Scotland is not all rolling highlands - it is also urban and industrial. And the new collective on the block, Gun Ainm showcase the cream of the crop. Gun Ainm, meaning “without name” in Scottish Gaelic foregrounds the overlooked artists of a highly creative region including designers such as Hannah Absalom and Feinbergi.
Their designers are street savvy, with a glimmer of psychedelia. You can find the perfect distressed trouser and Prada-esque printed bowling shirts on their site, amongst other pieces to lust after. Gun Ainm, first and foremost, supports Scottish urban artists. So, for me, a comparison with the cult book and film Trainspotting is hard to ignore. The film opens with Choose Life by the PF Project ft. Ewan McGregor that recites urgently:

Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends… I chose not to choose life: I chose something else.

Trainspotting’s ‘heroin chic’ look has made its mark forever on fashion. The film does not feature any trains, but very heavy drug usage, which reflects the devastation caused in industrial towns in Scotland stripped of their economy caused by Thatcher-era cuts. Gun Ainm proposes to reinvest what was stripped away.

The collective counteracts urban alienation and poverty, through supporting creatives in Scotland, and consequently the local economy. Gun Ainm’s retailing structure pays the artists an upfront fee, unlike many new favourite high fashion retail platforms, and they also share 20% of the profit on every sale of their piece with the original makers.

Choose fashion consumerism? Choose Gun Ainm for something else.
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