Big fashion brands constantly talk about trends, which they change right after we buy them. They offer one style, and a week later, demand another. The goal is to sell and sell restlessly… and its an endless agony. As a consequence, they’ve defined a uniform for us, theirs, which we have to change from time to time. It’s a soulless dance. It goes against style, yes, but there’s something worse: it employs children and enslaves adults whom they pay a derisory salary. It also fills the world with textile… and chemical waste. Nature complains.
Monkee Genes, as one of the last research of Ethical Consumer says, is one of the denim labels with great devotion, wisdom and justice along with fairness and impartiality, a defender of people’s rights to the end.
Monkee Genes is one of those jeans brands that has heard nature’s pain. We like its label, with its giant banana and a very complete explanation of the garment. We access their website and put on their radio. We’re told a story in which the question, why organic? is constantly repeated, intertwined with the words consciousness, ethics, people who care. It touches our soul and, therefore, we decided to talk with Phil Wildbore, its driver.
What you wear today, goes out of style in a week – he begins saying. Some people don’t realize the impact that wearing and throwing has on the workers who make fashion, who feel pressured to create more and more clothes in less time (…) We need to have a more conscious consumption, because it’ll benefit the entire fashion industry. And this is done by buying quality clothes that last longer.
We’re given an example. The Eco Queen, Livia Firth, introduced the 30 Wears campaign a long time ago, a great initiative for our closet. We know it, it isn’t the first time we hear about it. But for those who don’t know it yet, 30 Wears was created to encourage everyone to think when they purchase: Will I wear this more than 30 times? If the answer is yes, people are encouraged to carry on with their purchase. Specifically, it’s a matter of thinking before buying. Do I really need this shirt? How many times will I wear it? – adds Phil.
Reaching out to Nature
Monkee Genes was born in 2006 as a reaction to the pollution that making jeans has on the world. Jeans require between 2,000 and 3,000 liters of water to cultivate cotton and dye the jeans, two very harmful steps to the environment due to the use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Monkee Genes doesn’t want to destroy nature, but work along with it. We choose organic farms that, in addition to promoting crop rotation over a three-year cycle, don’t use artificial pesticides and fertilizers, which are so expensive and damaging to the environment. These farms reintroduce plants that attract birds and bees, who eat the pests, pollinate crops and produce the necessary vegetation to obtain natural compost.
In addition, the company works closely with factories and are constantly learning. For example: We spent a lot of time in the laundry to perfect the our cotton denim’s washing in an ethical way – emphasizes Phil.
Being organic is an option, and we’ve decided for it to be part of our jeans’s history. We want Monkee Genes to become a part of our heritage. We want to stop dancing a soulless dance – we like Phil’s answer.
We want to raise awareness and pressure government agencies to support organic partnerships.
No Blood, No Sweat, No Tears.
And how do they do it? The word organic is their Leif motiv. We continuously and fully support GOTS’s work – for those who don’t know it, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) label ensures that most of the raw material with which that garment has been created comes from organic farming and for the entire process to respect the environmental and social criteria. We did our own organic campaign last year to raise awareness in our clients of the benefits of an organic garment.
Pay a bit more for something that’s been done with care, and made to last… What are you waiting for? Let your wardrobe tell a happy story.
Monkee Genes’ current collection wants to change the idea people have of the brand. In it, they’ve introduced a whole range of men and women’s clothing, as well as the “Come As You Are” collection, which is a glimpse of the wonderful 90s.
Our values and mantra remain the same: “No slave labor, no child labor, no blood, no sweat, no tears.” Both collections are GOTS label certified – Phil Wildbore tells us.
Ethical jeans for 76 euros… how cool!
We asked him why people should buy their jeans and not others. Mainly because they look awesome! We’re obviously very proud of our mantra and each garment’s ethics. We work hard to design the perfect collection. But we want people to buy Monkee Genes because they love them – how they fit, the story behind each garment – and to support the ethical fashion industry – he emphasizes.
We choose organic cotton to protect the farmers, the collectors, wildlife and harvest. We chose vegan materials because we don’t prioritize one life over another… This is a luxury, a thoughtful and elegant product made with care.
Phil Wildbore tells us about his book Look and Cook, which he published to explain why they do what they do. Conscious brands such as ours, and several others, work hard to change the fashion industry. And the Fashion Revolution team’s work should be promoted and supported. For him, the people of Fashion Revolution are asking the right questions and getting the right answers. Not only are they setting an example for consumers to follow, they’re creating a standard for the brands and industry.
If we think that a luxury product is a quality product that has taken time, effort and care to be made, then sustainability is a luxury – says Phil. Every Monkee Genes jean is made with care, respecting the rights of the people who make them.
He advises fashion designers to: Design something you like, and create something that enchants your client. Ethical and ecological fashion is always evolving and changing.