Fall Collection 2018 “Liberation”
“Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men.”
-Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Drawing inspiration from African American and Native American cultures, the concept/idea for this collection is Liberation. As a platform, our goal is not only to make and sell clothes, but to inspire, teach, and influence through our work. With this collection we will spotlight the works of Marcus Garvey and his efforts to uplift the international Black community with platforms such as the Black Star Line and The Universal Negro Improvement Association. We will also draw reference and inspiration from Fred Hampton, the legacy of the black panther party, the Native American Chief Red Cloud, and many other historical events and people that have helped build the vision for this collection.
Liberation begins from within, it is the emancipation of the mind that sparks the light of freedom for the individual and ultimately the community. It is knowledge of self and knowledge of purpose that is the engine for change and the push for excellence. The common theme between all of these groups and as it relates to us is liberation. Liberation from the oppressor. In the situation of Marcus Garvey, the oppressor were the European nations that colonized all of the indigenous Black/native lands which include both African and Caribbean nations. He spoke and organized in effort to make African Americans conscious and aware of their true potential and knowledge from their past. With this he challenged his community to collectively align themselves as proprietors, owners, and truly “free people”. Although emancipation of African Americans as slaves in bondage had passed, the minds of the people were still not free. Garvey wanted to liberate his people from their oppressor. He (and the UNIA) began selling stock for The Black Star Line, a project created to incentivize owning and operating their own vessels of transportation. This project would allow African Americans to “take charge of their own affairs”, ultimately allowing them to be operators in the mercantile and commercial world.
Fred Hampton and the Black Panther party were on the same track regarding sustainable programs and services for the community. In 1969 the black panther party began the free breakfast for children program. The plan was initiated at St. Augustines church in Oakland, California where they started feeding 150 children in impoverished urban neighborhoods. The program got so popular that at its height, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across America feeding over 10,000 children a day before school. “The Free Breakfast Program became the central organizing activity of the group. The reach and success of the program in so many communities underscored the inadequacies of the federal government's then-flagging and under-resourced lunch programs in public schools across the country.” Basic human needs such as food were not being met for some black youth in America. The BPP took it in their hands to begin programs like this to liberate themselves and their communities from the hands of the oppressor. This self-sufficiency allowed many to take charge of their own lives with self-reliance.
In 2009 we started BrownMill in efforts to experiment with our creative ideas in collective with our friends we shared the same interest and drive. Now in 2018, we have grown as individuals, our skill sets have strengthened, and our creative capacity has expanded. We see BrownMill as an opportunity to gain financial and career liberation fully. It's a platform where we can ultimately participate and exercise our skill sets so that it can be passed down to those that come after us. BrownMill is an opportunity to inspire and influence our communities to practice diligence with their crafts, be active in community engagement, and practice self-sufficiency with services. This is how the struggles of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA, Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party, and the tribes of Native Americans relate to us. We are all fighting for liberation….FREEDOM. Being able to thrive without the hindrance or restraint of systems or persons. In the case of BrownMill, Liberation means self-sufficiency. This collection is the next step in that direction.
The “Black Star Line” Tee
The Black Star Line (BSL) was a steamship corporation established in 1919 by Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey, the leader of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The name, inspired by a British luxury steamship line called the White Star Line, was applied to a highly ambitious and ultimately mismanaged corporation. Similarly to the UNIA’s Negro Factories Corporation, the BSL was part of a larger effort on the part of Garvey to encourage black self-determination and economic independence. Garvey saw that blacks across the globe were largely being exploited and left out of the global economy. The BSL would partly remedy that situation by facilitating the shipment of goods amongst the far-flung people of the African Diaspora, thereby fostering the growth of a self-reliant and resilient global black economy. The BSL would also transport emigrants to Africa for the establishment of a black nation-state.
“Red Cloud” Crewneck
Chief Red Cloud was a Native American war leader who became an important part of history for his role in fiercely defending his peoples land against the U.S. government. As leader of the Lakota Indians in the 1860s, a time when the United States was attempting to seize Indian territory, he is best known for his long standing opposition to a proposed road through Indian territory. The two year battle with the U.S. government where Chief Red Cloud fought to protect Indian land in Montana and Wyoming became known as Red Clouds War.
“Red Cloud” Sweat Pants
“Even if you live forty or fifty years in this world, and then die, you cannot take all your goods with you.” -Red Cloud
“Red Cloud” Rugby
“I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.” -Red Cloud
The Yellow Brigade Hoodie Signifies our promise to creating a more sustainable future. Sustainable fashion also known eco fashion is a growing trend in America. Statistics indicate that the average person discards 65lbs of clothing every year which results in 14.3 million tons of textile waste. Of that amount, only 2.3 million tons are recycled. We are changing that statistic one garment at a time with its business model that transforms textile waste into sustainable fashion.
We are a lifestyle brand touted as a mix between bespoke tailoring and streetwear. The company gets its textile waste through goodwill, donations, imports, and thrift stores. A piece of salvaged material is incorporated into every design to create entirely new pieces that are crafted to perfection.