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by Bela Shehu on May 18, 2020

Hello dear friends,

How fitting that during this time of quarantine — as we experience the same thing together, but apart — we have the pleasure of introducing our latest effort to connect with our community: open source design. 

We are thrilled to announce that NINObrand now offers public access to a small collection of its most coveted patterns. Essentially, we are laying bare our source code — our secret recipes — to inspire the next generation of designers and makers who want to put their own spin on a NINObrand classic.

It’s more than just a one time gesture; it’s an entirely new direction. 

As an industry, we are at a crisis point. Three decades ago, when fashion production and manufacturing moved overseas, we lost the essential practice of pattern making; a nuanced trade that once told the story of a garment’s design, purposefully crafted by skilled tradesmen and women. It has been replaced by the overproduction of cheaply made wares. 

Since then, the business of fashion has been on a destructively downward spiral. We find ourselves living in a culture of mindless consumerism. Shoppers are encouraged to buy more and expect it faster. This robs us of more than just our dollars, it acts in wild disregard for the health of our earth and the preservation of its natural resources. 

It is our desire to help right the wrongs of the modern fashion industry by resurrecting the once-revered trade of pattern making, including sharing our knowledge, processes and expertise for good.  

Many people have reacted to this decision with trepidation, fearful that we are giving away what makes NINObrand so special. We disagree. All progress, all art, all creation, is built on the collective unconscious from where we spring. But that ancient cycle of inspiration has been lost, and by making our designs open source, we can contribute once again to that magic. 

Our goal is to open up opportunities for students who don’t have the tools to create a slow fashion practice, designers who are limited in their paths due to the reign of fast fashion, and the next generation of makers who just need a nudge in the right direction. We are excited to see how existing designs are reborn in new hands, and how our ideas will evolve, grow, and inspire.

In the not-too-distant future, we plan to open up our entire library of designs to encourage education and appreciation of the trade, and mindfulness of the process. Until then, we urge you to read the powerful manifesto by Martijn Van Strien and Vera de Pont (which we will discuss in next week’s blog!) that ultimately inspired us to enter the open source space.




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