An interview with Jaimus Tailor, the multi-talented creative behind Greater Goods, who’s tackling the problem of waste in the fashion industry face on: by (in his words) turning nothing into something.
With a string of successful sportswear collabs already under his belt, Jaimus Tailor - the founder and creative vision behind upcycling label Greater Goods - has chosen Chilly's to partner with on his next capsule. We share a passion for reusing things, after all. The result? An exclusive, limited edition run of bottle and bag sets - the latter carefully handcrafted from surplus Chilly's materials in Tailor's North London studio. We caught up with him to chat about the collection, his inspiration - and where it all started.
Your background is in graphic design, but you’ve made the move to fashion (via
furniture). Can you tell us more about this creative journey?
It’s been a rollercoaster – and I don’t mean the highs and lows, but more the direction and pace! I started Greater Goods as a furniture project during my final year of Uni. I was finding random bits of discarded wood in my local area and turning them into pieces of furniture such as garden benches, shelving units and storage boxes to name a few. Then one year later in 2019 I wanted to learn how to sew so I bought a sewing machine as a new year's resolution. That led me down the textiles rabbit hole and Greater Goods slowly developed into what it is today.
You refer to Greater Goods as a ‘design project’ rather than a brand, why is that?
It just doesn't feel right to call it a brand. We don’t churn out products or work to a seasonal calendar. Our website is basic; we just about have a logo and we don’t have a brand guideline doc. A ‘creative project’ seems more like an open box suited to what Greater Goods is.
“I describe Chilly’s as the 'Apple' of the water bottle industry when it comes to design and aesthetic. The Series 2 is one of the best designed bottles I’ve used - the comfort and drinking experience is bliss.”
Jaimus Tailor, Greater Goods founder
Greater Goods is all about repurposing, recycling and reusing old materials – why?
It just makes sense. I see an old product that no one wants - I’ll use it. The sustainability aspect is just a by-product of the way I work. I grew up in a very tight-budget house; we made our own furniture from discarded wood (sounds familiar), we used wood burning stoves, no gas and 90% of what we owned came from boot sales. Nowadays this would be seen as a sustainable way of living, but for me as a kid it was the norm and I didn’t even know what sustainability meant.
Do you pursue a sustainable lifestyle in other ways, and how so?
I’m constantly reevaluating the way I live and dealing with the contradiction of living in one of the most expensive and busy cities in the world whilst living sustainability. For me it’s about understanding and knowing my impact – I cycle everywhere and stay away from single-use plastics, however I feel there is much more I need to change in my life!
What made this collaboration feel like a good move?
Single-use plastics have never made sense to me. Using a reusable bottle is one of the easiest ways to make a change, and doesn’t involve a massive lifestyle shift – and in fact it improved my lifestyle as I was weirdly excited to drink from my new Chilly’s bottle, so I ended up drinking way more water than I usually do.
How would you describe your making process from start to finish?
It is very varied and is often dictated by what I am making or what I am working with. A bit of sketching, some prototyping, pattern tweaking. It’s chaotic but it works for me.
You taught yourself carpentry, and have no formal fashion/textile training; what advice do you have for someone considering an alternative path but feeling the ‘freestyling’ fear?
Use what you have access to. This will vary depending on your surroundings and
circumstance but the internet is great, I could probably find an old free sewing machine online right now and that is all you really need to get going in textiles. Start simple and upgrade and progress as your skills progress. Turn off your phone, listen to some music and start doing the thing you want to do.
Many of your bags and jackets are made from repurposed outerwear products – what is it about outerwear that you gravitate towards?
I’ve always been into outerwear and especially jackets. My first bag was made from a black TNF hyvent that I was trying to sell on ebay however no one wanted to buy it. I needed the money to purchase a new one but Instead it just sat in my wardrobe. I was learning to sew at the time so I decided to cut it up and use the fabric to make a bag and used all the pockets and hardware. I think it’s all those extra bits you get with outerwear that interests me: the zips, the
If you could only work with one material for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I work a lot with nylon but I really love working with cotton, it’s just so nice to sew and press.
You have such a stunning signature aesthetic (especially on Instagram), how did you develop that?
That’s my 3 years at uni studying graphic design. I just have fun with the GG visuals, I love texture and print so a lot of my process involves scanning.
Seems like you’re very much an ‘ideas’ person. Any tips for people with loads of different creative ideas, but not sure where to begin?
Ideas are easy, I feel it’s the execution that is the hard part. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and work with that in mind. Chat to those you look up to, seek the mentors and absorb their advice but keep in mind the person and character you are.
You’ve got so many great collaborations under your belt, and always working on
something. Where does your drive come from?
Honestly I just love what I do!
If you didn’t have Greater Goods as your creative outlet, what would you do instead?
100% working with food. Would love to make a cookbook.
Maybe we can collaborate on a food pots collection next? Watch this space! 👀
Chilly's x Greater Goods: a limited edition run of 30 upcycled bottle and bag sets. Handcrafted using surplus Chilly’s materials – shopper bags (made from recycled bottles) for the outer and insulated microfibre carriers for the lining – each one is trimmed with an adjustable poly-cord sling and engraved carabiner repurposed from the Originals range. The exclusive set also includes a bespoke 3D-printed 500ml Series 2 Chilly’s bottle in pine green, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Available to shop now, while stocks last.