Call me weird, but I take great joy in finding imperfections in things. General everyday wear and tear is beautiful and interesting; it shows that something has been used and it tells the story of an object.
The same philosophy goes for my workspace – it is in constant use, and I like it to reflect that. It helps my creative brain to be surrounded by things – sentimental objects, samples, crumpled receipts, the lot. Of course, I like the space to be clean and organized, but I don’t tidy absolutely everything off the desk at the end of the day because I want it to look ‘lived in.’
If I’m writing postcards to send out with orders and I accidentally get a mark from a Sharpie on the workbench, I won’t try to remove it. It stays there and becomes part of the story over time. Similarly, when opening a new roll of paper to wrap parcels, there is a sticker at the edge which usually makes it onto someone’s parcel – I wouldn’t dream of taking it off the paper.
Even when clothing samples arrive and there’s a stitch missing or the logo is in slightly the wrong place, I rarely complain because, for all intents and purposes, that one is now mine and only adds to the story. If the item is otherwise in good condition, a couple of flaws just add a bit of extra interest. I want the chipped espresso cup that fails quality control, or the sample sweatshirt with a slight tear at the hem. I want to see that a human being has been involved in some way, even if they have made an error. Because mistakes make us human. In a world driven by polished perfection, precision and AI technology, it is comforting to see evidence that an object has either been made or used by a human, flaws and all.
When I go to visit manufacturers in their old mills, factories and workshops, my camera roll ends up packed to the brim with photos like this one, above, of a worker’s chair at a mill in Scotland. It’s been heavily used. Never changed. A constant in an ever-evolving whirr of production. There is a magic in that which cannot be replicated and its story is unique.
It is also great to know that there are a few of us who love a ‘worn’ aesthetic in their clothing. Jeans are one example of this. Now we live in a world of artificial ageing on jeans, through washes and other techniques, but the time-honoured method of wearing your jeans for as long as possible, then washing them, revealing where you keep your wallet, phone, and sometimes how long you spend on your knees, is the best way to display your commitment, or lack of, to your trousers. This is why vintage Levi’s from the early 20th century are so expensive to buy. They were certainly made better, but the additional value is in seeing where three sets of knees have been in the jeans and the story behind that. As a kid, I grew up loving hip-hop and looking fresh, but I soon realised that looking ‘fresh’ meant supporting a throw-away society and not appreciating the beauty in watching things age and patinate over time.
Before the internet was obsessed with fades on denim, another way to display your sartorial stripes was through the age and use of your Barbour jacket. For decades, farmers, land workers and urban-dwellers have worn their jacket and done nearly everything they could to make it appear old, or in some cases, older than it actually is. When I got my first Barbour, from a tiny independent shop in Sheffield, the shop owner recommended that I didn’t wear it brand-new, and that I should “Chuck it in’t kennel wi’t dog for a month.” Who was I to argue?
In 2017, I bought a brand-new Barbour Beaufort in sage green. I’d also just bought a house which we were about to fully renovate and, with no heating at the time, I wanted to use the coat to keep me warm and dry during the messiest part of my life. I also loved the idea that the jacket would be a sartorial scrapbook of everything I had achieved during this time. There is paint on the inside, silicone sealant under the pocket flap and part of the handwarmer pocket is ripped where I got it caught on a nail. For a while, in the pocket, there was the first invoice of some pieces of timber that we bought. I forgot about it and then found it and it has now incidentally become a relic of the past.
When I was a kid, I never understood why people sent their Barbour jacket back to be repaired and rewaxed, because it ended up costing more than buying a new coat. After owning one and making it my own, I realised that there’s nothing quite like your old Barbour jacket. The memories associated with it, coupled with the fact that it has moulded to your body shape over time and fits you better than a new one would, make it a unique piece of clothing.
At TRiCKETT, we love to make exceptionally high-quality clothing and accessories which are built to withstand living life to the full. Use it, love it, scuff it, pull the thread, repair it if you need to. Hopefully our items can become future hand-me-downs which will display your stories to future generations.