Rarely are there companies in the men’s style sphere who seek so actively to live up to their name. Case in point — Apolis. The brand’s name already means global citizen, and the company founded a decade ago by brothers Raan and Shea Parton has certainly set out to craft conscious consumers — along with excellent lifestyle and menswear pieces like indigo chore coats and great boots. They’re now taking their mission a step further outside fashion, as they launch the Global Citizen Exchange.
It’s what the company calls “the world’s first designer and artisan collaborative marketplace.” The six-week campaign *(launched on Oct. 8th and running until Nov. 14th) will give contributors (and interested followers) the chance to see first-hand how the brand is attempting to change the way the world interacts with certain components of the fashion and lifestyle industries. Specifically, the initial run of the program, which centers around an industrial design project based in Oaxaca, Mexico, provides the chance for contributors to fund the production of rare recycled glassware items (including a candle, flower vase, drinking glass and water carafe). Of note: the campaign is already almost halfway to its $10,000 Indiegogo goal after four days.
Crucially, the partnership ties in one of the last remaining glass-blowing studios in Mexico, Studio Xaquixe. And more importantly, it finds a way to turn massive amounts of wasted glass into something usable, literally. Contributors can help with that mission by giving as little as $15 for an artisan-made drinking glass, or as much as $2,500 for the chance to travel to Oaxaca with the co-founders for a studio visit. The initial launch will become an annual practice for the brand, according to a press release. And Apolis has aspirations for glassware from this project to eventually find its way into hotels and restaurants that share a similar vision and brand ethos.
“Each year, Apolis will search the globe to discover an artisan with an inspiring story, deserving of a bigger stage,” the release said. “They partner designers with each artisan group to create products transparently to address social and environmental problems.”
The program’s current funding set-up will also allow contributors to gain an in-depth look at both the costs and methods of producing the glassware — much like companies such as Everlane offer a means of transparency in terms of clothing production. Ultimately, Apolis hopes the first run of the program will open the eyes of consumers as to the positive impact small artisan studios can bring to their communities and economies.
“For the first Global Citizen Exchange, we picked an industry and country that Apolis hasn’t worked in before. … We felt it was a great opportunity to …teach people the value in keeping a company like Studio Xaquixe alive,” Apolis CEO Shea Parton said.
But consumers are sure to be pleased with more than just the transparency of the project — the pieces should tie in seamlessly to Apolis’ crisp, clean and uncomplicated design aesthetic. That’s definitely two things to feel good about. And if you do choose to support the brand through the fashion sphere, you have plenty of excellent pieces to pick from.