Empowerment. VIRTŪ is part of Start Up Chile Program Generation 16. As an ethical driven lifestyle brand for men now focussing on clothing, VIRTŪ is aiming to empower communities all over the world. One garment at a time.
It’s only been a few weeks since 29 people lost their lives in a fire in one of Bangladesh’s factories. Sadly, accidents like this are not rare in this country. More than 40% of Bangladesh’s factories have potentially deadly safety issues. The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits.
Fast fashion’s dark side isn’t discussed too often. We’re usually focused on the happy, beautiful side of looking and feeling great at cheap prices. After all, what we can’t see can’t hurt us, right? Cheap clothes are tangible, unethical and cruel working conditions for society’s more vulnerable are a little harder to visualize. The epic pollution and overflowing landfills aren’t hanging in your closet.
Slowly by surely consumers are becoming aware of the dangers of fast fashion. Cruel working conditions forced upon desperate workers and extreme damage to our environment to create cheap, disposable clothing somehow don’t make a $7 sweater seem all that great anymore. Lorenz, 26, is one of these consumers telling us, “Stopping unfair wages and employing people fairly around the globe is a life goal that should be admired and followed, not only by social-activists and workers, but also by everyone with the power to change something.”
VIRTŪ agrees. In 2015 social entrepreneurs Jason Grullòn and Guillaume Vaslin knew they could combine their talents to create the change they wanted to see. VIRTŪ started in Berlin in 2015 as a response to this inane and unsustainable circle – because small changes add up and when combined can disrupt an entire industry. Thankfully over 700 people from Kickstarter agree, signing up to back our first product – a crisp, timeless men’s 100% natural cotton dress shirt produced under ethical conditions in the Dominican Republic, with 50% of profits going straight back to the community for long-term development/training projects. With approximately €60,000 raised from our first campaign, we’re now moving onto our second Kickstarter campaign with a new eco-friendly product: a 100% baby alpaca pullover in classic navy – made with an ethical and values driven family business in Bolivia. Check this out
VIRTŪ is committed to sustainable fashion in all aspects of the word. We pay our workers a fair wage and we refrain from using harmful chemicals and processes in order to protect the environment, our workers and our customers. Plus they are a darn good looking products! When consumers start supporting companies that support their workers and the environment we’re sending a message about our values and what we want to see in the future of fashion.
Today three team members are participating in Start Up Chile and are part of Generation 16. This incredible program has allowed us to scale our social impact in Chile and far beyond its borders. It’s providing opportunities to bring our mission worldwide and expanding capabilities to bring our mission of ethical and sustainable fashion to the world. Our base in Chile, and our participation with Start Up Chile, has let us explore many future production possibilities locally to empower also Chilean communities.
Together let’s fight against completely preventable tragedies and protect workers in the garment industry. Support us today on Kickstarter and join the #empowerman team!