WHO WE ARE?
Authentic. British. Sub-Culture Inspired. Since 1981
We are an independent British owned company.
A sub culture champion, that was born out of a love of renegade style
A touchstone for those for whom style is synonymous with intelligence, independence and rebellious spirit.
Always Forward, Never Back
WHAT WE DO
Our mission is to propagate Britain’s rebellious style heritage.
Providing a service and a platform for the alternative culture of today.
Looking forward in order to serve the alternative cultures of the future.
We comprehend the complexity of character and your story until now: we do not define by gender, genre, generation or group.
Remembering our heritage – the history of our company and the history of underground culture.
WHAT WE SUPPORT
Independent Record Labels
Venues and Clubs.
Independent Record Stores.
Women in Music.
QUALITY AND AUTHENTICITY
Our designs are produced by established manufacturers with the facilities, skills and expertise to guarantee our quality.
We shun fast fashion disposable production in favour of products that are authentic and built to last. Many of the products have been in our collection for 30 years both reliable and original. Simultaneously we have products that are created now, always with the same inspiration but engineered for new times.
MADE IN UK
A British brand like ours looks to support the home in which we have been raised. We draw so much from British culture that we are obliged to give something back.
We work closely with manufacturers that, in many cases, have generations of expertise and know how, helping to produce great products for us and helping to preserve those skills for future generations. Our Made in UK products are made England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as we show our support for the heritage, the quality and authenticity and the craftswomen and men from across the country.
We intend to uphold Britain’s sub+cultural hubs by working with expert manufacturers across the UK. Leaders of their field, we help them preserve generations of innovative artistry and ingenuity.
All our Made in UK products are clearly labelled with the origin.
We are very conscious of the need to take care of our shared resources. We know that in many ways the business of fashion and the preservation of our environment are often incompatible.
We need to be careful and skilful to sustain our business and sustain the environment. We have created a custom-made order service that is make on demand, no wasteful over production. We produce may styles in small batches that too avoids the over production. We have implemented changes to our custom-made service to provide a first-class service.
Our Made in UK programme supports localisation and our Vegan friendly and Plant based collection is a genuine initiative to reduce the dependence upon leather. On a world scale our contribution to sustainability might be small be it is in the right direction.
It’s well known that UNDERGROUND likes to cock a snook at the establishment. It’s a defiance and unwillingness to blindly comply that is as recognisable in the company’s employees as it is in the customers who buy our shoes. Underground scenes might be harder to find or define in an internet age, but an underground attitude is not.
INDEPENDENT – It’s an overused word but one that still stands true. We don’t need to jump on new trends, we do what we hold to be interesting and relevant. It can mean forever dressing in black skinny jeans and winkle-pickers, dressing in a zany, never seen way or dressing in a dressing gown. It’s the attitude of independence that matters. UNDERGROUND is still an independent company.
FIRST TO KNOW – Hidden underground culture is irrelevant now. For it to exist hidden would demand a level of exclusivity and arrogance that you would expect at a high-end members club. But underground tastes do tend to be ahead of the curve or against the curve. It means that the things that we like may not yet be in the mainstream consciousness. Through NEVER KNOWN, we can investigate these things and inform our designs and products. We can also give young artists or scenes a chance to connect with our market, their market. It’s not about needing to know what’s new, but about a desire for and attraction to experimentation and advancement, something we’ll show in our design and communications. An interest in the past and what brought us here today is equally as relevant, if it is not “revivalist”.
PUNK – A punk attitude is different to being an out and out 70’s punk. Being punk means being DIY, not going along with the rules just because you are told to. It’s about questioning what we are told is normal or acceptable, relating to science, politics, systems of power, style, aesthetics, music and even the way we live our everyday lives. Not everyone with a punk attitude will subvert the systems but even those who don’t will respect and understand and perhaps even idolise those who do. Mostly, punks are true to themselves and live life. Hardcore breakbeat and Mobb Deep had the same defiance as 70’s punks.
UNDERGROUND and UNDERGROUND customers don’t behave in a formulaic way. They aren’t recognised for their routine or ability to blend in. They are impulsive and reflective. It’s easy to market this through wild, happy-go-lucky, jumping over walls in bovver boots behaviour. That can be true but it’s a simplistic reduction. UNDERGROUND could mean jumping over train barriers, but it could also mean sitting outside gig venues for hours on the floor, waiting for the doors to open. It could be a goth waiting for a “popstar” sighting. It could be a scrawny lad sitting inside his bedroom playing computer games until six in the morning or a scrawny girl sat in a dark room meticulously applying nail varnish. It could be a rotund man sitting in his truck on the side of the M62 eating a sandwich. They might not all be glamorous, but they are all UNDERGROUND.
UNEXPECTED – Don’t expect to know what our customers are doing while they are wearing UNDERGROUND shoes and clothing, and don’t judge them either. The diversity of behaviour is what makes our customers interesting. We try to be relaxed, welcoming and unpretentious.
IMPULSE – Our customers could be extrovert and daring or introverted but either way, they do not do what’s expected of them but what they see as true to themselves. Sometimes that can mean trying to behave in opposition to the mainstream, like trying to look ugly or strange to create a distance between their group and those they see as different. It’s not what we necessarily demand but something we understand as being part of forming identity. It’s how we formed our own identity.
EMOTIONAL – Our customers connect with culture on an emotional level. A lot of them feel different to the rest of society. We’ve become the shoe choice for goths but being gothic is not always defined by looking like Wednesday Adams. What we refer to is something much more atmospheric, for example Gravediggaz or The Haxan Cloak could be described as having gothic elements to them. A timeless appreciation and embracing of darkness, of the uncomfortable or creepy, and perhaps a dislike of saccharine sweet mainstream culture.