Obvious is a sustainable, transparent and local outdoor brand based in Antwerp (Belgium). Our goal is to make useful and fun products that have a positive impact on our planet and the people who live on it. We want to put an end to the greenwashing, the unfair labour and the pollution that is part of the (fast)fashion industry today. The only way to do this is with respect for our planet and its people and to be vocal and transparent about it. Everything must be obvious. Our philosophy can be divided in three aspects: transparency, sustainability and people.
Trust is one of the most important values in a healthy relationship. The best way to gain trust is trough honest and transparent communication. At Obvious we are transparent about everything, not only the positive things, the selling points, the things we are proud of but also the negative things, the things that could be better, the things that other companies keep for themselves. You will find examples of this in our Blog, Newsletter and in the product descriptions. Next to trust, another consequence is that the transparency pushes us as a company to make better decisions and to reinvent ourselves over and over again. And if we don’t, we always have you, our customers to hold us accountable.
Keeping your impact on the climate to a minimum is very complex, it has so many aspects to it. But even though it is very complex, we do our very best to make a difference on all aspects by keeping control over the complete process.
The choice of materials is a very important step towards sustainability. Here is where you can make the difference. That is exactly why we go the extra mile here, an beautiful example is our IWATO project with products made from old scouting tents.
Re-used organic materials like cotton, canvas and linen are our favourite, for the simple reason that they have the tiniest impact of all possible materials. Processing these materials is quite a lot of manual work. So in the end, it isn’t probably the most cost effective material, but the fact that it is so energy efficient makes up for it.
Of course not everything can be made from re-used organics, but also for those parts or products we put lots of effort in finding as low-impact materials as possible.
There is no use opting for sustainable materials and methods when your product has to travel 5 times around the world to be ready to sell. That is why we keep everything as local as possible, from sourcing materials to R&D to production and even repairs. Even if you order one of our products from the other side of the world, it will have travelled less distance than your average piece of clothing.
3. Made to last
An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy less things. But therefore the products you buy have to last for a long time. At Obvious we make sure that your product will last as long as possible. We make that possible by using quality materials, by design to enable repair and by staying away from small details that break easily.
At Obvious we believe in minimalism. You only need what you need and nothing more. Minimalist products are easy to understand for the customer and they offer the opportunity to reduce both material use and production time significantly. A big win-win for functionality and sustainability.
5. Small stock and on-demand production
Overproduction is a big issue in the fashion industry, 30% of produced clothing is never sold and another 30% is sold in a sale (source). To avoid this, we keep only a small stock with a limited amount of variations of the same product. Some products are even available on-demand, which means the production will happen after you purchased it. Keep in mind that these products will take longer to arrive.
We take ethical production to a new level by giving certain people chances that they usually don’t get. Our production partner Kunnig, a socially responsible workshop, engages people with a (work) disability or long-term unemployment in our economy. They are responsible for our larger production batches while smaller batches will be produced by me, Jef.
By being vocal and transparent about everything we hope to inspire our customers and followers to make better choices and educate them on the problems that our planet faces and what they can do to stop them. We hope to inspire other companies to start communicating more openly about their challenges concerning sustainability and social issues. No one can do it on one’s own, together we can accomplish great things. So that is why we are open to feedback or comments and are very eager to engage in collaborations with other brands or people. You can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the contact page.
My name is Jef
In 2013 I started at the University of Antwerp to study Product Development. My goal: making the world just a little bit better. 7 years later I finally found the courage to take matters into my own hands and pursue that dream by founding Obvious. By supporting Obvious, you participate in our quest to make this world more open, green and social.