative studio, whose other clients include Hermes and Craig Green, for their window displays in FRAME Madison Avenue, SoHo, Dallas and Harrods.

The collection is now available on Harrods and set to launch globally from October 21st. Head below to read the full interview…

Hey Erik, how are you! How has this year been for you so far?
Hey! Life has been good. I’m currently in New York with my family and working from the New York office. I’ve been lucky enough to travel for work this year and see family and friends along the way.t his year has been a bit of a rollercoaster, I feel like the world has picked up pace again and we’re looking to the future. We learned a lot from 2020 and it’s exciting that the overall trend for 2021 is gaining momentum. FRAME has achieved so much this year; I’m so proud of everything, from our refined and refreshed collections to our collaborations and partnerships, such as Museum of Peace & Quiet and Gays & Lesbians Living in A Transgender Society (G.L.I.T.S.).

With everything that happened last year, was your creativity affected?
As challenging as last year was, I think my creativity increased. The unprecedented change in consumer behaviour forced difficult decisions as well as taking creative and strategic risks where they matter most. I had this idea for revamping FRAME Menswear with a more systematic approach. I looked at three predominant pillars: fabric, fit and function. With our denim at the core of this new system of dressing, the rest are building blocks that may be layered and styled to each modern man’s taste.

What sparked your interest in fashion, how did you first start FRAME?
Prior to FRAME, Jens Grede and I founded Saturday Group, a London-based creative agency that serviced some of the world’s most renowned brands. When we launched FRAME in 2012 it was just an exciting move to try something new. Rather than launching with a huge product selection, we set out to perfect a single product: blue skinny jeans. COVID has had such a huge impact on the fashion industry, do you think it’s changed the way creatives work? Of course, it has. Silver lining is it presented an opportunity to not only communicate with our teams and customers, but also evolve with them. We had to grow virtually to keep customers constantly engaged. Though what we found was wherever we grew our brick-and-mortar business, e-comm in that location grew.

You pride yourself in working with the finest and most natural materials, how difficult is it to source these materials and why did you guys go down this route?
At FRAME we pride ourselves with working with great suppliers. I love Le Italien, which is one of our most popular and chicest jeans to date, are made on a family-run Italian nature preserve in Italy. In Harrods, we currently have a set of custom podiums designed and moulded out of FRAME up-cycled denim. Which we will also be utilising in our FRAME stores. I’m constantly thinking of innovative ways of repurposing materials that are already in existence.

And now you’ve launched your (Bio)Degradable Jean, talk us through the creative and production process!
Yes, (Bio) Degradable has launched at Harrods, and will launch globally from October 21st. Partnering with Milan-based and family-run Candiani, among the world’s finest sustainable denim mills, FRAME (Bio) Degradable collection features three innovative fabrics, which degrade respective to stretch content. The rigid fabric’s 100% is 100% biodegradable, while the two stretch fabrics employ ROICA V550, a yarn that breaks down in a fraction of the time that conventional yarn does and leaves behind no harmful substances in the environment. The jeans are also crafted with minimal impact: jeans are sewn with 100% Tencel threads that degrade with the denim; metal rivets are replaced with embroidered “drivets”; and buttons, made from recycled materials, are hard-wearing yet easily removable. FRAME also leverages digital-interfacing and implements QR codes, printed with soy-based ink that degrades, for each garment, in a move to ultimately eliminate the need for labels and hang tags, and further reduce its carbon footprint.

Each pair is responsibly washed following FRAME’s “Four Pillars of Responsible Washing”: no bleach, no potassium permanganate, no stonewashing, while using water-saving machinery.
In terms of fashion, how do you think we can reduce our carbon footprint, what else can we do as an industry?
Buy less, buy better. FRAME creates everyday essentials inspired by the modern man and woman. With FRAME Menswear, the aesthetic is effortless chic and intended to appeal to everyone – everyone from a banker in The City, to an art dealer in St. Moritz to a skateboarder in Los Angeles. With every season, we are pushing boundaries and redefining the essential wear. Our commitment to clever design, research, and testing means sustainable practices that enhances people’s wardrobes without compromising the planet.

What’s next for you guys? What are you most excited about?
We’re really excited about bringing FRAME Menswear to the forefront; it is time for the FRAME Man to have his moment. We also want to continue creating true brand experiences for new customers and meet existing ones where they are – we have some new store openings and collaborations that we are excited to announce later this year.


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