It's nearly the end of the year and we've got a lot to say - so we're jamming it all into one blog. Read on, people.
Black Friday, along with Valentine’s Day, is an awful social construct designed by large corporations to normalise consumerist behaviour. There’s no real reason for the last Friday in November to be a day when retailers decide they want to ‘slash’ prices - other than praying upon ‘FOMO’ and general human insecurity.
Last year, we decided to do our own response to ‘Black Friday’ by raising our prices of a couple of our individual products to over £100 and dedicating all the extra money to Crisis. We raised just shy of a £1000 in a few days. This year, we have decided to dedicate 30% of sales from everything in our shop from 29th November to midnight on 2nd Dec to Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK). And we mean everything.
Pictured: Wilf Scolding (Actor - Game of Thrones) Photo credit Radski Studio
So, to recap: No discounts. No once-in-a-lifetime offers. No cheap crap. No lining the pockets of Phillip Green, just so he can vomit overpriced champagne off the bow of his yacht. We’re trying to make a difference in the world, while sticking true to our principles of trying to reduce consumption and consumerism.
As an added bonus, we will be listing our favourite black activists, philosophers and leaders in what we’re going to call #RealBlackFriday. We’d invite you to join us by tweeting out your favourites on the hashtag, and getting involved. Re-associate this day with human ingenuity and defiance in the face of corporate tyranny.
Earlier this year, Extinction Rebellion launched their ‘New Fashion Boycott’, an amazing and earth-shaking campaign to encourage the fashion industry to change its ways from using unsustainable techniques, immoral labour practices and generally bleeding dear Mama Earth dry like a leech. We spent a long time trying to figure out how THTC could support that campaign. We looked at whether we should shut the shop periodically and restrain sales. Then we realised that anything like that would mean that we’d run the risk of actually burning whatever little money we actually have, give our costs.
When it came down to it, our decades utilising hemp and organic materials, combined with our buying practices has meant that we’ve been better than most. But the fact remains that we can’t consume our way out of the climate crisis.
And now for the slightly sad news. For 20 years THTC Clothing has been at the forefront of being a street clothier and a social vanguard - and we’re utterly proud of what we’ve achieved. A few recent events have converged and we’ve come to a decision - THTC is going to change. The reality is, without external funding, trying to run an ethical business in one of the world’s least ethical industries has proven to be too much of a challenge.
As of 2020, our retail brand will be going on hiatus. Gav will be focussing on how THTC can engage and create real systemic change in the merchandising industry by focussing on private label and collaborations, and Ashwin will continue to be involved in cannabis and social activism.
We want to bring hemp into the truly forward-looking fashion houses of the world, as well as progressive businesses that are looking to make long-life custom clothing and accessories. We will be offering a large range of hemp products, from our world famous t-shirts to socks, caps, beanies, belts, lanyards, key rings and wallets.
We’ve decided to take this step in order to focus our efforts with the exceptionally limited resources we have, in order to effect the most good in the world. Two guys can only do so much.
What does this mean for our online community, current designs and our warehouse full of goods? At the end of this year, we will officially be vacating our Ealing premises that we have called home for nearly a decade. And the internet doesn’t stop - we’ll still have our social channels that you’ve come to know and love.
We have recently printed our last batch of hemp tees, as well as around 15 limited edition organic cotton jumper designs. Our hugely popular hemp socks and boxer shorts are still in stock, as our our hemp tote bags and sweatbands. However, once they’re gone, they’re gone, probably for good this time. We’ll never say never but, for the time being at least, THTC will not be restocking next year.
There’s a lot more to be fleshed out as we head into 2020, but we’re excited for the future - and we’d like to take you all with us. It’s fair to say, we have hit our 20 year anniversary in style. A few weeks ago THTC was named ‘Most outstanding eco brand of 2020’ in the SME News Business Elite Awards as well as being awarded an Ethical Consumer ‘Best Buy’ tag.
We would like to send a ton of love to everyone who has joined us on this fantastic journey so far, from the musicians and celebs who have helped us to promote our cause, to all out customers, promoters and past staff. There are too many of you to mention - but your names always come up on the orders.
We love every last one of you and are truly thankful for your support.
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At THTC we try and minimise the amount of plastic we use on a daily basis, whether that be choosing biodegradable packaging to send orders or the type of ink we use on our t-shirts. We all have the choice to reduce plastic consumption within our own lives and make conscious choices to switch with alternatives.
Today we’re going to talk about how we can reduce our own plastic consumption for beginners. Some of you may already be doing these steps, and if you are, please reach out to us to let us know how you’re getting on, or if you want to try to reduce down, please continue reading.