As the world becomes more and more connected, Americans continue to develop global consciousness in all regards, including our consumption. A stroll through any specialty grocery store will demonstrate the popularity of Fair Trade certified products, but the desire to purchase ethically sourced products extends far beyond that market. Consumers have begun to seek out goods of all kinds with underprivileged manufacturers in mind. This certainly applies to the world of clothing, and many companies have embodied this mindset to benefit both consumers and producers.
One such company is Apolis, a California-based brand that produces timeless and tasteful menswear. What separates Apolis from other companies making similar clothing, however, is its business model. Founded in 2004 with a focus on “global citizenship,” the company stresses bringing work to displaced or impoverished communities in places such as Bangladesh and Uganda. Each locale’s group of artisans creates a different collection of accessories or clothing that is then listed for sale on Apolis’s Global Marketplace. Not only that, but Apolis is a Certified B Corporation, meaning that it has met high standards of environmental consciousness.
The quality of Apolis clothing as well as the brand’s ethical, environmentally responsible, and philanthropic model have made it extremely popular in cities across the world. It should come as no surprise, then, that the company’s newest flagship store has opened in the heart of downtown Manhattan at 243 Centre Street. The location, named Apolis: Community Centre, marks a sort of transition for the brand, which has always been essentially global but whose operations were based mainly in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The eastward expansion should not be much of a risk, however, as New York City is a hub for both fashion and progressive thinking. It is very likely that the SoHo and Manhattan communities will welcome the brand with open arms.
Apolis: Community Centre has even planned its own housewarming events as well. The store operates on the same model that Apolis’s Los Angeles store does, and will serve not only as a retail location but also as the site of various skill-building workshops, live music gigs, and literary events. Though guests will need to RSVP on the brand’s site for most events, some of which have an admission fee, they will certainly feel right at home as many of the events are collaborations with familiar names such as La Colombe Coffee Roasters. A list of upcoming events can be found here.
What do you think of Apolis’s business model or its new store? Let’s hear your thoughts below or on Twitter @BillChangNY