BRAND: Apolis Activism
HOME BASE: Los Angeles, CA
FOUNDED BY: The brothers Raan, Shea, and Stenn Parton
WHY WE COSIGN: The Partons should be commended for collaborating with non-profit organizations like Invisible Children to create opportunities in developing nations. (Its trademark red-stitch logo is in homage to the Red Cross.) But outside of the brand's philanthropy, Apolis is also recommended for its high-quality menswear pieces, from prep-military sweaters and jackets to superior accessories. The Apolis Activism x Filson briefcase is a prime example of the brand's win-win proposition: Not only is it produced with Ugandan canvas and sourced by Invisible Children, it is an incredibly well-made piece.
WHERE TO FIND IT: apolisactivism.com
Read on for our interview with Apolis Activism co-founder Shea Parton and pics from the Fall 2009 collection...
Some may say your brand is fashion for a cause. Explain why your brand is socially conscious and what steps it has taken to achieve that.
We see a need to share the difference between charity and opportunity. Anyone can give someone a fish, but real change occurs when you teach people how to fish. By connecting developing economies to the global marketplace through seasonal stories and products we believe we are introducing a new era of social responsibility. Where people are empowered through apparel and those in need are invited to become part of an open union of trade at all levels of the supply chain.
What is the inspiration behind your humanitarian acts?
Our activism philosophy evolved from our parents, who taught us that real education comes from seeing the world. We received our Master's degrees somewhere between motorcycles rides in Thailand, rickshaws in India, unsuccessful flights in Uganda, leaky boats in Indonesia, all-night car rides in Europe, mysterious taxi drivers in Japan, rocky roads in Mongolia, and unexplainable adventures through China.
Apolis Activism collaborated with Invisible Children for the Fall 2009 line. How did that collabo come about?
Ben Thomson, Vice President of International Development of Invisible Children: "Philanthropy is at an exciting crossroads because people are beginning to understand that it can be more a part of our daily lives and not just an afterthought. Donating a percentage to the poor is great, but giving the poor access to opportunity is even better. Apolis is on the forefront of an era of new philanthropy by integrating sustainable development into their supply chain and bringing a whole new meaning to corporate social responsibility. The line between development and business is becoming blurry and consumers are beginning to see their role as they demand to know how, who and where their products are made."