This article was first published on PETRIe Inventory
Nestled in the back streets of Bethnal Green, behind the door of a renovated church, lies an exciting e-tailer crafting a collection of sustainably sourced menswear pieces. Brothers We Stand aims to challenge the unethical tactics employed by the bigger retailing brands that dominate our high streets.
The East London brand catalogues their compendium online each season and, for each product offered, maps the social and environmental footprint. From ensuring it is fair trade to the use of sustainable materials, from energy efficiency in manufacturing to ensuring there is no use of child labour, each detail is considered to ensure a wardrobe is offered to the male consumer that will leave them feeling truly proud to wear it.
I sat down with Brother We Stand’s passionate founder, Jonathan Mitchell, to gain further insight into the brand that merges menswear, commerce and social enterprise.
“How can businesses maximise their positive impact? That’s the type of company I’m really interested in creating.”
Jamal George-Sharpe: What led you to start your own brand?
Jonathan Mitchell: I’ve always been interested in business. As a kid at school, my mates and I used to sell sweets and fizzy drinks. That’s how I bought my first mobile phone. At Norwich University, studying International Development, I became interested in how you can create a business that honours the people who make the clothes and has a positive impact on the world. Businesses provide people with products that we love and they create employment. Yet how can businesses maximise their positive impact? That’s the type of company I’m really interested in creating.
JGS: So what separates Brothers We Stand from other ethical e-tailers?
JM: There are a few womenswear retailers who are similar to us, in bringing together leading options from people innovating in sustainable design. For menswear, though, there isn’t anybody offering that. So that's why I decided to focus on menswear.
There are some really exciting designers out there, who are making innovative materials and adopting transparent supply chains - mapping who makes the clothes and grows the cotton. We’re bringing the designers together in one place, so that consumers can discover a collection that looks, and is produced, in a good way.
“The name represents the idea that the men and women who make our clothes around the world are our brothers and sisters in humanity - just like you and I.”
JGS: What does the name, Brothers We Stand, symbolise?
JM: The name represents the idea that the men and women who make our clothes around the world are our brothers and sisters in humanity - just like you and I. So it’s called Brothers We Stand because we want to stand with them.