Marrakech, Morocco — When Res Ipsa was born 10 years ago this fall, we aspired to build an unconventional brand. We knew that we would operate on a very different model than other brands. We determined from the beginning one of our brand values would be a commitment to zero waste — we make exactly what we need. No more, no less.
Because we operate our own atelier in Marrakech, we make only what is necessary. We aspire to create high-quality items for consumers who want to buy fewer-but-better-quality items compared to the virtually disposable pieces being churned out by the industry.
Our crochet collection is one our most exciting and popular collections exemplifying our slow-fashion, zero-waste process. Over the past 4 years since we opened our atelier in Marrakech, our crochet collection continues to grow and remains difficult to keep all of its pieces in stock.
Res Ipsa Women-Led Co-Op
What began with one person crocheting has grown to almost fifty women working at our co-op of women in the outskirts of Marrakech. The squares are linked together, and then cut and sewn in our atelier to make our one-of-a-kind pieces. We use every square from every crocheted quilt.
While our collection started with crochet mules, crochet bomber hoodies, camp shirts and camp shorts, and linen camp shirts with crochet pockets, we introduced several new crochet styles for Fall/Winter 2023 including workshirts, pants, bomber jackets, vintage hoodies, and kimonos.
The word crochet was born from the French word croche, or hook, but the technique predates the French. Crocheting is defined as:
"Needlework consisting of the interlocking of looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle" - Merriam-Webster
In the modern western world, crocheting is inspired by the long-standing Asian, Middle Eastern, and African crochet styling traditions dating back thousands of years. It has evolved across civilizations and centuries as a means of creating necessary items, such as hats, socks, and blankets to modern uses for mostly leisure and luxury goods.
Crocheting, has always been rooted, and especially in early American history, as a method of creating textiles by repurposing the fabrics most readily available, including yarns and threads, and mostly used as a means to make ends meet and create needed clothing and goods. In early American history, crocheting was one of our first forms of repurposing: women used scraps of yarns, old socks or sweaters, and then up-cycled the fabrics into blankets, robes, and other home decor. In other cultures, crocheting has been around for thousands of years and been used for creating clothing and other decorative purposes. In east Asia, crocheting was used to create dolls dating as far back as China's Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.E.).
During World War II, American women crocheted to provide soldiers with sweaters, caps, and scarves, and back home, to save money and resources, crocheted to create basic household needs including. It was not until the post-World War I and II in the 20th century and on that crocheting for a means of leisure and luxury clothing became popular globally and across modern luxury fashion houses and runways. In the 1960's and 1970's, crocheting took on more funky designs and the popular style of crocheting "granny" squares took hold. The style has persisted in various degrees ever since!