From Diletta Cancellato with cU (Cancellato Uniform) to Letizia Caramia and Morten Thuesen of the Older studio, independent stylists offer ethical, inclusive, genderless (and protest) uniforms

More and more young creatives are dusting off the concept of uniform by proposing contemporary uniforms for work and everyday life, inclusive garments that go beyond the concepts of size and gender, ethical, comfortable, durable and affordable.

Unisex overalls, shirts that are ready to wear without being ironed, knitwear that adapts to the lines of the body, aprons that can be washed at low temperatures, in the home washing machine, and not in industrial washing that wastes a lot of water and power.

Contemporary uniforms that become the vehicle of a new peaceful form of protest: the designers are the bearers of criticism of the fashion system, one of the most polluting industries in the world, and demonstrate that it is possible to produce different, focusing on durability and timeless lines, and not on collections that last only one season.

Young people who choose to produce in Italy and in Europe and not in China, adopting a business model that does not follow the logic of maximum profit at all costs, accepting to earn less on a garment, and sell honest products at an affordable price.

The genderless uniforms of Diletta Cancellato

With cU (Canceled Uniform), Diletta Canceled proposes uniforms for contemporary life, quality knitwear, genderless, versatile, comfortable and easy to wear. A clothing line that goes beyond the concept of sizes, and uses height as the only reference, with a range that goes from 1 meter and 30 to 1 meter and 90 centimetres.

"The cU project was born in my head many years ago, when following a course for programming digital knitting machines, I realized how much the versatility of knitwear was not yet exploited to its full potential", says Diletta Cancellato.

"However, it took over three years of work and research before cU became a reality, with the first collection officially on sale from February 2022. cU's philosophy is to reverse the trend that leads people to have to adapt standardized sizes, instead creating a line of knitwear capable of adapting to the multiple shapes of the human body One-size garments, not necessarily oversized, which adapt to the body and its changes over time, which can be easily shared and passed on hand in hand.

We wanted our clothes to reach as wide an audience as possible, and if the size one size allows us to cover a range from xs to xl, for both male and female, the height sizes allow us to further expand our customer target, offering the perfect fit for (almost) everyone.

The production is made in Italy in knitwear factories near Milan, with 3D knitwear machines, so the garment comes out finished (or almost finished) directly from the machine without the need for major machining or subsequent assembly. The clothes are then sold online and produced only after receiving the order, with the possibility of trying them on in person at our space in Milan (by appointment) or in the pop-up stores that we open from time to time. occasionally around Italy, such as those in Naples and Rome".

Older studio's ethical work uniforms

"We studied and began our career as a fashion designer, working at Alexander McQueen in London", say Letizia Caramia and Morten Thuesen.

"In 2013, at the age of 24, we founded the older studio because we wanted to break away from luxury fashion and its capitalist logic, we wanted to create something that lasted more than just one season and was everyone's reach We started with ready-to-wear shirts, then we focused on ethical, durable work uniforms with contemporary lines.

Uniforms that can also be washed at low temperatures, in the home washing machine, and not in industrial washes that pollute and waste a lot of water and energy. Uniforms that fit everyone, designed for ordinary people and made in polycotton, an organic cotton with recycled polyester, resistant to stains and ready to wear without being ironed.

Our challenge is to use our creativity to elevate modest, technical and non-luxurious materials, to create quality workwear that is ergonomic, practical and pleasant to wear. It's the same approach we have with furniture: we use recycled materials, such as iron beams and carpentry scraps, to create functional and playful objects that bring a touch of irony and color to our homes ".

The uniform symbol of a new form of protest

The concept of uniform returns and takes on new ideologies. If in Mao's time uniforms were tunic jackets the result of mass production without quality or creativity, a symbol of the Maoist regime and one of the darkest historical periods, today the proposals of young creatives are divided apolitical, but which at the same time convey new peaceful forms of protest.

"They are called uniforms but, unlike Mao's, they bringers of peace and inclusiveness, they are tools for dressing trades, to help people work better by wearing practical and quality clothes", they say Letizia Caramia and Morten Thuesen.

"We can say that our uniforms are ideological, because they have brought a new ideology to a usually low-quality sector such as workwear for the catering and hospitality sector, speaking for the first vault of ethical leaders, not disposable.

They are ideological uniforms also because they communicate our criticism of the fashion system, one of the most polluting industries in the world. Older is an ideological brand with a modernist approach, in our vision workwear is an extension of architecture, it is design in motion, pure geometric shapes that combine functionality, durability , low environmental impact, ergonomics, aesthetic research, all at an affordable cost".

Even Diletta Cancellato carries forward with her uniforms a form of peaceful protest with social implications: with cU, the fashion designer criticizes and goes beyond the concept of size and gender, of bodies that have to adapt to the standards and fall into the categories imposed by fashion and society.

cU garments are genderless, comfortable, designed for everyone, "they must make the person wearing them feel good, even on those days when you just can't look in the mirror, they must be a certainty", says the designer.

Durable and trend-free knitwear, made according to a production model that reduces its environmental footprint, with zero waste. This is also a (peaceful) way to change things.