The Brand Underground

30Brand
Alter Schwede, schon lange her, dass ich so einen derben Artikel gelesen habe, der so vieles in Worte fasst, was mich gerade bewegt und wie ich mein Leben verstehe. Lest The Brand Underground. Ist verdammt lang, das Ding. Aber es lohnt sich. Hier ein paar Zitate:

One reason an underground brand sounds nonsensical is that countercultures are supposed to oppose the mainstream, and nothing is more mainstream than consumerism. But we no longer live in a world of the Mainstream and the Counterculture. We live in a world of multiple mainstreams and countless counter-, sub- and counter-sub-cultures.
This is the quintessence of the postmodern brand rebel, hopscotching the minefield of creativity and commerce, recognizing the categorization, satirizing it, embracing it and commoditizing it all at once.
If the dance between subculture and mainstream has always been more compromised than it appears and if every iteration of the bohemian idea is steadily more entrepreneurial than the last, then maybe a product-based counterculture is inevitable. Maybe subcultures are always about turning lifestyles into business — or the very similar goal of never having to grow up. Maybe the familiar corporations-against-individuals dynamic (“They manufacture lifestyle; we live lives,” as The Baffler, the alt-opinion journal, declared in 1993) is simply outdated.

Hier ist ein followup-Artikel: Fashion. Branding, Streetwear & Movements

Chevy und das virale Marketing

Video im Web ist ja gerade der Shit. Um bei der ganzen viralen Marketinggeschichte endlich auch mal mit dabei zu sein, hat Chevy zur Vorstellung seines neuen SUVs mit dem Namen Tahoe ein Tool gebaut, mit dem sich jeder seinen eigenen Tahoe-Werbespot zusammenbauen und an seine Freunde weiterschicken kann. Und was soll man sagen, es hat wunderbar funktioniert. Leute bauen wie verrückt Spots und posten sie auf ihren Blogs…

Mehr bei YouTube.

Mehr zum Thema: ,

GraphicAlliance – Styler mit sozialem Gewissen

O Graphicalliance
Ich höre häufiger Designer, die Christen sind darüber reden, dass man mal sowas wie nen Zusammenschluss von „christlichen Designern“ machen müsste. Ich wundere mich dann, warum man nicht einfach mal außerhalb des Ghettos denkt und sich sowas hier anschließt. Btw. in der ganzen Mitgliederliste habe ich niemanden aus Deutschland gefunden.

The Graphic Alliance is a network of graphic designers, web developers and related workers who promote fundamental social change through their work.

We are committed to helping build a new social order based on direct democracy, communal economics, human rights and ecological sensibility. We believe that design and technology are important aspects of the struggle for freedom, peace and social justice. We stand united in our opposition to concentrated power, discrimination and oppression in its many forms. We promote social ownership and democratic control over information, ideas, technology and the means of communication.

We join together in the spirit of autonomy, mutual aid and open collaboration.

Inspirationsbombe: howies

Ich bin ja leicht zu begeistern. Aber manchmal laufen mir Dinge über den Weg, die mich schlichtweg verändern. Aus heiterem Himmel entdeckt man etwas, dass sich anders anfühlt als das normale, durchschnittliche. Irgendwie stimmt hier alles. Es passt. Es drückt alles aus, über das man gerade nachdenkt. Man selbst bleibt mit der Frage zurück, ob man angesichts solcher Dinge alles hinwirft oder inspiriert einen neuen Anlauf nimmt.

Mark hat mir vorhin eine Liste mit Links zu Klamotten-Labeln geschickt, die wir uns für unsere Shop/Mailorder-Ideen genauer anschauen wollen. Der erste Link war howies. Mit Sitz in UK entwickeln die Rider und Biker von howies Klamotten, die ihren eigenen, extrem hohen Anspruch an Qualität genügen sollen. Ihre Philosophie zu Fair Trade usw. fühlt sich dabei sehr entspannt und einfach realistisch an.

We can’t say that our products are fair trade because we are not convinced that there is a trusted set of guidelines to follow. So we make no such claim until we can be sure. That has meant we have to write our own guidelines. For a tiny company that is some undertaking. How do you measure the air quality in a factory? What chemicals are good? What chemicals are bad? How much overtime is allowed? How much holiday should be given? To these questions and more, we will go find the answers. Then we will make sure our factories follow our common sense guidelines.

Dieser Style zieht sich durch alles, was sie machen.

A higher quality product will invariably last longer. It will keep on performing as it was designed to for longer before it finally needs replacing. And so over its lifespan it will have consumed less valuable resources than an inferior product that will have been replaced many times. That’s why we make the best quality products that we know how. Because ultimately the best thing we can do for the environment is to make our stuff last a real long time.[…] Why are we in business? For us it is not as simple to make a profit. Like any company we require a profit to stay in business. But it is not the reason we are in business. The thing that has not changed from day one is the desire to make people think about the world we live in. This is, and always will be, why we are in business. […] We pledge to give 1% of our turnover or 10% of pre-tax profits (whichever is greater) to grass-root environmental and social projects. […] We are trying to get the balance right between work and play. Whenever a real nice day comes along, it’d be a shame to waste it. So if you phone up and no-one answers, don’t worry. We are out there doing what we love. So leave a message and we’ll get back to you in a while. […] We are tiny. Most people haven’t heard of us. In order to spread the word we have to grow. But that costs money. Money we haven’t got. We could have approached the City, but that is not our way. Grow slow to grow strong is what we say. So instead we asked our friends. Friends who care about what we are trying to do. Friends who are not just in it to make money. Friends who were crazy enough to believe in us. We don’t answer to our shareholders. We answer to our friends.

Ich habe den halben Vormittag damit verbracht, mich durch die Unmengen an Statements und Gedanken auf der Webseite zu lesen. Sie passen einfach so hundertprozentig in das rein, was mich gerade bewegt und drücken auch einen trifftigen Grund aus, warum ich mich für die Selbstständigkeit entschieden habe. Ich möchte soweit wie möglich selbst bestimmen, für wen und für was ich arbeite. Dann mal auf zum zweiten Link auf Marks Liste…

Antipreneurs

Antipreneur.org:

While giant corporations run roughshod over our lives, we whine and complain, protest and boycott. But the one thing we’ve never done is fight the corporations head on. For too long we’ve ignored the market, written it off as enemy territory. Yet, what do mega-corps like Walmart and Coke fear most? Competition. We’re talking about a new breed of bottom-up enterprise that does things differently: promotes ethics over profit, values over image, idealism over hype. A brand of grassroots capitalism that deals in products we actually need — and believe in. No sweatshops. No mindfucking ads. Just sustainable, accountable companies. Run by us. Imagine a chain of restaurants serving only locally-sourced food. Or an artist-controlled radio network. Instead of Nikes? Blackspot Sneakers. Instead of McDonald’s, Warner Music and Microsoft?