AFTER moving away from the Borders for university, Cameron Friell, originally of Hawick, became interested in streetwear which inspired him to launch his own brand.
Cameron, 25, who now lives in Glasgow, launched Gun Ainm Clothing with his partner, 24-year-old Ella D’Aguilar, in 2020.
Gun Ainm, which is Gaelic for nameless, is a luxury, unisex streetwear brand made completely in Scotland.
“We looked at other [streetwear] brands and there was no real representation in Scotland,” said Cameron, “We saw a hole in the market.”
He added: “Growing up in Hawick I wasn’t into streetwear.
“It was more at university; I was hanging out with skateboarders, going to festivals.
“So, I got into it [streetwear] through the people around me.”
Gun Ainm’s range of clothing – which includes t-shirts, shirts, shorts and trousers – are all currently manufactured in Alloa.
“The dream is to take the manufacturing process to the Borders,” said Cameron.
Cameron and Ella have made sure the artists behind their clothing are at the forefront of every garment.
Cameron said: “A lot of brands use artists’ work but then don’t give them the recognition.
“All our labels have the artists’ name on it.
“We’re not just promoting us, but promoting the artists’ work too.”
The company are also using social media to not only introduce themselves to potential customers, but also to highlight the artists they collaborate with.
“On Instagram we’re telling our story through videos,” said Cameron. “We’re trying to put each garment up.
“Ella speaks with the artists about the design process to get the idea behind it and then we make videos on the inspiration.”
But setting up a luxury brand hasn’t always been easy for Cameron and Ella.
“It’s been serious graft,” added Cameron.
Gun Ainm garments range from £145 for a t-shirt to £335 for trousers – all hand-stitched by the women working in Alloa.
Cameron said: “Anyone can start a brand and screen print designs.
“Some [brands] make it and others don’t.
“We have to have a high price point because we’re made in the UK.
“It’s roughly a quarter or half the cost if we were to manufacture in Portugal.”
The duo is also conscious of the effects of the fashion industry on the environment – another reason why manufacturing in the UK is important to them.
Cameron said: “We want to stick to our story.
“We’re going to try harder in our next run to have all our materials be organic.”
And earlier this year Gun Ainm released its own sustainability report which highlighted their aims to source more of their materials locally.
“We’ve had so many learning curves at every corner,” said Cameron, “It’s exciting but stressful.”
Visit Gun Ainm’s website to view the current collection, and for more information.