ABOUT MONNERVILLE

 Portrait of Pierre-Yves Monnerville, founder of Monnerville and designer of the Urban Jersey

 

When I was growing up in Paris, I was always warned that walking around town with sportswear on could be ‘risky' for young black men. Now I'm grateful I have a chance to design the minimalist, ethical sportswear clothes I wish I could wear then.

 

 

A new, fairer way to design and do business

My name is Pierre-Yves Monnerville, founder of the Monnerville brand. My vision is to create an ethical and sustainable menswear label. Being ethical is really important to me because in my ancestry, there are of course slaves, but also slave owners. It’s time to move away from the old fashioned model of human exploitation and mindless destruction of the environment.

The reason I focus on athleisure is because when I was growing up in Paris, I was always warned that walking around town with sportswear on could be ‘risky' for young black men. The risk was being stopped by the police and asked for an ID, not being shot... Being asked for an ID is bad enough, though.

Handsome man with glasses wearing black Urban Jersey

A direct response to the post pandemic world

I’m very grateful to now be able to design the sportswear inspired clothes I wish I had when I was younger. I even get to incorporate my values in those clothes!

Athleisure is also a direct response to the post pandemic world where so many of us don’t need to go into the office every day as we used to. Over the last two years, many of us got used to being very comfortable in our clothes. It’s almost an act of self care to wear clothes that feel soft and premium on your skin.

 

Smart Athleisure for today AND tomorrow. Ethically Made

Because of the sometimes blurred lines between work and time off, the best in my opinion is to wear clothes that are versatile, timeless, comfortable and of course ethically made.

  • Versatile means smart enough for the office or work from home but also stylish enough to go to your favourite bar. The consequence of versatility is that you’ll keep your clothes for longer. That’s why Urban Jersey is covered by a Free Lifetime Guarantee against manufacturing defects.

Urban Jersey is designed for busy people and adapts to your lifestyle

 

  • Urban Jersey fuses the best elements of polo shirts and T-shirts. We used piqué fabric which is normally reserved for polos and adapted it to a slim fit T-shirt. The reason I chose organic piqué fabric for Urban Jersey is because it looks a bit sharper and more professional than the fabric normally used to make T-shirts –also called jersey by the way. With Urban Jersey, you can feel comfortable wearing it for Zoom calls, run errands or everything in between.⁣

 Urban Jersey is made with UK knitted organic cotton

 

  • The idea behind timeless is to have investment pieces with classic yet flattering lines and silhouettes that won’t go out of style next season.

 Professional man wearing a white Urban Jersey in central London

 

  • Comfort is an extension of investing and caring for our clothes. Urban Jersey’s slim fit follows your every move without restriction. It’s made of breathable premium organic cotton piqué that’s knitted in Northern England. All Monnerville clothes are made with Organic Cotton and Recycled Polyester.

  

  • Finally, ethics mean that absolutely everyone involved in making Urban Jersey anywhere in the world is decently compensated. Having Urban Jersey crafted in West London seemed an obvious choice. The rest of the collection is made in Bangladesh under the supervision of the FairWear Foundation. It ensures against child labour, unpaid overtime and guarantees minimum wage, training, promotions and also unionisation.

 

Thoughtful minimalist design & Responsible manufacturing

The reason I'm focusing on basics is because, as a minimalist myself, I believe we all need to consume less, but much better quality. In my opinion, the best way to achieve this is to make clothes that you'll love wearing time and time again inside or outside of your home.

Urban Jersey is crafted by merging design, minimalism and ethics 

 

Basics inspired by sportswear especially rugby jerseys

Another crucial point is not adding to the current chaos by creating yet another product that looks like any other T-shirt out there. Hence Urban Jersey’s unique tapered neckline inspired by rugby jerseys.

Professional man wearing a black Urban Jersey under a blazer

 

Urban Jersey is particularly well suited for capsule wardrobes. It has the perfect balance of classic and discreet standout design features such as its neckline. You can dress it up or down according to your needs and activity.

 

Flattering, confidence boosting fit

Young fit man wearing a white Urban Jersey.  Free worldwide shipping

 

I grew up neglected and this resulted in quite severe mental health issues, especially chronic unworthiness. That's why Urban Jersey's fit is meant to boost self confidence by discreetly enhancing upper chest and arms. The raglan sleeves drape your arms and shoulders and because your arms fill the sleeves, they instantly look bigger.

Urban Jersey is designed to channel an athlete's mindset and embody sportsmanship values such as humility, best effort, respect, teamwork and fair play every day.

