In 2015, founder Niko Vatheuer set out to found urban outerwear brand Embassy of Bricks and Logs. The plan was to create a contemporary fashion outerwear brand with high aesthetic and ethical standards.
“The small team set out to do things differently.”
Vatheuer had been in the fashion industry for more than two decades, running a successful streetwear fashion brand before. Together with Niko’s wife Anna, an internationally published fashion photographer, the small team set out to do things differently.
Through their designs, focussed on contemporary, utilitarian silhouettes with a functional approach and the use of hand-selected premium materials, the Embassy brings a high-quality streetwear approach into the realm of ethical fashion.
“The goal is to make a great product that wins people over – and then make it as sustainable as possible.”
The credo: Design first. The team’s number one goal is to make a great product that wins people over. Only in the next step, they’re set on making this product as sustainable as possible, but without compromising on quality.
Embassy of Bricks and Logs is on a mission to create quality outerwear with a contemporary fashion appeal, deeply rooted in streetwear culture. But we want to do right: We choose a responsible approach, our eyes set on creating high quality goods while causing the least harm possible.
Therefore, we only use materials which are free of harm for man, the animal kingdom and the world we live in. Therefore, we do our part to create a new, responsible fashion industry. Therefore, we get to know our workers, our partners and our sources.
As a brand, Embassy of Bricks and Logs is taking a stand against the apalling practices in today‘s fashion industry while maintaining an uncompromising quality standard – creating pieces that are sustainable through outstanding craftsmanship and longevity first.
“We’re taking a stand against the apalling practices in today’s fashion industry.”
By designing quality, every-day-favorite pieces with cuts and colors that are more than just the fad of the season, Embassy coats are engineered to have an extended life-span, making them slow-fashion by definition (a counter-concept to the overproduction of the big fair fashion players).
Even though Embassy of Bricks and Logs doesn’t identify as an ethical fashion brand, striving for new, sustainability-driven solutions to making great outerwear is part of the DNA of the brand. We’re always on the lookout for new materials and champion a forward-thinking approach always – in regards to garment workers, animals and the environment. This isn’t ethical to us. That’s common sense.
We’re not perfect, and we don’t claim to be. But we’d love to take you with us on our journey towards a more sustainable future in fashion. We’re on our way and we’d love for you to join us!
For the Embassy, it’s important that beautiful items are made beautifully, too. Fair labor conditions and safe working conditions are a must!
Items made by the Embassy are designed in Germany and proudly manufactured in China. The team makes it a point to work with smaller production partners, in need of the business, and keen to grow together – while maintaining a friendly, even familial vibe. We only work with partners who can guarantee good working conditions for their employees.
We‘re visiting our partners regularly to assure high ethical standards, a good approach to working conditions and fair payment of the garment workers. This being said, it’s entirely possible that some things we find might not be yet up to the standards we’re hoping for – we like to look at that as a chance for our manufacturers and us to learn and get better together. We’re working on establishing long term working relationship with them, creating stable business opportunities, longevity and sustainable planning for them and are asking for more sustainable materials etc in return.
Due to the small-business-approach, Embassy is able to ensure that every production step is done in-house: No outsourcing, no secret subcontracting.
That being said, it’s one of the main goals here at the Embassy to get certified through the whole production chain by working with third-party stakeholders.
Embassy of Bricks and Logs is a vegan company. For us, sustainability starts and ends with taking a wholesome approach, including every living being along our supply chain – this includes animals and therefore animal-derived products. It is a matter of animal rights and ethics first, but the impact on animal-derived products have on the environment is another big factor. After all, animal agriculture is the second highest source of greenhouse gas emissions and has a huge impact on deforestation, ocean dead zones, acidic soil, world hunger… the list goes on.
We‘re working closely with non-profit organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to make sure the whole collection is PETA-approved vegan.
Most of our fabric suppliers are from South-Korea. South-Korea is a highly developed country and offers the best fabrics in the textile industry of the Far East, comparable to what Italy means to Europe. As we manufacture in China, sourcing in South-Korea helps keeping the carbon footprint for shipping materials in check. Our materials are bought from mostly certified manufacturers (eco-tex or blue sign), such as YKK, Thermore and others.
