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Designer Spotlight

Thinking MU

28 March 2018
Thinking MU, Life is an Attitude

Who are the folks behind Thinking MU?

Thinking MU started back in 2010 as an idea between four friends to share our way of enjoying life by creating an honest, sustainable and comfortable clothing brand. Pepe Barguñó is the Product Manager, Alex Arenas is the Marketing & Communication, Carlos Cortadellas the Creative Director and Miquel Castells CFO. We work together with our graphic design studio in Barcelona to create the prints for each collection.

Being part of your brand is about having a certain attitude. Can you tell us a bit more about what this attitude is?

Enjoying life to its fullest. That’s the attitude!

Life is made of music, of friends, of good things such as la holy siesta, beers, sex. Life is also nature – she gave us life – and it’s our duty to respect and care for her. Thinking MU means having fun, being positive and caring for things.  Our manifesto sums it up here:

01 — We will be pro-stuff not anti-stuff. Haters will not be welcome.

02 — We will feed our imagination with nature, people and culture.

03 — We will be part of the change. Whatever it takes.

04 — We will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even if it hurts.

05 — We defend what we like with rigor. We inform about what we do not like with humour

Thinking MU, SS18 Collection
Thinking MU, SS18 Collection

Each season you select local artists and creative people to work with. Who are your partners for this season and why did you select them?

This SS18 Collection we’ve collaborated with five artists:

Alex Gordo is a Barcelona-based graphic designer and illustrator with a special talent for Chinese ink and fanzine drawings. His innocent gesture portraits pay homage to music heroes with an amazing sense of grace.

Borja Garmendia is 50% of Pensando en Blanco™, an independent mulidisciplinary studio offering graphic design, photography, illustration, art direction and product design. The extreme care taken, their obsession for things well done and control of every phase are their keys to creating unique products and spaces.

Gordo. Image Credit: Thinking Mu
Mandanga. Image Credit: Thinking Mu

We’ve also covered some of our garments with the brisk drawings of Pol Montserrat. Pol is a Catalan illustrator whose worked for brands such as Marset and Odisseo. His thick outlines have given him his own style that’s full of personality, and his moto is: “I like to walk the line between things being understood and ceasing to be understood.”  That really appealed to us!

Pol Montserrat. Image Credit: Thinking Mu

Noemí Rebull, known as La Mandanga, is a Catalan writer and an expert at creating caricatures which pervert popular icons and everyday objects. Her underground yet authentic style uses a lot of humour and word play. Check out her instagram account @la_mandanga, it’s so much more than just an instagram account!

And finally, Cocolia is a creative studio in Barcelona run by Mireia Ruiz and Raúl Ramos. Their work encompasses art direction projects, photography, graphic design and set design. Their world is full of exciting colours and geometric shapes designed with lots of humour.

You are also doing some great work to spread the word about various things you’re passionate about; plastic pollution being one. Can you explain more about your collaboration with Natura?

Plastic Kills Campaign with Natura. Image credit: Septimo

Plastic Kills was a campaign developed by Natura together with NGO Plastic Pollution Coalition. Not only it was an action to raise awareness of single – use plastic contamination and its impact in the environment and people’s health, it was a commitment taken by Natura to reduce its own single-use plastic consumption as a brand. We became part of the campaign by developing one of our classic organic cotton t-shirts with the strong message Plastic Kills printed on it. Our aim was to help them spread the word and sympathize with the cause.

As a brand you’re also very mindful about both the materials used in your collections and your production. What fabrics have you used for your Spring/Summer 18 collection?

Organic Cotton. We can’t live without it!! It’s chemical — free, and its awesomely comfortable. Cotton farrmers are happy, and the consumers too.

Organic Hemp. We use hemp to produce a spectacular fabric we use to produce t-shirts and pants. It is incredibly soft and comfortable.

Organic Banana Fabric. We convert the fibers of the banana tree into a crazy yarn to make our pjs.

Recycled PET from Plastic Bottles. Thinking MU’s swimming suits are made of recycled PET from plastic bottles which give another use to the tons of plastics that lay around our lands and seas.

Chrome-free leather. The leather details present in our bags and accessories are tanned with vegetable tanning rather than chemical tanning with chromium.

We want to spread the energy to be part of the change. Saying what’s wrong all the time only makes the people think “I guess there’s nothing I can do.” And there’s a lot consumers can do. They have the power.

As a buyer, I was immediately drawn to your subtle use of humour and the fun you seem to inject into ‘ethical’ fashion. Why is humour such an important element to the Thinking Mu attitude?

As we declare in our manifesto: “We will defend what we like with rigour. We will inform about what we do not like with humour.”

We’re sick of the media giving us depressing news and everybody saying how bad the world is. We know the world is fucked up, we really do. But we believe in the power of humour. Humour is great. Humour makes stuff more real: people sympathize and empathize. We want to spread the energy to be part of the change. Saying what’s wrong all the time only makes the people think “I guess there’s nothing I can do.” And there’s a lot consumers can do. They have the power. If consumers change, all brands will change. If they ask questions, brands will have to give answers. If they demand transparency, brands will be transparent because if they don’t, they will sell nothing as there will be no one wanting their dirty, polluting and non-responsible shit.

Thinking Mu, SS18 Collection
Thinking Mu, SS18 Collection

What is your favourite slogan from the upcoming SS18 collection?

There’s SAVE THE HUMANS which is a real slap-in-your-face kind of message. We’ve repeated it from the last collection because we really love it, it makes you think – who really is the most endangered species of all?

There’s also STAYING ALIVE, which is of course Bee Gees inspired! But there’s also a strong message behind it, isn’t there? Staying alive has lots of social and environmental interpretations when we take a look to the world surrounding us. And again, humour.

it makes you think - who is the most endangered species of all?

You guys are based in Barcelona, what are your favourite hang-outs, hidden gems that we should check out when we come visit you (and can we come visit you please)?!

The hidden gems are hidden for a reason… haha! Barcelona has a bunch of amazing things to offer for anyone curious, you just need to seek beneath the touristy things. Meanwhile we will be cooling down the beers to share them with you whenever you want!

The Beach Boys, Thinking MU. Image credit: Septimo
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