We've been working on an exciting up-cycling project with our friends The Birch Community. Aptly entitled “Not a Uniform” the project sees the team at the new Birch (Selsdon) wearing re-worked Universal Works archive stock as their working clothing. The project began when UW co-founders David Keyte and Stephanie Porritt stayed at Birch’s first outpost in Cheshunt and were excited by the story, space, design elements and format. So when Birch approached UW for an alternative take on staff uniforms, we were happy to get involved.
The brief to UW from Birch was simple “we want clothing for our team that the guests will want to wear”. For Birch’s newest ‘bigger sister hotel’ at Selsdon, they wanted clothing that unified the team and made them recognizable to the
guests but that ultimately they felt and looked good in, learnings carried forward from their experience at Cheshunt.
This was in keeping with a shared notion that ‘dressing good, helps people feel good’, and therefore empowers them to do good things both in and out of the workplace. Speaking of the thought process behind the partnership, Ayo Akinsete, Birch’s Managing Director, adds:
"Birch is more than a hotel, it's an urban escape and an intervention from the daily grind. With this as our ethos, traditional staff uniforms would be totally out of step at Birch. We needed a contemporary play on the concept, working clothes that allowed us to celebrate the individuals of our team. Universal Works was the perfect partner for this, providing a common thread throughout the clothing whilst allowing our staff to pick different items based on their own styles and personalities."
The clothing originates from the Universal Works archive, a curated selection of pieces have been locally screen printed with Birch x Universal Works collaborative branding in five different colours. A bold “B” in the Birch typeface subtly placed on the front of the garments is enlarged on the back and underscored by a reference to the Universal Works partnership.
“Creating “Not a Uniform” with Birch has been an exciting opportunity for Universal Works to work with a company whose principles are very aligned with our own, in particular their passion for the re-wilding of the Selsdon estate and effort to utilise up-cycled materials in their renovations. We’ve worked closely with Birch to select and re-work the right products for their needs and in doing so we’ve turned something that could’ve been part of fashion’s waste issue into stylish working clothing for the team at this exciting new outpost.” – UW Co-Founder, David Keyte
A few members of the UW team had the opportunity to visit the new site and meet the team. We might be a little bit biased, but we thought they were all dressed pretty great.
Exciting news! The Birch in Seldon is now officially open and accepting bookings. If you're interested in learning more about Birch, you can find additional information here.