DBA is a thoughtful artist-led micro-business conducted by myself, Alice from my London studio.
Initially created 10 years ago to supplement my early career as a ballet dancer and later as a second more commercial string to my creative projects as a freelance artist.
The pandemic however created a need for growth to both support myself as well as the freelance costume makers that were left without work during the national lockdowns and restrictions on theatres.
And so, DBA is considerably growing: working with a small group of highly skilled crafts people based in the UK and a small garment factory in Sicily. As well as developing designs and collaborations with the arts and wildlife secture that share my values.
As a designer I have always strived to make heirloom pisces that transcend seasons, to avoid the throwaway nature of seasonal fashion and focus instead on pieces that are as useful as they are beautiful - Inspired by and made in consideration of the natural world.
Like everything I do my business has been created holistically and with the greatest care. Consciously keeping collections small and simple and growth at a strong and sustainable pace that's kinder to the planet and the people I work with. This way of working allows me to focus on the individuality and longevity of each design and ensures that I never over-produce or create something unwanted; an industry problem that's having dire effects on the environment in terms of waste.
In addition to myself, Alice, the fabrication of the ballet skirts is made by a small circle of freelance ballet and west-end costume makers, some of whom I’ve now worked with in a freelance capacity for 10 years!
The bodysuits are made by a small highly specialised theatre costume studio in Italy.
Fabric printing is produced in the UK, with digital printing industry leaders
My Studio assistants are young graduates, freelance performers from the west-end and ballet industry or fellow dancers interested in career transition aways from the stage!
Other parts of the supply chain:
Stationary is printed in the UK on recycled papers
Elastic, sourced from a luxury accessory factory in northern Italy,
Cotton bags are made and printed in Hungary with EU certified organic cotton, they are all fair wage payers.
The Bodysuits are 78% recycled plastic bottles. Working with polymer based fabrics offers incredible durability and high performance. The regenerated fibre I use comes from post consumer waste. Regenerated fibres help close the loop on plastic pollution; theoretically the materials can be re-recycled indefinitely.
The Ballet skirts are made of poly chiffon, it is incredibly durable. The first DBA skirts are already 15 years old and look no older than the days they were made: There is no reason why the skirts couldn’t be enjoyed by three generations of dancers ( minimum) with the right care!!!
The fabric is not recycled, it’s as of yet too fine a grade to be made of recycled materials. I am however constantly on the lookout for the right material to have been innovated, requesting samples and messaging my suppliers! I hope that the moment the industry creates a suitable fabric I will be one of the first in the queue to print on it. If you see something perfect before I do - please do let me know!