Two heads are definitely better than one when there’s a common goal to achieve. Especially when it’s a formidable project like advocating sustainability. Since announcing plans to improve circularity of its products, Australian skincare brand Aesop starts enforcing them and goes into action via a collaboration with a leader in responsible fashion design and circularity, Ræburn.
Through Ræburn, which was established by Christopher Raeburn in 2009, the British designer and creative director has brought responsible design to a global audience and presents a new definition of luxury with integrity. This joint venture builds on both brands’ shared principles in practicality, functionality and purpose.
Both parties crossed paths in June 2020. With their complementary ideology, this collaboration developed in a seamless accelerated timeline, with a mere five months elapsing between the first discussion of the project and the start of production. The result? A portable pouch for on-the-go hand care, available in three variants—the Adventurer Roll Up, Ræmade Adventurer Roll Up and an Open Source Roll Up pattern.
Handcrafted from pre-consumer recycled cotton, the pouch features three purpose-fit pockets to hold three Aesop products. A co-branded cotton tape enables the pouch to be rolled up securely for neat portability inside any bag.
“We really wanted to make a product that would help people with the current situation, that is the reality of a global pandemic, and also beyond when we start to travel more in the future,” emphasises Raeburn in an exclusive interview. “How can we make a product that will help people with that adventure and to bring back the spirit of adventure and energy?”
Settling on an Adventurer concept, it is a playful nod to today’s climate of leaving a safe and controlled environment like home to venture outside akin to embarking on a daring adventure. As one would pack a certain number of necessities before heading out into the wild, the Adventurer Roll Up contains essentials needed to navigate the urban jungle. “Within Ræburn, a lot of the work we do is almost like archaeology—going out to find original items and bringing them back to life and making them into new things,” shares Raeburn.
Besides the primary Adventurer Roll Up in navy, 300 limited-edition Ræmade Adventurer Roll Up made from fabric maps will also be on sale. Rare’s the word to describe the double-sided cloths as they were produced in the 1960s and are about 60 years old. Raeburn explains that the maps are very scarce and each of them is made by hand in the Ræburn studio. “The maps were chosen for a special reason—one is Borneo and one is the Aral Sea. The two locations are of great environmental significance.”
Alternatively, buyers of the Adventurer Roll Up can customise their piece by downloading the Open Source pattern from Aesop or Ræburn’s website. “People would be able to make these anywhere around the world and the reason why I’m excited is because I know people will find amazing fabrics and create their own version with beautiful ribbon, tape or silk for the materials,” says Raeburn.
The key part, circulation, manifests through its wise design of using only recycled fabric. “We began using recycled materials and then we make something that can be recycled again. That’s the long-term plan. It’s really important to consider not just circularity but also natural materials like starting something natural or making it entirely natural. That’s why with the roll up, you’ll notice [the design] is actually simple. There’re neither zips, snaps, nor buttons because we wanted to have something which is simple and made from natural materials.”
Functionality and flexibility also define this utilitarian pouch. With three slots containing products from Aesop’s Resurrection range (Rinse-Free Hand Wash, Aromatique Hand Balm and Rinse-Free Hand Mist) to cleanse and hydrate the hands when commuting, travelling or simply out and about, it is roomy enough to fit more of your favourite Aesop essentials. “The Rozu fragrance is the one I have every day; in fact, it goes also into the [Adventurer Roll Up],” says Raeburn.
“You can actually have space for up to five. Sometimes, if you’re going away for the weekend, you might swap out some items from your daily commute into the city. This is about us thinking about the future. Every journey being an adventure with emotional attachment and the preparatory you might need for that adventure.”
Through this current pandemic, Raeburn notes that people have become much more aware of their immediate environment and its impact globally. “Although it’s been very challenging, my hope is that we start now to transition through the pandemic into a better place. Now, we have this real obligation to work in a much more meaningful way. This partnership with Aesop is a really good example of working cross-industry to build products and make things for a better future. We need to go towards a new normal and a much more positive normal.”
The Adventurer Roll Up by Ræburn and Aesop is now available at all Aesop signature stores, department store counters, select stockists and Aesop Online.