Hope Blossoms: Protest Press' pollinated, positive and powerful collaboration with Thinking MU
British design collective Protest Press is a remarkable, unique and fundamentally kind team of talented creatives that believe in the power behind creativity and the resulting influence it can garner. It culminates in enchanting projects that champion the progressive, inclusive and caring ideals it holds dear to better the world the best it can.
Having met at university, discovering shared passions, the group pursued the collective in their spare time and have since collaborated with Somerset House, London Design Festival and Pinterest.
Using collaboration, education, creation and inspiration as their tools, Protest Press provides the pertinent space for discussion; running hands-on workshops that focus on cultural and societal issues alongside its self-initiated practice. With each project even more striking than the last, Protest Press' latest endeavour is no exception – collaborating with Barcelona-based sustainable clothing company Thinking MU to launch its SS21 Pollen Collection.
Protest Press jumped at the chance to work together – finding a project that perfectly balances meaning, commerce and progression. It was motivated by the message behind the collection on the need for world pollination and its ecologically focused manufacturing methods, including organic cotton and natural dyes made from flowers and banana fibres.
Operating with awareness, and within the context, of the fashion industry's significantly detrimental impact on the climate, Protest Press began developing a series of action-focused statements inspired by the collection's message, encouraging positive change of human behaviour. "We wanted our designs to reflect this," Protest Press tells us, "so we took inspiration from the colourful and organic nature of flowers and the natural world," applied across its 'Hope Blossoms' and 'Save the Humans' phrases in its signature tactile aesthetic.
"We have a fairly recognisable style, so we can normally predict how our outcomes will look from an early stage," Protest Press recalls, discussing the transformation of the products throughout its design. "However, it was interesting to see the outcomes this time around, as we've never really worked with fabric before." Beautifully striking a balance between something "crafty" and "something someone would want to wear," the resulting clothes are a remarkable exhibition of promise, pop and progress, showcasing how striking simplicity can be when partnered with forethought, design intelligence and passion.
It's a context previously unexplored by Protest Press. It explains how enjoyable it was to try something new and see its style translated into something wearable: "The best part was receiving our samples in the post and being able to wear them – that was cool," it tells us, "we saw our jumper for sale in a shop five minutes from where we live, which was also pretty exciting." That being said, what comes as most significant and rewarding to them is the act of creating itself. "We are just happy to see our message out there in the world," it explains, "as a walking reminder of the change we need to make to preserve the beauty of our planet."
Continuing to work with brands and institutions that share Protest Press' ideals, commitment and candour, the future holds exciting possibilities for the design collective – hoping to keep delving into complex and loaded topics, work with experts in the fields, causes and collaborations it cares deeply about. "We're always evolving, and we're lucky PP allows us to inhabit many different creative spaces," Protest Press concluded, "so we shall have to wait and see!"