Lots of guys have issues committing to a date much less a long term relationship, so I’m always surprised to hear they’ve been buying the same brand of underwear for over 20 years. I mean, they’re really loyal to it… and to their tee shirts, jeans, you name it. They’ll buy the same clothes till death do they part, which could be either them or the brand they support.
Maybe this brand loyalty is why I’ve let men fall under my radar all these years. I’m guilty of a double standard giving them a pass and turning a blind eye when I see my guy friends and even my husband wearing fast fashion that harms our planet.
That’s pretty bad on my part and probably not my best business move ’cause Men’s Wear is a fast growing market and one I shouldn’t have been ignoring all these years.
According to Euromonitor, the men’s clothing industry will grow 1.9% by 2021 compared to 1.4% for women and the thing is, while I’ve been sleeping at the wheel, fast fashion’s been marketing to men, laying the image on thick and yeah… getting them to commit to a new brand. I mean, all-in commit from underwear to outerwear.
My husband’s a shopper and not your typical guy when it comes to clothes. He’s still loyal to certain brands but maybe ’cause he’s in the fashion business, he’s always looking at what’s new in men’s clothing. So last year when he was due for some new boxer briefs, he asked me if I wanted to tag along and check out a store I’d never heard of.
We pulled into what once was a dying old strip mall and there it was; a store that started out as a supplier to the working trade. Where the hell have I been and what a shocker it was to find a packed parking lot in front of this chain store with its tough-guy, burly image selling their tough-guy clothes!
This company has a big online presence, but I was blown away by how many guys were browsing the aisles shopping for everything from underwear to outerwear. I haven’t seen a store for men this busy… EVER and lately, I haven’t seen a brick and mortar store this busy in years!
To their credit, their marketing team has a good sense of humor, all the while focusing their ads, names and clothing descriptions on the working man. You know, the guys that are on their farms driving tractors all day or hauling equipment to a construction site.
At least that’s who they want their shoppers to think these clothes are made for, but what guy doesn’t want that STRONG, burly image? I mean, even that hipster coding at his desk all day could use a little street-cred and hey, those carpenter pants might just do the trick.
Even I was pulled into their madness and found myself looking closely at all they made and how they described it. They used words like “tradesmen fit” and “storm cotton”…whatever that is. Everything literally screamed tough, rugged and macho and it was working! Guys were falling for it and not giving a second thought to where or how this stuff was made.
Even my husband who listens to me rant about how fast fashion is killing our planet felt justified buying from this retailer. Their brilliant marketing convinced him that although he was buying cheap fast fashion, it was designed to last and made to fit him. He thought he was getting not only a great deal but a high quality product.
He didn’t think it was a big deal because he didn’t think he had any other options!
But once I saw the prices and where these clothes were made, I saw thru the whole thing. This company’s hiding behind their tough-guy image pumping their cheap fast fashion out to men all over the country on the premise their stuff not only makes you feel tougher, stronger and more macho but their clothing is tougher, stronger and better than other brands. Who cares if they dump their dyes into people’s drinking water or pay their workers pennies to sew their clothes?
What’s worse is they even market it as Made in the USA, but shoppers beware! They’re not talking about their clothes! They’re talking about their accessories. Stuff like socks, boot laces, beef jerky, suspenders and no-crack hand creams. Maybe this Midwest based retailer may have started out making their jeans and other clothing here responsibly but not anymore.
If a company is operating ethically then I honestly don’t care where they make their clothes, but if they don’t reveal their manufacturing process or relay any info about how or where they’re made, we can only assume they aren’t proud of how they make them.
What’s worse is the clothes my husband bought that day didn’t last. Like all fast fashion, his boxer briefs made it thru about three washings before they started to fade, tear, pill and literally fall apart.
We’ve slowly, VERY SLOWLY introduced five new basic designs for Men, giving them an option to buy from a responsibly made, eco-friendly clothing company. MAJAMAS EARTH makes sturdy, long lasting sustainable basics but we don’t claim to make everything a guy needs. So take a look at other ethical brands endorsed by Done Good for Men.
Can a t-shirt help you lift that 100 pound barrel or lug that fire hose any easier? Probably not, but knowing it’s responsibly made to last will strengthen your faith in the clothing industry and lift our planet out of the dire state the garment biz has put it in.
Fast fashion isn’t macho. It’s ugly, wimpy and weakens our environment. So step it up guys ’cause #realmencarewhattheywear.
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
TO HEAR FROM YOU
What would you like ME to make for MEN?
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