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Parlez: Everything You Need To Know About The UK Streetwear Brand

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Founded in Bristol back in 2012, Parlez has become a respected name on the UK streetwear scene over the last 9 years.

Utilising the French word to speak, Parlez are a Bristol born streetwear brand with their own fresh approach to nautical inspired apparel. Stocked in the likes of size?, Natterjacks, Urban Outfitters & Urban Industry, Parlez continue to deliver their unique Bristolian take on streetwear staples from season to season. With a continued theme of nautical graphics, classic sportswear influences & sustainable fabrics, Parlez has become a go to brand for those with a penchant for homegrown UK streetwear. We caught up with Parlez’s founder & creative director, Cav Bunkhall for a little chat.

Parlez UK Streetwear
Above: Parlez founder & creative director Cav Bunkhall

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What was going on in the UK streetwear scene back in 2012 at the time when you first launched Parlez?

Around that time in Bristol we had a great range of independent streetwear stores like; Seven, Cooshti, My Yard, Donuts etc. these stores were bringing in fresh streetwear brands from overseas that we wouldn’t usually have had access to. It was a great time to get involved with the scene and it felt a lot more accessible to get a foot-in with local stores and grow the business.

What has changed the most over the last 9 years? 

Creatively its been really interesting to see how streetwear has evolved, the cuts, fabrics and shapes have come a long way but with the rise of high-end streetwear and the hype culture around it, it feels like its become a little less accessible for a lot of people.

At the same time, with the rise of internet shopping, social media and new marketplaces, I do feel like it has provided an accessible platform for young people and creatives who may have thought it was unattainable to create a brand in the past.

Parlez UK Streetwear
Above: Parlez vous streetwear? The Parlez studio in Bristol.

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Where does Parlez look for its influences?

I guess the most consistent influence across our collections over the years is the nautical/sailing graphics and vintage sportswear references. But also from travels, pre-Covid I’d get a lot of inspiration from time abroad, new places and scenery always helps to bring out fresh ideas.

What are the next steps for the brand?

We’ve got a new designer on board to help us grow and it’s always nice to have a fresh perspective on the brand and someone to help push you into new areas. We’re looking to develop our outerwear and woven ranges further and expand our product range.

What really pushed you to work with 1% For The Planet. And what further plans do you have for the brand from a sustainable perspective?

It was partly due to reading ‘Let my people go surfing’ that made me want to look into what changes we could implement as a small business to reduce our footprint. Weather that’s our packaging materials, fabrics we use or working with organisations that are focused on improving the health of our planet.

Our collections have always been heavily influenced by sailing so it seemed like a no-brainer to work with organisations that are focused on the health of our oceans. This year we have been working with Seacology & Marine Conservation society, and have a T-shirt coming out in July in partnership with MSC where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to their projects.

We try to source as many ,organic & recycled fabrics as possible. Going forward, from AW/20 all our Tees will be manufactured from organic cotton. SS/22 onwards – all of our jersey will be made from recycled & organic cotton. We’re excited to be able to offer the extra quality to our customers with little-to-no price increase.

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