Ethical Fashion is not an aesthetic. It is a methodology. Brave GentleMan simply applies this method to classic menswear aesthetics. We don’t believe animals belong in the fashion production system, or any industrial system for that matter. We believe that people making our clothing and growing, developing or processing our materials deserve respect and dignity through safe conditions and a living wage.
We believe that ecosystems should not be destroyed in order to make fashion. We believe that the increasing velocity of “fast-fashion” is one very visible manifestations of a much larger and deeper problem. We don’t think Brave GentleMan is a final solution, but it is a means by which to invest in systems that we believe should flourish and ultimately replace more problematic systems.
We believe that how products are made supersede any marketed “story”. Most of our clothing is made in New York City’s historic garment district using things like Brazilian future-wool tweeds and twills made from recycled cotton and recycled polyester, velvety Turkish future-silk made from recycled water bottles.
Our footwear and accessories are constructed in Italian future-leather – a durable, supple, weather resistant, hi-tech microfiber that is EU-Ecolabel Certified. Shirts are made with organic cotton. Buttons are made from corozo (tagua nut) and dyes are low-impact.
“People often ask me why I don’t make more “affordable” fashion – and I think the assumption is that the purchaser is being duped into lining the pocket of the designer for a needless markup. It’s an important question, but I think it requires some explaining. I never decided against making “affordable” fashion, per se. I’d love to make truly ethical fashion “affordable”.
The problem is that the popular idea of “affordable” depends entirely upon a very specific production model that is completely unethical. Brave Gentleman invests in emerging technologies, hi-tech, sustainable, waste-diverted, vegan materials and we contract factories in the United States and Europe that pay their workers fairly – so our cost for production is often more than many mainstream brand’s retail prices. It’s important to take fashion seriously and to invest in the systems that we want to see flourish. Ethical fashion inevitably ends up at a higher price point, and maybe that says more about our expectations of and relationship to mass consumerism.
So the question shouldn’t be, ‘why are these things expensive’, the real question should be, ‘how on earth are there things that are so cheap and what do those systems reveal’? Typically it will reveal a value-chain of cheap toxic materials, trendy crap that ends up in the garbage, sweatshop labor and the harming or killing of animals and ecosystems.”
– Joshua Katcher, Founder Brave Gentleman
Joshua Katcher fashion instructor at Parsons The New School. He is currently writing his first book, FASHION ANIMALS, and has lectured on that topic at Princeton, The American University of Paris, Parsons, Brown, UPenn, and FIT among others. Katcher started the first men’s ethical lifestyle website, The Discerning Brute in 2008. Katcher launched the Brave GentleMan label and eCommerce platform in 2010, spearheading the first vegan, ethically-made menswear fashion brand that utilizes organic, recycled and hi-tech materials.
In October of 2015 Brave GentleMan opened its first store in Brooklyn. Katcher was awarded Most Influential Designer of 2015 by PETA, he is named 2014 Man Of The Year by COCO ECO Magazine, a “modern day hero in the making” by The Wild Magazine, and both an “ethical style icon” and one of the top 10 male bloggers by Veg News Magazine. He is a contributor to Huffington Post Style and LAIKA Magazine, has appeared on the cover of Vegan Good Life Magazine, and has been interviewed on major networks, such as Al Jazeera America as an expert in the field of vegan fashion. Learn more: TheDiscerningBrute.com & BraveGentleMan.com
Brave GentleMan’s palette of materials is constantly in flux as we grow, as our buying-power and collaborations increase, and as we gain information about new materials that are available. Our goal is to use the highest-peformance materials with stringent aesthetic criteria that meet a set of ethical and environmental standards. We are excited for the day that biofabricated, biosynthetic and cellular agriculture products become available to us. While those are in development, we focus on minimally impactful, vegan, recycled, organic and high-tech sustainable materials.
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