Rubens stands for every womxn who has fought her way to the boardroom, to the studio, or to rising to any occasion. Why be like anyone else when you can be authentically you?
She is neither limited by age, nor cultural background, nor by gender. She is principled as hell, herself to the nth degree, and unapologetic about it. With a focus on knitwear, Rubens works locally in London with small companies to knit her garments, and with Manusa in Pistoia, Italy who employ refugees and women with fragilities.
She uses materials and processes that do not harm the planet, such as organic wools, dyed by her natural dyer in Ireland, AppleOak Fibreworks, certified alpaca from Peru, Chilean artisan-made hand spun yarns, locally farmed mohair from Newforest, water-based hand- painted organic peace silks, jersey made from recycled water bottles, GOTS certifed organic cotton, artisan-made recycled glass beads from Africa, and closed loop certified Tencel.
Rubens is grateful for her sponsors, DenimX who develops innovative materials from recycled denim and bio plastics, and Filmar who is a leader in sustaining and growing community and organic Egyptian cotton with its facilities in Egypt, teaching 150,000 students about sustainable cotton farming, at the forefront in research and development.
Rubens would also like to thank the Suzanne Rogers Fashion Institute for its continued support of emerging Canadian talent. Further, a key collaboration with an Estonian accessories designer, JNGLSNTMSSV, allowed for the integration of beautifully made pieces made from recycled plastic.
Lastly, the backbone of this collection is supported by the Octavia Foundation, with whom Rubens has created a youth initiative at their community centre, What do you meme?, working with kids to express their values about self-esteem, cyber bullying and identity expression through conversation, artwork and mask creation.
Octavia generously donated unsold clothing from their stock floor in their charity shops to Rubens to upcycle and create new materials for the collection.