Saturday, at the Rendez-Vous tradeshow, I met Raan and Shea Parton, two of the brains behind brilliant menswear line, Apolis Activism. Alongside their brother Stenn, these Southern California boys founded a company whose ethics are as sturdy as its garment construction. Taking a page from the book Let My People Go Surfing, they’ve developed a brand whose name and mission stand for more than just the latest trend.
In classical literature, apolis means “citiless” or “without city.” They’ve taken it to mean a citizen of no country. Developing their mission, as Shea tells it, “We began thinking about the obvious communality of people across the world wearing clothes, and jokingly caught ourselves saying, ‘Humanity has a common thread.’ Before we knew it, a phrase lead us to believe that humanity — not flags or borders — is the common thread that binds us.” (EBR)
Working with charitable organizations like Invisible Children and CITTA, Apolis is devoted to sourcing materials from developing nations — cashmere from a women’s cooperative in Nepal, cotton canvas from Uganda — while waxwear, nylon board shorts, and shirting are sourced right here in the USA. As their trademark, they’ve chosen the symbol of the red cross. You’ll find it embroidered on everything from Nepalese cashmere hats and sweaters to waxwear jackets produced in New York state, from nylon board shorts made by classic SoCal surfwear company Katin, to briefcases made with Ugandan canvas but assembled by Seattle-based purveyor of outdoor gear Filson.
All images c/o Apolis Activism.