 

Ethics & Sustainability

At the very beginning of Monnerville, the advice was to just adopt the traditional manufacturing model and ship fabric made in the UK to textile factories in China, Bangladesh or Pakistan. The finished clothes would then travel back to the UK before being shipped again to customers all over the world. What?!

The world’s fifteen largest container ships emit the same emissions as 735 million cars! There must be a better way!

 

Urban Jersey is locally sourced and produced with stretchy organic cotton

 

The flagship Urban Jersey is locally sourced and produced. Local suppliers and manufacturers are prioritised and selected according three simple criteria:

  1. Quality
  2. Ethics & sustainability
  3. Cost

Our organic piqué fabric is sourced from its actual birthplace: Lancashire, northern England and specifically a fabric mill with one of the lowest Carbon footprints in the UK of any fabric manufacturer. The yarn used to knit the fabric comes from a European spinner and came over by road... Here are three benefits of piqué:

  1. Soft and breathable thanks to the texture of the geometric knitting
  2. Keeps its shape with added stretch to follow your every move
  3. Easy to care for. 

Our heat seal labels and woven tags are also sourced from the UK. The accent trimming fabric is handmade and sourced from Western France. All of these components are shipped to West London where Urban Jersey is manufactured in very small runs to avoid waste.

Our current packaging comes from Poland and is made of 90% minimum recycled cardboard and fully recyclable or compostable. We print with water based ink. A mailer bag protects your order from elements and theft. Our biodegradable foil bags are made from natural starch (either corn or beetroot). Our manufacturer adheres to the EU's Clean Air Programme. Their facilities filter volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the air before it’s released back into the environment. Employees are kept safe by using air respirators when they are working around exposed VOCs.

Monnerville doesn't use plastic 

 

Leveraging the latest technologies

Monnerville also uses the latest technologies allowing us to embroider the new Urban Jersey collection on demand in Lancashire. We’re also blending recycled polyester with organic cotton to craft our soft and sustainable line of joggers, sweatshirts and bags.

The Urban Jersey Collection is embroidered on demand in Lancashire to reduce waste

 

Sustainable projects worldwide

Monnerville supports One Tree Planted's reforestation project. It's a non-profit environmental charity on the mission of global reforestation. More trees are planted than used to make our packaging. Trees are planted in most endangered areas of North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Monnerville aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. These seventeen goals represent the global community’s next step in ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change by 2030. Although all seventeen are equally important, the most obvious ones to act on for us as a business and minimalist fashion brand are Responsible Production and Consumption (12) and Decent Work & Economic Growth (8). A portion of each sale is donated to the non-profit organisation B1G1 which ties every donation and impact created to the same Sustainable Development Goals. 

Monnerville aligns with the UN's 17 Sustainable Goals and donates a portion of each sale to the social enterprise B1G1

 

My formative years

I used to volunteer as a medic for the French Red Cross in my late teens and early twenties. We were mainly called for traffic accidents or people falling ill at home. We covered France’s richest areas but also some of the roughest ones. I quickly realised that when $h!t hits the fan, regardless of social class, ethnicity or culture, we’re all the same. We all bleed the same. We’re all scared of pain and death. We also want our loved ones to be safe, obviously. I'm thankful I understood this so early because it’s informed so many decisions in my life and business. Despite appearances, we have a lot more in common than differences. That's why it's so important for me to provide employment to local communities with amazing skills and passion. Just like I want a good life for myself and my loved ones, we're all somebody's loved one. 

 

Despite appearances, we have a lot more in common than differences. That's why it's so important for me to provide employment to local communities with amazing skills and passion.

 

I've always been interested in protecting the environment. There was a massive shift in 2013, however. After my mother's death and a divorce, I found myself needing time and space to grieve and think. So what better way than an ayahuasca retreat I thought. Next thing I knew, I was on my way to the Peruvian side of the Amazon jungle... To cut a very long story short, it completely changed my life and this is when I became so psycho about sustainability!

Amazon river where I instinctively vowed to only design ethical clothes

 

I realised for the first time that humans and nature don't coexist. We are nature. As cheesy as this might sound, we are one single entity living on the same planet, breathing the same polluted air, etc. Everything and everyone is connected... This is what drove me to want to make the least impact possible that I could on this planet! Now you know why Urban Jersey is made in London with organic cotton and in small runs in order to avoid wastage.

My goal is to lead by example and prove that businesses can thrive without wrecking the planet. 

 

Soundtrack

I spent a lot of time alone as a child. Music always offered me escapism as I dreamt of being a designer. I'd like to share with you some of the songs that helped and inspired me then and now.