Sir Paul Smith is one of the biggest creative minds ever to come out of Britain. His work has been recognized by the Queen herself, who knighted him in 2000 for his service in fashion. Therefore, it was only natural that he and another British icon, MINI, would join forces at some point. The two worked together in the late 1990s, on a limited-run special edition of the pre-BMW era Mini dressed in a special shade of blue he created.

Now, the two sides are getting back together, to work on new projects, this time focusing on sustainability. The announcement came today and it looks like MINI and Sir Paul Smith will work together to develop design solutions. For Oliver Heilmer, collaboration is the next logical step: “We are drawn to each other by our similarities, and then we inspire and enrich each other through the differences between the fashion world and the automotive industry. Because there is no future without sustainability.”

“Key to a lot of the most iconic examples of design is simplicity,” adds Sir Paul Smith. “In other words, it’s about what you leave out, not what you add. The thinking in fashion is similar. For Paul Smith, as for MINI, sustainability has always been a natural way of approaching things, even before the word was on everyone’s lips.

We have always sought a responsible approach to materials and production conditions. Using recycled packaging, reducing fabric waste and powering our shops with renewable energy sources are just a few of the measures we have introduced and we’re constantly looking at ways that we can do more.”

“We are taking the sustainability-led concept of the first Mini further into the future with the MINI Vision Urbanaut – our vision for a spacious, multifunctional MINI model,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “It too offers maximum space within a small footprint. And it’s more versatile than ever. Moreover, the interior incorporates fully recycled materials, and we have avoided leather and chrome altogether.”