A look behind the Seams:
Want to hear a cute story? Decade designer Molly Spittal and her long-time partner Matt Atkinstall were living in Montreal in 2014 where they were running a successful and cult-followed leather bag company, the Stowe. Molly’s designs were made with high quality Italian tanned leather, manufactured in Spain with a focus on form and function. In addition to running the books and business side, Matt also used his keen fashion photography skills to promote the brand.
Across town, their dear friends and fellow entrepreneurial couple Morgan Ellis and Ezra Kish were busy running bars and operating an artist collective space. Morgan had converted a warehouse into individual studios where local artists, including the Stowe, could design, create and host monthly markets. Ezra, the motorcycle enthusiast and self-proclaimed “Denim Dad” had always wanted to create the perfect pair of jeans to add to his collection (Fun fact: He has 15+ pairs in rotation today). Naturally, Ezra and Morgan approached the Stowe duo about evolving their sharp design essence from leather to denim. They all believe in the idea that one strong piece can really carry a wardrobe.
Molly set out to make the perfect pair of jeans. For a seasoned leatherworker and fashion designer, how hard could it be? Molly quickly learned that the standard fit for jeans was not even fit for her. Most brands use an industry-standard fit model which is not a relatable body shape for the average woman. Bigger companies will also use elastane in order to stretch one pattern to fit multiple body shapes. An integral fabric compromise the Decade foursome did not want to make. They were determined to use only 100% cotton denim, but still have it fit every body shape. By reaching out to their community and conducting some denim fieldwork they revealed a common issue with baggy and shapeless jeans; that pesky back gap! Molly had devised a way to solve this troublesome fit issue while fitting a variety of body shapes and sizes. This novel blueprint is what they call the Ratio-Fit. This formula allows space for the hips and tush while perfectly fitting the waist. Today, the Decade brand continues to produce ethically and sustainably made garments that are durable, stylish and fit for you.
Currently Decade operates out of the Ellis Building in Vancouver, British Columbia. A design warehouse space that Morgan and Ezra run that houses over a dozen design studios and a large event space. If you’re lucky enough to live near Vancouver, you should drop by where you can have a personal fitting with the designer herself. Molly also offers online fittings for those living elsewhere.
We take pride in our shape-inclusive fits. But that's not all we're proud of. We make long-lasting, repairable and recyclable jeans that are as socially and environmentally responsible as possible. So you can feel as good about your jeans as you do wearing your jeans.
01 Our Factory
We travelled the world to find the right production team. We have very high standards when it comes to the treatment of our labour force and our factory is no different. The factory is located in Northern Portugal and run by a family who have hired a small team of highly trained artisans who make our jeans from start to finish by hand. We do not support facilities that use exploitative labour practices. Period. Everyone is paid a living wage and the working conditions are safe and healthy. When COVID-19 hit Portugal, our factory decided to shut down all production until further notice so the team could isolate safely. This is a reflection of the standards they hold that we are very proud of. We all value human life and safety over an on-time delivery.
02 Our Product
Our jeans are made using 100% cotton denim. This is important a handful of reasons. When you inject any percentage of elastane into a cotton yarn (even as little as 1%) it compromises the strength of the cotton, which is a long staple fibre and naturally extremely durable. This is why jeans with stretch break down so quickly. Our jeans last years and years if properly cared for, which means washing inside out in cold water, hanging to dry, and repairing when needed. Repairs done on 100% cotton jeans also last a very long time, the cotton thread reinforces the cotton denim and stays put, instead of tearing away from the stitch line like elastane will. Garments made using synthetic materials inevitably end up in a landfill, they are not recyclable and the life cycle is very short. These jeans will have a happy home in your closet for a very long time, and once the life cycle is complete, they can be sent to a denim recycling facility that breaks them down to the fibre and recycles the cotton into insulation for homes and cars. Read more about this process, and how to recycle your cotton jeans here.
03 Our Process
All design and conceptualization happens in our office and showroom in Vancouver, BC. Our designer Molly works very closely with our production manager to carefully develop and refine all of our styles and fits. The denim has been carefully sourced from a mill in Italy, which we will never change. We believe consistency is key, especially because our collection does not change seasonally. It's important to us to help disrupt the notion that has been instilled in us by fast fashion that we must reinvent our wardrobe every few months. The scraps from our production floor are all recycled, using the methods mentioned above and all of our web orders are shipped using post-consumer recyclable, and compostable materials. We try to keep our environmental impact as low as possible while making new clothing.
04 Redistribution of wealth
We are committed to the ongoing redistribution of a percentage of our monthly sales online to organizations that support marginalized communities around the world. We want to make it clear that we do not tolerate or support sexism, transphobia, ageism, queerphobia, ableism, racism, fatphobia, or any or discrimination of any kind in our office or in our lives. We are firmly in support of the Movement for Black Lives and are very happy to discuss any of our positions and how we contribute to redistribution of wealth at any time. Please contact us if you have any thoughts or questions, and see our ongoing list of organizations you can help support here.
We are committing 5% of all sales through our website and in-person events to reinvest in groups that support underrepresented and/or marginalized communities. This is a permanent fixture in our business model. See the list of organizations we've contributed to below, and please feel free to donate to any organization that is still accepting funding.