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15 Dec 2019 • Makii

Is our merchandise killing the planet?

While the world is overflowing with garments that went from fast fashion to longlasting trash, is another band shirt really what we need?
 
  • As we released our third album Mind the Moon and started planning the upcoming world tour, the discussion about merchandise arose quickly.
    In the past, we’ve created shirts, hoodies, caps and so on for our fans to buy at concerts or online. And yes, we admit to not having familiarised ourselves with the exact conditions under which those goods were produced and distributed. 
    Trust me, there was A LOT of back and forth on how to address this matter for this tour and in the future. Supporting a sustainable philosophy means considering both environmental and socio-economic aspects and the manufacture of merchandise is certainly one of the more obvious areas to question. 
    Over the past weeks, we’ve deliberated over this more than any other topic, contemplating whether producing anything under our name could be justifiable at all. So it might come as a surprise, that my response to the prospect of another band shirt is Yes, let’s do it! (but let’s do it right) 

  • ​Environmental impact of the fashion industry

    The production of cheap disposable clothes and the enormous rise in its output (400% over the last decade) has resulted in the fashion industry becoming the second-largest  environmental polluter in our economy. With this comes an exorbitant consumption of water, emission of greenhouse gases, soil degradation, heavy use of chemicals, inhumane working conditions and overflowing landfills - just to name a few. 
    It became very clear to us, that we don’t want to take part in these acts just for the sake of having merchandise. 

    âEnvironmental impact of the fashion industry
    © Swapan Photography
  • Countercurrent

    The ongoing trends of minimalism, swapping clothes, second-hand shopping and slow fashion are some of the reactions initiated by this issue. We all start to understand, that when it comes to an eco-conscious lifestyle, less is more

    An idea we all sympathised with immediately was the usage of already existing clothing to create our merchandise. Easier said than done. 
    Legal rights, branding techniques and the sheer acquisition of post-consumer clothing are challenges yet to overcome for us to be able to push our 2nd hand merch idea into practice. So in order to decide whether or not we even wanted to make merchandise, we needed to take a step back and ask why we even started producing commodities to accompany our music in the first place. 

    Countercurrent
    © Anthony Molina
  • More than fashion

    To me - and I am certain I’m not alone with this - a band shirt is more than just a piece of clothing. 
    I can think of 3 factors that make me want to buy merchandise; the first one being style: I will only buy what speaks to me aesthetically. Otherwise, let’s face it, it’ll end up in the back of my closet to be forgotten. 
    Another one being identity: my favorite musicians have always been role models to me to some degree. It might even be only through their music that I identify with them, but wearing a certain band shirt is undoubtedly a visual statement of my personality. 
    The third and probably biggest factor to me is memory: My favorite band shirt is turning 13 years old next year. I might not identify with that band to the same degree anymore or the shirt no longer suits my current style. Nevertheless, it inheres the memory of a certain time and version of myself, so I still wear it proudly from time to time. 

    What’s your oldest piece of clothing you still love and cherish? 

    More than fashion
    © Anthony Molina
  • ​Sustainable merch

    So how are we going to stop our merch from killing the planet?
    Taking all these factors into account, we are searching for the least harmful way of manufacturing merch articles for our fans. Something good to take home from a Milky Chance concert, other than a good time. 
    We want to take the opportunity of creating merchandise for you that is functional, stylish, conscious  and produced to the highest standard of eco-friendly and fair production possible. Without claiming to be even close to perfect, we’ve come up with a reduced but elevated choice of merchandise for our upcoming Mind the Moon tour. On the downside, applying these high standards comes with longer development processes and therefore we won’t be able to provide our fans with merchandise for our approaching Australia tour. 
    The long term goal is to implement a system that works without leaving a negative footprint on our environment and ideally, is capable of giving back to nature. While we are still working on the details, I will keep you updated on our progress here on our blog. 


    Excited to find out what our merch stand is going to have in stock for you? 

    Keep your eyes peeled...

Wanna dig deeper into the topic of sustainable fashion? Check out Sustain Your Style or Sustainable Fashion Matterz