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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The slow clothing revolution as ignited by Hugh's piggies

Frankly we are sick to death of the slow food revolution. Sick because it is damn near unattainable in our part of the world.

Take the above picture for example. One of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls lovely porcine farm mates (Violet, I think). In the vacuum packed, nitrate pumped wall of food that is our local super chain Violet is the furthest thing from coupon clutching iphone armed shoppers harried minds. But, the bland tasting wall o' chicken is easy and convenient so it wins out.

We are big fan's of Hughs. On one of the last visits to Wales P.G. and I went to grab some things for a Sunday dinner. We went down to the docks and purchased an amazingly fresh Skate and then after cups of tea in a tea shop worthy of a Ray Davies Album went on the lookout for some lamb. We found our lamb, and even had a walk through the field that said lamb was frolicking in a day or two earlier.

The idea that an animal is raised with dignity and respect is compelling. When we commune with family and friends around the table we prepare the meal in such a way that it pays homage to the life that was given for our nourishment. The animal's life is honored as a gift to us all.

I've been taking this and applying some of Hugh's values to our shirts. I can't very well talk to the heads of cotton in Egypt (a bit too Prince of Walesish) as they grow but I can make sure that they are used in a manner befitting the care that the process entails. From the shirting material itself, to the cut, the single needle thread, the mother of pearl buttons we are an involved parent until the package is ready for you. People with fantastic stories and lives have had a direct impact on shaping our shirts. Don't let the lineage down.

Not unlike preparing a meal that honors the life of Hugh's animals we think it only proper that one honors the craftsmanship and time that have gone into your shirt. Don't let the cleaners destroy it, become one with your iron. You will learn quite a bit about your Imperial Black Shirt and perhaps something about yourself in the process.

Yes, we know that our lead times are slow and that certain shirtings are not always available. We are moving towards still smaller limited runs and plan on offering 10 new shirts approximately every 6 weeks or so. We aren't trying to accommodate everyone and I'm certainly not going for a land speed record in shirt production. We are proud of what we have created thus far and hope that you will continue to be as well. We look forward to providing our Imperial Black clients a piece of wearable history, of an item rooted in good soil and nurtured onwards.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Silk Road Rally- Christian Lavieille

A tough day at the races for one of our favorite Frenchmen. Christian Lavieille's transmission exploded on leg 5 of the Silk Road Rally in between Beyneau & Janaozen. Who said the Silk Road was a warm up for the Dakar? Let's hope Christian's current ride finishes strong although a podium isn't likely. At least his Nissan didn't suffer the same fate as this one.