We want fashion, but we want to be comfortable. It’s a simple concept, and one which sits right at the heart of Lake District based fashion brand Morcant’s core values.
“Why can’t every moment be a smart-casual moment?,” they muse. For founders Matt Salkeld and Morgan Shaw this philosophy means that rather than styling a hoodie with accompanying joggers, why not pair it with some slim fit trousers and a blazer instead? Or if that does not take your fancy, why not size down on a Morcant t-shirt and pair it with a pair of flowing palazzo trousers and slip-on mules?
The world of seasonal high fashion is beginning to show signs of enlightenment. The current pandemic and subsequent lockdown has shone a harsh spotlight on the longstanding formula of releasing new collections consistently throughout the year, with even high stake fashion houses like Gucci admitting that is a model they can no longer follow. The industry was already heading in this direction, but the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have surely sped up the movement. By contrast, Morcant creates season-less, branded essentials for your capsule wardrobe. “We decided to make it our mission to create clothing that bridges the gap between feeling good and looking good,” co-founder Morgan Shaw tells me. “Premium quality doesn’t mean stiff, comfortable doesn’t mean careless. We wanted to create sustainable alternatives to everyday essentials, giving consumers the option to purchase from a conscious brand for their effortless style needs.”
Morcant demand more from the clothing they produce. Each garment must be durable, timeless, ethical, stylish and comfortable, looking just as good with jeans or joggers as they do nestled under a suit or tucked into smart trousers. “It was important that we could manage to do this whilst maintaining a fair price to our customers,” she says. “Too many brands we saw were using the ‘sustainable label’ as a reason to bump the price tag up. Yes, it will never be as cheap as fast fashion basics – and for good reason – but fair fashion should be a fair price.”
Yes, it will never be as cheap as fast fashion basics – and for good reason – but fair fashion should be a fair price.
Embodying the concepts of a minimal lifestyle and sustainability in a hectic world, Morcant curate relaxed silhouettes, with a clean image and signature branding. Although built for the versatility of everyday city life, their clothing is very much inspired by nature. They work with WRAP, Oeko-Tex and/or Fair-Wear certified factories and aim to limit environmental impact in every detail, from the use of certified eco-friendly fabrics to producing in small batches to minimise waste. By creating quality gender-free pieces that won’t go out of fashion, they believe that Morcant clothing will stand the test of time.
“We wanted to create sustainable branded basics, as we felt that that had not been done very successfully in the leisurewear market,” says Morgan. “After searching the marketplace for ethical clothing embellished tastefully with a company logo, we found there to be limited options. Nearly everything branded that we saw was not responsibly made and had developed a bad rep, so we wanted to reverse that trend and show that branded clothes shouldn’t cost the earth, and sustainability wasn’t just a fad or a trend to be taken lightly.”
The name Morcant is derived from old Welsh, meaning Sea Circle. “We felt that the Sea was forever timeless, and the tranquillity and comfort matched the type of clothing we aspired to produce. The Circle represents the constant goal to provide a circular lifestyle for the garments we create and wear.” Their emblem is a Sea Wolf, originally selected to represent strength, loyalty, resilience and nature. “Not only do they support each other faithfully as part of a pack, they also show true vigour away from the crowd,” says Morgan.
Their latest collection (3) is consciously crafted, using certified eco-friendly materials and ethically manufactured in Bangladesh, before being finished and quality checked in the UK. “We do this in order to support the economy in both countries and to support the fair treatment and payment of workers in Asia,” says Morgan. The factory they use holds many respectable certifications and is part of the Fair-Wear Foundation, offering fair wages, child support and education. “It all comes down to materials,” says Morgan. “If you have good materials you can make anything! They not only contribute significantly to the quality, they also build so much of the story behind each piece.” They describe their creative process as “late-night-brainwaves-early-morning-editing”. “We find that is the most beneficial way to reap creative rewards,” explains Morgan. “Our optimists dream, and our pessimists edit. If the end result is a piece that looks ready to complete our consumers effortless everyday style, then it’s perfect, and we can begin to analyse the materials, colours and fit.”
“In a world full of intraspecific competition, we need to be wary of our consumption and invest in valued possessions. Living with a less is more attitude and comfortably with nature is key to our brands fundamentals. Sustainability is a process. We will continue to drive change and improve our processes, supporting the slow fashion movement and the ethical production of our clothing. We want our customers to be proud to wear the Morcant name, knowing that they are supporting a conscious, fair and future focused brand.”
All photography © Morcant, used with permission.