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Fabric as a Foundation: In Conversation with Works and Days

[Credit: Works and Days]

At Ventile, we offer more than high-performance cotton fabric. Our versatile textiles are crafted with sustainability in mind from the finest extra-long-staple cotton yarn; following 80 years of tradition. This rich legacy, combined with our Swiss ethical standards, make our iconic Ventile the perfect choice for a wide range of brands.

This month, we spoke with Works and Days’ founder and designer, Raff Godfrey, about the importance of choosing the right fabric when beginning a new project or collection.


What is the inspiration behind Atlas Works and Days?

It begins by taking military, workwear, and rare vintage pieces, and then giving them a new touch and utility with technical fabrics. For me, the foundation of every garment really is the fabric, so we spend a lot of time choosing very carefully. Once the textile is selected, we develop the construction techniques and washes or finishes to give those fabrics a unique feel and wearability.


How did you get into clothing design?

I was fortunate to be quite certain about what I wanted to do early on, as I found an interest and love for menswear through magazines or stores in Manchester – which was the closest city to my hometown.

Once I finished school, I was also very lucky to find myself accepted to study menswear design at Central Saint Martins. From there I started working; first at Paul Smith, then for Norse Projects, and now at Works and Days. For me, there has always been a push and pull between what is considered fashion and what is considered to be functional clothing.


What inspires you?

The material. The textile as the foundation for any garment, and the importance of developing clothing that is made to last, to stay with you over time, and to be repaired, altered, and patched. Ageing fabric can be a thing to celebrate if it is good quality! So, ageing in that sense can earn the title of patina.

 I also have a natural obsession with details, internal finish, and choose to allow myself just enough design to let the fabric talk for itself. It can be a good shorthand for seeing if a garment is of good quality if the small things like snaps, buttons, thread, etc. have been considered. Then you can know the big things are in safe hands.


What made you interested in working with Ventile fabric?

I think Ventile is iconic and perfectly combines the idea of something classic and something technical. I wanted to work with these fabrics in such a way that consumers could also see Ventile in the same category as other technical fabrics: relevant and offering exactly the right level of performance and comfort.


What has been your biggest learning since launching Works and Days?

There are so many lessons learnt! But if you knew everything before starting, you would never start to begin with. I think that through taking the leap to try and make what I really believe in, even though it can often feel like an impossible task, there is nothing I would rather be doing.

For the AW23 collection, Works and Days choose to work with Ventile Organic. PFC-free and made from 100% organic cotton [GOTS certified], these fabrics are weatherproof and durable.

Learn more about it or request a sample here