WHY URBAN JERSEY
The idea for Urban Jersey – and the Monnerville brand as a whole – came to me in Mexico City back in 2017 when I visited the city's design museum, the MODO, which held an exhibition on soccer football. The section devoted to the evolution of the Mexican national team kits really struck me. Especially because as a teenager, due to racial profiling, I was always warned not to walk around town with sportswear on to avoid being stopped by the police and asked for an ID. It's quite a common risk for young black men... I immediately started imagining what a more athleisure version of those kits would look like. You know, the sort of clothes I wish I had when I was a teenager 😊
Urban Jersey was engineered by fusing a polo shirt and a T-shirt. We used piqué fabric which is normally reserved for polos and adapted it to a slim fit T-shirt. The reason we 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... Sorry for the confusion). With Urban Jersey, you can feel comfortable wearing it for Zoom calls and go to the office as well as spending the evening in your favourite bar.
I am a neglected child 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 everyday.
I'm a photographer and product designer by trade more than a fashion designer and my inspiration comes from relatively austere looking objects such as Nikon lenses and objects designed by Dieter Rams and Kenneth Grange.
Our focus on investment pieces rests on the belief that we all need to consume less, but much better quality. The best way to achieve this is to make clothes you love wearing time and time again. Smart and comfortable enough to work from home in yet stylish enough for a night out at your favourite bar. Another crucial point is not adding to the current chaos by creating yet another product that looks like any other T-shirt out there.
How many of us have closets full of clothes and yet only wear a fraction of them? A 2019 survey revealed that British men have an average of £11,811 worth of unworn garments lying in their wardrobes. A cluttered wardrobe makes it difficult to pick what to wear. Psychologists call this the paradox of choice aka analysis paralysis. The more options we're given, the more difficult it is to choose. Constantly renewing clothes is also a waste of money and environmentally unsustainable.
Urban Jersey is particularly well suited for capsule wardrobes. It has the perfect balance between basic and discreet standout design features such as its unique tapered neckline. You can dress it up or down according to your needs and activity.
Ethics & Sustainability
At the very beginning of Monnerville, the advice was to just adopt the traditional 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?!
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.
Urban Jersey is locally sourced and produced. We prioritise local suppliers and manufacturers and select who we work with by simply assessing 3 criteria:
- Ethics & sustainability
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:
- Soft and breathable thanks to the texture of the geometric knitting
- Keeps its shape with added stretch to follow your every move
- 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 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.
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.