Reading Time: 9 minutes

CUCUMBER:
THE ULTIMATE FASHTECH CLOTHING BRAND

@cucumberclothing

You might know cucumber as a green, watery, refreshing vegetable. Here at Staiy, we know it as a comfortable, sustainable, seasonless clothing brand.

Words By Sophie Badaoui

04/05/2021

@cucumberclothing

The Story

Founded by Eileen Willett & Nancy Zeffman, Cucumber is designed as the ultimate solution for extremely busy, everyday women who try to balance their life between career, family and self-care. The idea of creating Cucumber came to the founders’ mind as an inspiration from their own life and needs. Indeed, the two women had already experienced the reality and stress that comes from working at a big company, taking care of their family, children and pets, all while still trying to find time for themselves.

As they so eloquently portray it, “we made the clothes that we always wanted to wear but could never find”. This says a lot about their particularity as designers, “we are our market!” they claim. In fact, it illustrates their great ability to understand, relate to and connect with their consumers. Not to mention, it builds them a great advantage as they respond to a real, existential need and know exactly what type of women their clothes are meant for.

“We made the clothes that we always wanted to wear but could never find.”

They always have their ideal customer in mind, this incredibly busy woman who craves her emotional space, where she can feel refreshed and recharged. “we want to make her life simpler, more comfortable and give her back that bit of time and peace of mind”, they share. For this reason, the concept of Cucumber has always relied on comfort, relaxation and wellness. As a matter of fact, the founders have summed up their brand’s spirit as “energy, relaxation and resilience”, since it is designed for women who have so little time and so much going on in their life, and thus need to wear resilient, quality clothes that will make them feel energetic and relaxed at the same time.

Although they center their collections around gym clothes now, they initially started their business with a sleepwear collection. Even if the type of clothes has changed, the message transmitted remains the same: comfort, everyday luxury and women empowerment. They shifted to gym clothes collections as they are both involved in many sports and define the concept of working out as a way of relaxing, a stress reliever and an allusion to energetic, athletic women. Also, as high quality gym clothes are generally designed with soft, healthy and breathable materials for the skin, it aligns extremely well with the concept intended for Cucumber.

Moreover, the name of the brand could be interpreted as a reference to the feeling of coolness and freshness of working out in quality gym clothes, similar to eating a cucumber. Mirroring it to their own experiences, the founders simply wanted to offer women the exquisite taste of wellness they feel when doing sports, except that they wish to offer it all day long with their sustainable and easy to wear clothing: “minimum effort and maximum pleasure”, as they describe it.

@cucumberclothing

@cucumberclothing

“When a dress is £8, you know that someone, somewhere, is paying the price for this.”

@cucumberclothing

The Fabrics

Diving into the technical and innovative side of this brand, and to align with its sustainability and quality standards: let’s talk fabrics. Cucumber founders define their fabrics as their USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Indeed, they insist on using lasting, durable fabrics such as Lenzing Tencel, that ensure garments’ durability and fiber strength, and combine them with “built-in antimicrobials, performance enhancing capabilities and a baby-soft hand feel”, as the founders would acknowledge. As you can imagine, Cucumber pieces are surprisingly easy to care for: they are intentionally produced to reduce the maximum waste of energy and water not only in the production process, but also during consumption!

The Technology

Two technologies are used to explain such results: the first one is Moisture System Transference (MST), which effectively acts against sweat and odor thanks to its filaments, configured within the fabrics’ threads such as to guarantee a larger surface for the moisture to spread out and evaporate faster. This process is also an energy and water saver as the garment hardly needs washing, drying and ironing anymore.

The second technology implemented is 37.5 technology, which is a thermoregulation tool, meaning it adapts the body to the external temperature: warming you up when you are cold, cooling you down when you are hot. Its name 37.5 refers to its capacity to keep your body at the ideal level of 37.5 degree celsius as well as maintaining a personal microclimate of humidity at 37.5%, for a maximum of comfort, and a minimum sweat and odor. Could this new fashtech clothing brand inspire others to do the same in the future?

5 Mile Radius 

Anyways, Cucumber is already inspiring if we look at its more simple, sustainability practices: they use a 5 mile radius to design, produce and manufacture their garments, to reduce transport gas emissions and pollution. For their packaging, they opt for 100% biodegradable vegetable starch storage bags. For trims and extras, they use Royal Mail, who are already, actively reducing their carbon footprint. If that was not enough, they collect their offcuts to create masks in partnership with a social enterprise called Women in Travel, and for every two masks sold, one is donated. Plus, they support recycling and garment repurposing by offering discounts to anyone who wants to bring an old cucumber piece for it to be transformed. As founders highlight it, sustainability is a must to fight against the purely economical driven, mass consumption: “When a dress is £8, you know that someone, somewhere, is paying the price for this.”

Finally, their advice for young entrepreneurs is emphasizing on preparation: do your market research, do your business plan, define your USP, and then when you’re ready, just do it!

Shop Cucumber clothing
from staiy.com

<space in between>

CUCUMBER CLOTHING

Button Jumpsuit

<space in between>

CUCUMBER CLOTHING

Ribbon Tie jumpsuit

<space in between>

CUCUMBER CLOTHING

Keyhole Top