Double Eleven makes one of a kind garments from circa 1940’s-80’s military tents, parachutes and ponchos repurposed into utility wear. We hunt all over for rare and authentic military textiles to give a second life to and upcycle into unisex clothing.
Utility and responsibility are central to our design process and they point back to the origins of the brand name in 1940’s Britain. Due to the varying shapes, colors and sizes of what we recover, each garment is individually configured to fit the piece of fabric, it’s then hand cut and sewn in New York City, making it literally One of One.
No two pieces are the same. Everything is limited edition by nature. All of the fabrics have their own distinct characteristics, differences and histories, which we integrate into the design of each garment.
In a homogenized world, being one of a kind is becoming a very rare thing.
It’s hard to say exactly where this story begins and where it ends, so let’s just start with a little history. In 1998, Nathan Bogle moved from his hometown of London to New York. In 2002 he co-founded and created rag & bone. In 2014, he moved to Los Angeles and founded Double Eleven and has since returned to New York.
His family has been in and around fashion for over a century. Dating back to the early 1900’s, his great-grandfather worked in textile mills in Northern England. His grandfather worked in publishing and was a keen fashion illustrator, his mother and father have both worked with or for fashion brands since the 1960’s. So you could say it’s in the blood!
And so the story goes on…
This part started in a factory in the summer of 2014 where Nathan found himself at odds with his environment. He was sitting surrounded by rolls of fabric, waste and excess. The whole thing felt unsustainable, reckless and unaligned with his values.
Having lived and worked on a Permaculture farm in southern Spain and then studied the design system in the 90’s, he understood the importance of working in harmony with the environment, not against it. And yet there he was, part of an industry that today is reportedly the second largest polluter on the planet. It was total hypocrisy, and he was the first to admit it.
It was then that he said to himself this must stop. And the idea of a modern yet conscious brand began to grow. To find a better way of creating high quality clothing without so much negative impact, and to meet or exceed the standards we now expect from modern utility products. It meant rethinking the entire process, from sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, to communications and packaging. So he turned to the past to envision an alternative to the sizable footprint made by the journey of the average garment.
Original CC41 and Double Eleven labels (circa 1938-1945)
It was 1941 when Britain found itself in the midst of a dire rationing crisis. The world was at war, inflation was rampant, and certain raw materials such as wool, cotton, and leather could no longer be imported. Originating from the need for efficiency and in an attempt to stave off sky-rocketing clothing prices, the ‘CC41 Utility Clothing Scheme' was created. This national movement eliminated excess in all its forms and the ‘CC41’ insignia began appearing on clothing to indicate that an item met the government’s strict austerity regulations. This insignia became recognized as a guarantee of quality, sensible design and workmanship.
After the war ended in 1945, whilst rationing was still in effect, certain clothing was permitted to be made under the luxury-utility label ‘Double Eleven’. The garments bearing this new label were made from better grade fabrics, had more elaborate construction but shared the same fundamental ethos.
It was this method of eschewing excess in all its forms and reimagining manufacturing and resources that gave Nathan the idea of only utilizing and reclaiming deadstock, surplus and vintage textiles. In addition to manufacturing domestically and distilling the supply chain, he could further reduce the footprint normally associated with the production of clothing. It amounted to a 90% reduction in water, energy, transportation and a 100% removal of chemicals (because no virgin textiles needed to be produced and everything was sewn locally). It was a fundamental rethink of the entire model, and all of a sudden ‘waste’ became opportunity.
No compromise to quality, no compromise on human labor, just great clothes that would be remain in your wardrobe for years…but arrive there with a completely different story.
And so, DOUBLE ELEVEN was born.