SEP 12, 2013 – JTMP is a strong supporter of new and fairer forms of capitalism, and we strongly support cooperatives and employee-owned businesses like Publix; and we ran across a great project going on with online retailer Aplomb we just had to tell you about. They have turned their website into a forum where people exchange ideas about important issues and build up votes to use as currency. Art work is inspired, and that art is then put on their t-shirts that the "Creative Conspiracy", as they call themselves, can buy with their accumulated activist work credit they have done online.
JTMP caught up with Ryan from Aplomb in an email interview, and he was nice enough to tell us about how it all began. Ryan explained to JTMP that Aplomb started back in 2006 with his observation on how little you could pay artists in the t-shirt apparel business, and he also felt other injustices within the apparel industry were happening. Their "streetwear brand" t-shirt apparel business would pay as little as $200 for the artist's work, and didn't even have to give them credit. He says in the interview, "Something that stuck out was how ridiculous 'lifestyle' brands were. It was crazy that people would actually pay or buy into someone's lifestyle. That is when the epiphany started." Ryan then went on to say, "I would get people involved in the brand, use their ideas to provide significant meaning in the products we sold instead of promoting another 'lifestyle'. I would pay artists fairly and promote them along with the people's ideas instead of ourselves. In an industry that promotes the promotion of self we knew we had the opportunity to change things by putting the fans and the artists first."
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He went on to talk about their website and their project and said, "We want members to know how valuable their ideas are. ANYONE who submits an idea earns points that they can redeem for clothing, shipped to them for free. If someone's ideas gets chosen they can choose between money or product as compensation." JTMP asked him how the experience has been and Ryan said, "The experience so far has been amazing. We get and incredible response from creative types, specifically artists and writers. It was always my goal to end up in a creative position within the creative industry. It took over ten years, and I had to start my own business, but I did it." He also talked about the importance of support through the public they need from Kickstarter Campaign and AplombClothing.com and retailers saying, "We feel the future rests in developing the community. That itself is tough while trying to run a business because we always give away clothing in exchange for ideas not money." Ryan than ended with saying, "If we can prove this model through Kickstarter today and retail sales tomorrow we plan to branch out to more complex garments. We would like to base cut and saw pieces on our fans ideas and continue to be creative in the people who benefit from the process."
To join the Creative Conspiracy, check out TheCreativeConspiracy.com here, read a great article on PSFK.com here, and watch the Kickstarter video below and support this cool new endeavor!