For our padding, we use faux down fillings and paddings. In this area of expertise, we‘re constantly doing research, talking to new suppliers and trying to find new angles. The sustainable market has become very dynamic and so we‘re on the lookout for new, exciting finds always. We understand it as part of the brand‘s DNA to find the best solution for each item we create.
For example, in 2019 we developed our very own filling material together with our manufacturer in China and called it E100. It’s a faux-down material made from recycled PET-bottles from the world‘s oceans.
UPDATE: For our Fall/Winter 2020 collection, we updated the filling material again, making it puffier and sturdier, so it’s now even warmer and thicker and also less delicate, so it’s easier to wash than “real” down would be. We also switched to mainly post-consumer PET from local landfills, as due to new regulations, there’s less and less plastic in Chinese waterways – a big win for the environment!
The mesh-lining in Embassy coats is eco-tex certified. Other linings are made of 100% recycled polyester.
Our jersey materials (sweatshirts, t-shirts & longsleeves) are made of 100% organic cotton and made in Portugal.
Some (but not all) of the outer shells are blue sign certified and we’re always working on finding more sustainable alternatives.
UPDATE: The newest development here is that for our Fall/Winter 2020 collection, we were able to premiere a 100% recycling version of our most used upper fabric but with the same quality, look and feel like the non-recycled version we’ve been using before. This will results in a collection that’s made of 93-95% recycled and/or sustainable materials. A big milestone for us and something we didn’t expect to pull off that fast. We’re really happy this is becoming a reality!
We don’t like to call the fur materials we use “faux”, because this sounds like they’re somehow inferior to real fur. So we’re going for “future fur” instead.
The future fur materials used in Embassy products are commonly sourced as of now, as the look and feel of recycled materials isn‘t up to the quality standards we‘ve set for ourselves. We are, however, always searching for recycling-based or otherwise eco-friendly alternatives.
UPDATE: For Fall/Winter 2020, we were able to source the very first high-quality future fur, that’s 100% recycled PET, a lamb-fur-like material with an amazing hand feel. Another material innovation we’re very proud of.
We only use high quality zippers by YKK which are blue sign certified. All accessories (press buttons, zipper pullers, eyelets and so on) are bluesign certified products as well.
When it comes to packaging our products, we‘re still searching for good ways to minimize plastic waste, but are not yet satisfied. Meanwhile, all postcards and envelopes are made of 100% recyclable materials.
Our website and shop run on servers powered by renewable energy sources.
Same goes for the electricity used in the office spaces in Essen, Germany. And yes, we recycle, obvi.
UPDATE: For Fall/Winter 2020, we’ll be introducing new packaging used for all orders made in our webshop: Fully recyclable high-quality shipping boxes, shipped carbon neutral. Working with a reforestation initiative, we’ll be planting more trees than were used in the making of our packaging material.
The go-to solution against odor, mold and bacteria in textile production is the silica gel packet. Unfortunately, it is not exactly friendly to the environment. so instead, we looked for a solution that implements the functionality of a silica gel into our hangtags, which now create a protective environment around or garments while they‘re shipped. All extracts used for the making of these hangtags are natural, plant based, food safe and environmentally friendly.
Yes, above all else, we want to keep offering some of the best jackets out there – but we want to, step by step, replace commonly sourced materials through more sustainable options as soon as they get available.
We originally aimed for 80% of the overall production run to be made of recycled and/or organic materials for our Fall/Winter 2020 collection, which already was a high-set goal. With newly sourced upper material and our first recycled future fur material, we’ll be able to go way beyond that in FW20 and hit 93-95% all sustainable materials throughout the collection.
We want to make the final goal of putting out a collection made from 100% sustainable materials a reality by 2023.
We want to establish other third-party certifications in addition to the PETA-certificate we already hold (Fair Wear, Fairtrade) until 2025.
So as you can see, we still have some work before us, but we’d love to take you with us on our journey towards a more sustainable future in fashion. We’re on our way and we would very much like for you to join us!