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Ontour On Strike

AW11 Onstrike2

Inspired by activists, protests and underground resistance, Ontour says NO to hamburgers without pickles, NO to queuing at the local butcher and YES to YES!

Gather your riot tomatoes and join the union guild. Classic silhouettes with a modern take, premium quality materials and a vivid color palette.

The folks at Ontour added some innovative & functional garments to challenge various types of weather conditions at this time of the year. Check out the collection on their site.

Icebreaker Cycling Apparel

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I have always been a fan of Icebreaker gear. The New Zealand company has fostered strong relationships with a handful of farms where they source their amazing merino wool from. When I thought they had shown all their cards, they come guns blazing in their Spring/Summer ’11 line. Of course, you have updates to the normal offerings such as new patterns and prints in the Lightweight Travel series. For the warmer months, Icebreaker is offering 150g per square meter, which is thinner than a typical cotton tee. You can also get 200g weight for cooler mornings or evenings. They sent me some tops to try out and on my month long trip to Australia, it was the only thing I wore. I will eschew praising the virtues of merino as a fabric since I assume you’re already familiar with it’s warming and cooling abilities all the while staying odor-free.

ss11_m_ib6b06659_cwh.jpgWhat really stands out for me and came as a shock was the introduction of their road and mountain biking cycling apparel called GT Bike. Cycling is a sport Icebreaker had not previously supported. Based on the jersey and bib I was sent, it’s clear that they were just biding their time; sitting back and observing the industry to figure out the best way to make a first impression. Again, merino is the basis of all the collection and it turns out to be the perfect fabric whether you’re going on an early morning by the beach or bombing hills in the afternoon on your full-suspension. Enhanced with LYRCA for just the amount of stretch, the fit is on point. The products are an investment (merino is not cheap), but details like a gripper at the hem and hardy zippers put a smile on your face each time you get out.

Commerce With A Conscience

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Great idea and seems to be pretty well stocked, Commerce With A Conscience allows you to sort goods (mostly clothing and accessories) by ethical attribute.

There are many ways that a product can be socially responsible. Along with more obvious criteria like eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices, there is also how well an item is made, and how long it will last. The goods featured on this site run the gamut. While some are organic and sweatshop-free, others are so high-quality that they’ll never need replacing (there are even a few to which all three traits apply).

Looptworks

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I have written extensively about green companies – not just because being it’s the current hot trend, but because I feel it is what we must move towards in order to be sustainable. Today, a revolutionary clothing company launches. Formed by industry veterans with experience from Nike, adidas, and Royal Robbins, Looptworks takes the word green and flips it on its head. The company is attempting to produce 100% of it’s line from excess materials and components. In other words, it will create clothing from no new materials, instead re-using excess from factory floors that currently gets dumped into landfills. A typical textile factory produces 60,000 pounds of waste a week so source materials will not be a problem for the Portland, Oregon company but consistency in the supplies may be. As expected the collections are limited and, I expect them to be constantly evolving as Looptworks finds new materials to work with. The initial collection consists of 20 apparel pieces for both men and women and items range from jackets to skirts and graphic tees. The company is targeting an active lifestyle that brings together boards ports and outdoor activities, mixed with an urban aesthetic. I am personally very excited to see this business model catch on.

Studio Roxas's Chiba Warrior

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Being the “favorite uncle” isn’t as tough a job as, say, being the father, but there’s still a responsibility to bring my new nieces/nephews awesome gifts. For instance, I spotted Isabel Roxas‘s Chibi Warrior branded merch at the Brooklyn Flea this past Sunday. I had already bought this onesie from her Queens studio for my sister-in-law’s ninja-themed baby shower (complete with toddler-safe throwing stars), but Isabel also has items beyond baby clothes, liketees, stamps, and notecards with the lethal-yet-adorable assassin. Just something to think about if you don’t want to concede to the Dora the Explorers or Thomas the Tank Engines of the world.

Shotwell

Yelpers are a notoriously fickle bunch, and pretty verbose when it comes to the recently opened San Francisco men and women's apparel boutique SHOTWELL. Carrying "vintage Lacoste sweaters, plaid shirts … and reconstructed dresses", as well as lines from Cheap Monday and Alex & Chloe, one reviewer described it as having a "SF-meets-L.A.-meets-NY-hipster-meets-high-fashion yuppy threads."

Founders Michael Weaver and Holly Kricher were previously selling vintage clothing out of their house in the Mission District before grabbing this space on Geary St. If you need an excuse to shop, Bosnian artist Jasko Begovic's colorful, haunting artwork will be on display at an in-store party tonight.

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