In the United States, what is expected for men’s apparel has become straight-forward, which is either simplicity or brand. Simplicity is mostly for people who can’t afford brand names. In their circumstance, they only get the cheapest of bare materials to experience, mostly polyester and rayon cotton blends. Brand names provide the style and design that are popular with the in-crowd, but most of the time, they lack the materials that make a truly comfortable product and they don’t truly represent the person wearing their products. That is the landscape of men’s fashion, and it has been that way for years.
Enter esntl. Apparel, a brand new men’s clothing company, ushering in a modern menswear movement who’s goal is to create “go-to menswear” as stated in their official website:
“You know that piece of clothing that you always pull out of the drawer first after a full load of laundry? It’s just so damn comfortable. It’s versatile. It’s unpretentious. It fits just right. You love it but aren’t afraid that it might get sacrificed if it becomes “one of those days”. Come to think of it, you sort of hope that it does…”
“These are the garments we create. Often more but never less.”
There are three differences that stand out about esntl. Apparel over the mass-production clothing companies – either basic or brand name. First is their simple formula to production. The clothing industry, by what they say, is plagued by second-rate materials which, believe it or not, is primarily cotton blends of rayon and polyester. There are plenty of other materials that could be mixed in with cotton for a better product such as hemp, which was reported to be less dangerous than sugar. One such material clothing companies don’t seem to utilize is bamboo, which I personally love. I have two pure bamboo shirts and they feel amazing. Unfortunately, bamboo is a novelty in the United States. Just take into account that the most prominent bamboo clothing company has only 17 stores in the entirety of the United States.
At esntl. Apparel, they want to provide that awesome bamboo fell at a fraction of the price by utilizing their flagship bamboo-cotton blend in their clothing. It is light, breathable, and unbelievably soft just like regular bamboo, without the bamboo price. They also obsess over quality and attention to detail ergo all their clothing is hand made, not coming off of a clothing assembly line. Just like esntl. Apparel says:
“Owning an esntl. apparel garment directly supports local craftsmen and sustainable production.”
“Our formula is simple: zero compromise makes great clothes.”
The second difference is their purpose. Most popular brands make clothes that are based off trends. What trends is what the higher echelon of the elite show and wear. If a famous rap or rock star were to wear a t-shirt made of recycled toilet paper, their fans, if they could, would buy that t-shirt too. In short, it is the “follow the leader” style of promotion. It isn’t about what clothes means to a person, but that it is endorsed by someone else. esntl. Apparel brings life experiences to the forefront, thus they are known as a “lifestyle brand.” They want to see their clothing “in action” which means they want their clothing to be seen among people who enjoy life with friends, not static on a model in some unrealistic pose on a billboard. They even said it themselves:
“We want to see our clothes in action, not on a billboard. That’s where you come in. Your outrageous adventures are what we really want to see. Live it, wear it and share it.”
Finally, esntl. Apparel is an online store that believes in their clothing, thus they created the Home Try-On program. They allow customers to buy their clothes for a week and within that week the customer is unsatisfied, they can send it back with a full refund and they’ll even pay the shipping. The fact that shipping is included is amazing because most return policies require the customer to pay the shipping.
Seriously, Brandon Love, esntl. Apparel’s owner made a very interesting product. I had the luxury of talking to him when his shop made the Mayor Ford tees, which combined Mayor Ford’s campaign with past campaign promotions and propaganda, including Nixon and Kennedy. Eventually more clothing stores that provide products with quality materials should become more prominent. Just from the designs and knowing how bamboo feels, I believe that if advertised correctly, esntl. Apparel will become an underground clothing movement that will sweep the market right under clothing corporate noses, especially with how social esntl. Apparel is (#esntllife anyone?).
[Image via esntl. Apparel]