I generally only part with money for beer. But when I do buy clothing I make damn sure it’s decent quality. Welcome to my review of ethical menswear available online. The good, the dishonest, and…
I’m one for a simple look, believing always that less is more. However when presented with the opportunity to support some Malawian artisans, why should I resist the urge to glam up my wardrobe with this pimping flower?!? You can check them out and purchase them off Amazon here.
These flowers are made from African wax print, which is (next to Shweshwe) the coolest fabric known to man! These flowers are, if one believes the description, made by fair trade artisans in Malawi from 100 organic cotton.
I judge my fashion purchases mainly on how many cat calls I get when wearing them, and these have certainly brought me a good deal of attention…probably because I usually wear them as a hair clip, but why the hell not!!
The Batiki Collection sells a range of fashion and other products (available here), all with a sustainable slant. Like this handmade seeded notepaper that you can plant!!
I love these Four things
#1. They bring some life to my general style, which I attribute entirely to the wax print fabric. It’s great that this authentic African design is available throughout the world
#2. Being a clip instead of a pin is actually bloody smart. Although it slightly limits the places you can attach it to, it also opens up other avenues for accessorization. Such as shoes, hair, bags etc. And doesn’t damage the fabric when attached, as is the case with pins.
#3. They’re exceptionally well made, which is a rare thing to find in this day and age. Especially with small accessories, manufacturers often cut corners because it’s a low-price item. But these are super well made, I honestly have ZERO negative comments on their construction!
#4. They came with the most heartfelt letter of introduction and thanks, which made me feel part of a larger collective of artisans. I feel fast fashion divorces us from the narrative of our clothes so much, that it was heartwarming to hear from the brand directly.
I hate these two things
#1. The packaging was very wasteful, which I thought contradicted the ethos of their sustainable branding. As far as I can figure this is more Amazon’s fault than theirs, but as yet I haven’t come across any packaging as authentically sustainable as that used by Nomad State of Mind.
#2. I got two identical flowers...which turned out a good thing because I lost one at a REALLY great party. And I suppose it would be useful to accessorize shoes, or two parts of an outfit to match…but really I’d have preferred two different though similar ones, especially since as a man you’ll most likely only ever use one for your lapel.
#3. More information on the ‘organic cotton’ and ‘fair trade artisans’ is difficult to find. Batiki’s website isn’t working and their facebook account doesn’t give any more info…so we basically just have to take their word on it. Which I guess is better than nothing, but I’d have preferred to be re-assured.
Overall I love these clips, and am contemplating the idea of getting the paper to use in the business also…Tell me what you guys think of our various uses. Fashion forward or too much drugs?
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